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User Journal

Journal Journal: A question for all mah friendz0rs 7

(08:08:40 PM) DJVladn8r: Ok, so, these are several of the acts from P-Con, but not necessarily the stuff they played. I have all of it, but we all just heard it at Penguicon, so this is kind of "Vlad's favorite stuff by the artists who were at Penguicon."
(08:09:08 PM) DJVladn8r: Plus some Schaffer. :-D
(08:10:11 PM) WildCard9: that works, Vlad
(08:10:22 PM) WildCard9: you dont need to recreate the concerts
(08:10:39 PM) DJVladn8r: So, I have this cool idea for the Camarilla Vampire game.
(08:10:44 PM) DJVladn8r: I'm going to make a "Player"
(08:10:58 PM) DJVladn8r: Player's aren't big stars, they just like to pretend they are one.
(08:11:09 PM) WildCard9: so a wannabe
(08:11:24 PM) DJVladn8r: A blood line of the Mekhet, they are involved in showbiz in so much as a Vampire can be.
(08:11:28 PM) DJVladn8r: Exactly, WildCard9
(08:11:46 PM) DJVladn8r: So, mine is going to be a wannabe Nerd Core rapper.
(08:11:52 PM) WildCard9: heh!!
(08:12:03 PM) DJVladn8r: This will give me a way to actually 'play test' the stuff I'm writing.
(08:12:08 PM) WildCard9: that definately goes against the gothic image of vampires.
(08:12:11 PM) DJVladn8r: In front of a real crowd.
(08:12:13 PM) BB`12 is now known as BB`13
(08:12:22 PM) DJVladn8r: Oh, it could TOTALLY be Goth, too.
(08:12:34 PM) DJVladn8r: Those most vampires in the Requiem game very much aren't goth at all.
(08:12:40 PM) DJVladn8r: That's mostly a Daeva thing...
(08:12:47 PM) DJVladn8r: Ask VoK, she plays one of those. :-)
(08:12:50 PM) WildCard9: ah, got it
(08:13:06 PM) haikupoet [] entered the room.
(08:13:18 PM) DJVladn8r: So - I'm looking for ideas. If you were a Vampire, and you were a nerd core wannabe, what would you write about?

User Journal

Journal Journal: can't remember why 3

I don't remember what I told myself or why I did otherwise, but 5 years ago instead of saying goodbye I said hello. I guess I should read my first journal entry here, but I doubt that will give me any clues. I didn't want anyone to know. I've had more high's and low's since then. Definitely a lot of high's in the last few years, but now I wonder what next. I'm bored, I think I just alienated a potential life long love and at the very least a long time friend, and now I feel like I'm back to the way I used to feel. I thought it went away.

I can say it's true every time, but it is always the worst. It always feels the worst and seems unbearable. And not even just losing out on whatever grand idea I was having, but just this plain old feeling. The only problem is trying to find an excuse to justify it. I can't remember the last time I had a panic attack, or what I felt like one was, but I know that I had one today. And I wish it would go away.

So what do I do now?

I guess what I've always done. I just keep trying to move. There are reasons to stop, but I guess I have some morbid curiosity of what awaits next. I know there will be plenty of bad to remember, but somehow things balance out and there is good somehow. I never believe it, but it's there. Maybe it's because I forget that I feel bad and suddenly can see the good around me, but it's hard to believe it's there. At times I don't even want it to be there. That way at least I've justified what I've felt again.

I disabled my Multiply account. I tried to get rid of this one too, but it was too hard so I had to give up and just say I would let it be. Somewhere there's a post that says that no matter what I wanted this to be around in case it could ever be of use to someone. I'm so conflicted because I don't want it to be here. I don't want anyone to see my pain. Yet I want those others that are in the same pain to see that there was something.

Gosh, you know what? It isn't even 5 years ago. It has been 6. It was January 3rd, 2004. I didn't look. I know. I remember the day it came. The gun permit that is. I researched. I had it all planned out. But here I am still. I probably have enough pills that I could take and come to the same result. I've thought of it. I wouldn't admit it, but I have. The same things that are supposed to help could also be the things that help me gain another result. How odd isn't it?

How I've been so stubborn to keep going through the motions despite the tragedy is beyond me. Part of me must be a masochist for continuing on. To be so miserable but still go on? That's sick. I can understand that pain and sorrow is a part of life, but to what intensity? Then again, I've argued that my bad experiences have been equal to things that just seem incomparable and silly.

That's all for now. I think this is all I'll have been able to think for this night. And no, there is no checking up on me. Things might not be fine, but I certainly might not resort to what some might think.

User Journal

Journal Journal: NY Times: being anti-tax is an act of vandalism 1

Robert Frank takes the NYT's standards even lower. Now it seems that if you think lower taxes are better than higher taxes, well, you're some kind of vandal.

"Anti-tax zealots denounce all taxation as theft, as depriving citizens of their right to spend their hard-earned incomes as they see fit. Yet nowhere does the Constitution grant us the right not to be taxed. Nor does it grant us the right to harm others with impunity. No one is permitted to steal our cars or vandalize our homes. Why should opponents of taxation be allowed to harm us in less direct ways?"

"Be allowed"? Nice, Ill Duce. We'll take that under advisement. BTW, here's what the law actually says about issue:

"Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes." - Judge Learned Hand, Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809, 810-11 (2d Cir. 1934)

User Journal

Journal Journal: almost couldn't sumbit 3

*Before my actual post*
I couldn't even find the link to write a journal entry. It took me probably 2 actual minutes to find it at the BOTTOM of the long page of journal entries. Why?! Why would it be all the way down there and not have some other journal link at the top? Maybe there is, but they certainly didn't word it correctly.
*End of my rant and into the actual post*

Gosh, I remember when I'd post to Slashdot I'd bust out my macro and create a file consisting of the date and then a timestamp within, then I would go at it. I would write my little journal entry. Save (multiple times; in fact, obsessively like every one or two lines. Ctrl+S is just a natural part of my writing process now.) Then I would go ahead and do my Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, and move along. When the mass migration to Multiply happened I stopped doing that. I don't like that I didn't personally keep track of my posts.

Then I stopped using Multiply and finally did the Facebook thing, which doesn't even count. I get the urge and write up some blurb and post instantly. Again, not thought out and not kept in a personal archive like I would want. I was going to say goodbye to both Slashdot and Multiply, but still haven't mustarded up the courage. I miss my friends and have been trying to write even somewhat more consistently on my own blog. I know Erica (aka Slashchick) did it (I mean the move to her own personal blog), but I don't know to what degree of success. I guess the people that really care would go to visit. Her's, and mine granted I handed out a link. By the way, it's I created that as a side domain to my original, but wanted to use it to focus on my writing. Not just journaling, but my creative writing.

Lately I've written in the blog slightly, but have yet to get back into my fictional writing. It's been so long, but I feel so drained. It's not at all like before where my brain would wander to all the wonderful places that would get me out of the mundain. Now I'm stuck in this focused, adult, work mode and can't find that place anymore. I wonder about it and even try once in a while to get back to that place, but it has been really hard. I don't know. Maybe that's a good sign. Like it was some sort of self-defense mechanism I used to get me through my family turmoil for mostly all of my life.

I hate to think that my creativity and imagination were fueled purely by the miserable mess I felt being around my family. By the way, of which, I am going back home for the Christmas holiday this year. Even before I booked the flight, which turned out happened as a joke, I had anxiety. I felt this stress pounce on me reminding me of all the drama I would be in the midst of again. I've been so happy without all of that. I love them and it pains me to feel that way, but I can't stand to be around them. Just barely for a couple of hours. Someone else that I mentioned this to the other day said they could hold out for a couple days, and were shocked when I said that it was that short.

They're not terrible people, but I always feel like such a black sheep among black sheep. I get that "I don't belong anywhere" feeling all over again. And then I have to do my best to put on the happy face. Sometime back in high school I remember making a sort of promise to myself that I wouldn't do that anymore, that I would just let me be me and if there was something I didn't like or didn't want to do then I wouldn't do it.

That started to make a difference, but everytime I think about going back or actually being around them that feeling overwhelms me once more. Especially now that I see them so rarely. The guilt that was engrained in me takes hold and forces me into submission filling my mind with the, "I owe it to them to at least throw them a bone."

Before it was quite a struggle since part of my family does way too many activities, and the other part either have something else to do or planned, and any of that makes it hard for me to find a place to stay, especially since I would rather stay with my friends but they actually have families that they seemingly want to be around and thus make them unavailable to me. I'm looking to change that this year, or at least have things work a little differently. The last time I went home for the holidays I bounced all around between my sister's place in the city and the region I'm from.

This year I think I'll be staying in the region and may have to bounce somewhat, but that will be between friends, which should be less stressful seeing as I have a handful I would like to see, and that have expressed interest in seeing me.
User Journal

Journal Journal: If you live in the Great Lakes area, pls help 2

Do you need a dog: Dairyland Greyhound Racetrack, Kenosha, WI closing on Dec. 31, 2009. 900 Greyhounds need adopting, or will be euthanized. Great family dogs. They have been crated most of their lives and sleep ~18 hours a day. Dogs are tested for cat, small dog friendly and multiple dog homes. Please CROSS POST, we only have 6 weeks. P: 312.559.0887 Or Dairyland Race Track Adoption Center at (262) 612-8256


Journal Journal: Lawrence Lessing, enemy of government transparency?

In the New Republic, copyright activist and professor Lawrence Lessig pens an essay called Against Transparency: The Perils Of Openness In Government (Warning: the essay is 11 pages of some pretty dry writing). Lessig makes the argument that while transparency in government seems like a good thing, it's not always so, and he seemingly worries that there are some things that citizens just wouldn't understand in government if given complete access to data, and that the whole process will simply make voters more cynical. That strikes me as a little lame, and more like "I don't trust voters to make decisions based on what they see".

  Sayeth Lessig:

How could anyone be against transparency? Its virtues and its utilities seem so crushingly obvious. But I have increasingly come to worry that there is an error at the core of this unquestioned goodness. We are not thinking critically enough about where and when transparency works, and where and when it may lead to confusion, or to worse. And I fear that the inevitable success of this movement--if pursued alone, without any sensitivity to the full complexity of the idea of perfect openness--will inspire not reform, but disgust. The "naked transparency movement," as I will call it here, is not going to inspire change. It will simply push any faith in our political system over the cliff.


Journal Journal: NYT Op-Ed calls for one-party rule 7

New York Times Op-Ed writer Thomas Friedman is showing his true colors. He's advocating "enlightened" one-party rule, as he tires of Republicans refusing to co-operate with Democratic initiatives. Friedman says that we currently have a "one party democracy" because of near-total GOP opposition to Democratic bills, and that perhaps an enlightened one-party autocracy with America's best interests at heart could be the answer. Friedman further thinks China is a good model of government to emulate. "One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century." Friedman flatly states that "our one-party democracy is worse". Perhaps we too can look forward to things like a one-child policy and extensive Internet censorship. Friedman is the type of Liberal Jonah Goldberg was talking about when he wrote Liberal Fascism.

Further, Goldberg says that liberals like Friedman are nothing new, that we've seen this kind of liberal pining for benevolent dictatorship many times before:

"I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it's the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearned for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn't picky in this regard). This is the argument for an "economic dictatorship" pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It's the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives."


Journal Journal: Things Conservatives Want Me to Believe 11

Things Conservatives Want Me to Believe
by Christi Smith

Parents who don't want their children to pray in school are Anti-American zealots -- parents who don't want their children to listen to a speech by the President of the United States telling them to work hard and get good grades are noble patriots.

Peacefully demonstrating against the country starting an international war is treason -- showing up with automatic weapons to protest healthcare reform is democracy at its finest.

Any government official with a desk job should have every action scrutinized -- any government official with a badge and a gun should never be questioned or disrespected. At all. Ever.

Questioning the legitimacy of an election because the "winner" was selected by the Supreme Court is sour grapes -- questioning the legitimacy of an election because the winner (by the largest number of votes in American history) is really a Kenyan born Muslim despite all evidence to the contrary is being a vigilant American.

Lying about a blowjob is an impeachable offense -- lying about a war is no big deal, really.

Investigating a shady land deal involving the First Lady is a matter of National Identity -- investigating the use of torture at the direction of the Executive Branch is a partisan witch hunt.

Executing Japanese officers for waterboarding prisoners during WWII shows that we have the moral high-ground on human rights -- waterboarding prisoners of our shows that we have the moral high-ground on human rights.

Sitting two rows in front of Jane Fonda in a 1970 anti-war rally is an OUTRAGE! Shaking Saddam's hand in 1983...meh, not so much.

Anyone who questions the president during a time of war is giving aide and comfort to the enemy and should be deported...unless the president in question has a (D) next to their name in which case you should undermine them at every turn even if you have to routinely make shit up to do it.

Socialism, Marxism, Communism and Fascism are all interchangeable words that mean pretty much the same thing.

Anyone who abuses drugs should be locked up indefinitely...unless they are a popular Republican radio host in which case they need your prayers as they recover from the illness of addiction.

Health Insurance companies have your best interests in mind and anyone who thinks otherwise is trying to turn America into the Godless heathen nation of Sweden where EVERYONE in the country dies (eventually).

Obama is an atheist communist Muslim who attended a radical Christian church.

Believing that human activity could impact the global environment is crazy talk -- believing that an invisible man in the sky personally told George Bush to invade Iraq to fulfill Biblical prophecy is logically sound.

The verdict is still out on evolution -- but Jesus Christ returning in our lifetimes is a pretty much a given.

The media are unquestionably biased against Republicans -- Talk Radio, The Washington Times, The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, Rightwing Blogs, Fox News and NewsCorp are not part of the media.

The government should have no part in regulating multi-national corporations as they make decisions that impact the lives of millions of people -- government should regulate individuals by determining who they can marry, what kind of intercourse they can have, what they can smoke, how to manage their pregnancy and how to proceed with end of life decisions.

Communicating with hostile nations is a stab in the back to our great nation -- Reagan communicating with the USSR during the Cold War was Political Genius.

Iran is a mortal threat to our nation and anyone who attempts to talk to them is traitorous scum -- selling weapons to Iran and then funneling the money to start wars in South America is clearly in our National interest.

George Bush kept the nation safe after 9-11 (NOTE: the Anthrax attacks, the DC Sniper and Hurricane Katrina don't count. Also, the fact that 9-11 happened on his watch despite receiving a security briefing specifically warning of the attack doesn't count either.)

Social Security, Medicare, public schooling, public libraries, fire departments, police departments and the US Military are as American as Apple Pie -- universal healthcare is ZOMGDEATHPANELSOCIALISM!!

George W Bush is a regular 'ole Texas rancher just like you and me despite the fact that he was born in Connecticut, attended two Ivy League schools, bought the Crawford ranch just before running for president, sold it immediate after leaving office and is terrified of horses.

The two guys at the center of the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals are trustworthy voices in discussions of current national policy and should be taken at face-value.


Journal Journal: Cash for Clunkers law discriminates against divorced women 4

From: "Scott Lockwood"

Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2009 20:02:18
To: "President Obama"
Subject: Why does the Cash for Clunkers law discriminate against divorced women?

Dear Mr. President,

With all due respect Sir, I would like to know why my girlfriend was told she doesn't qualify for the cash for clunkers rebate. She has owned her Ford Explorer since 1998, is the original owner, but was divorced in 2006, which changed her name. The state of IL issued a corrected title in 2007 at her request, but neglected to put her maiden name on the title, despite being provided with the divorce decree. Why would the agent we spoke with say that this was a mismatch? Why does she suddenly feel like she's being made to feel like an unperson?

Both names are hers, but because she exercised her right to return to her maiden name the NHTSA is saying she doesn't qualify. So, because she exercised her rights, no car trade in for her. Is this an example of change we can believe in?

The agent we spoke to, who spoke to her supervisor as well, was Carlene. We explained to her that we could get the state of IL to issue a corrected title that would still reflect the original purchase date, though it would say the title was issued as a correction now. She still said no. I would like to understand why.

1/2 of all marriages in this country end in divorce. 1/2 of those people (currently) are women. Are you ok with discrimination against a quarter of all the women who have been married and are now divorced in America?

If someone changes their name, they can't get a better car?

The specific section that seems to indicate this in the law is Category 4, Section D, sub section 2.

I would very much like for someone to email, write, or call me to explain how this discrimination is a good thing, is change we can believe in.

Respectfully yours,
William Scott Lockwood III

User Journal

Journal Journal: Oh Noes!!!

Come and see the butthurt inherent in the system!!!

Relationship Change
sent by Slashdot Message System on Friday April 17, @00:05

TurdTapper (608491) has made you their foe.
If you'd like to, view or edit your friends and foes.


Journal Journal: Artist Jon Engle shaken down for his own images

Jon Engle, a designer who has worked on shows like Smallville, Birds of Prey, Lost, CSI, and Alias, is being asked to pay for $18,000 for artwork he is using. The catch? It's his own art!

From Jon's own web posting on the subject:

I was first contacted by a stock art site in July of last year. They hit me with a bill for a whopping $18,000! I had an account with the site. Years ago I purchased an illustration of a chef's hat for a client's project. So, I thought this was some accounting mistake. Nope. This was a bill for new images. Very familiar images. They were images from several of my logos; 65 of them in fact. That breaks down to about $275 per image. They actually wanted me to pay them $275 for each one of MY images!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fucked Up Fables: Six Soldiers Of Fortune

(With apologies to the brothes Grimm.)

There was once a man who was a Jack-of-all-trades; he had served in the war, and had been brave and bold, but at the end of it he was sent about his business, with three farthings and his discharge.

"I am not going to stand this," said he; "wait till I find the right man to help me, and the king shall give me all the treasures of his kingdom before he has done with me."

Then, full of wrath he went along the road and came to a huntsman who was kneeling on one knee and taking careful aim with his musket.

"Huntsman," said the leader, "what are you aiming at?"

"Two miles from here," answered he, "there sits a fly on the bough of an oak-tree, I mean to put a bullet into its left eye."

"Oh, come along with me," said the leader; "the two of us together can stand against the world."

The huntsman was quite willing to go with him, and so they went on till they came to a man standing on one leg, and the other had been taken off and was lying near him.

"You seem to have got a handy way of resting yourself," said the leader to the man.

"I am a runner," answered he, "and in order to keep myself from going too fast I have taken off a leg, for when I run with both, I go faster than a bird can fly."

"Oh, go with me," cried the leader, "three of us together may well stand against the world."

And to make the long story short, he went and gathered a few more companions, each with a grander claim to some super-ability than the others.

Meanwhile, the old king had tried to persuade his daughter to marry the young and respected son of a duke, for he had no sons and was thinking that the future duke might once make a good king too. Unfortunately the young princess had read a few books too many, and was fond of imagining herself as quite the real Amazon. She demanded of her father that if any man is to win her hand, he must best her in a contest of speed, endurance and military skill, like some ancient queen was said to have chosen her husband. And any man entering the contest must be willing to bet his very life on the outcome.

Now the king was fairly open minded for that age, and more than willing to admit that some women could make fine warriors. His people were still remembering the fierce shieldmaidens of the northmen, for example. But his daughter had always been a sickly bookworm, always short of breath, and also a little on the chubby side. The thought of her besting a trained knight was too much.

Wisely, the king said he'll go to his room to think about it, and laughed himself nearly to death into the pillow.

Still, he figured out that it's simpler than arguing with his daughter. So he agreed to send the town cryer to proclaim the decision. Secretly, he also sent a runner to the duke, urging him to send his son with the swiftest horse to enter the contest he cannot possibly lose.

Unfortunately for the duke's son, the ex-mercenary and his merry band were just entering to city as the cryer proclaimed the news. Thinking that with the help of his marvelous companions he cannot lose, he went straight to the king and asked to be tested against the princess.

The king was taken aback by the audacity of a common man to ask to marry a princess, but he realized that his announcement hadn't actually mentioned any restrictions. Fancying himself a man of great honesty and honour, the king agreed to keep his word and let him try, and sent for the princess to decide the test. She chose a race to a far away well, and the first who would make it back with a pitcher full of water would win.

"Easier than I expected," thought our ex-mercenary. "My runner will surely best any man or woman in the land." And asking for a little time to prepare, he went and asked his man with a detachable leg to dress in his clothes and run the race in his stead.

So the court gathered to watch, and at the blow of a horn the two competitors were off... much to the amusement of everyone present. The princess was soon panting and tripping over her long skirt, and making very poor progress. Unfortunately, her opponent was making even poorer progress, limping and cursing and dragging a leg behind him.

By evening, the race was over, with the princess handing her father the pitcher a good ten minutes before her opponent.

The ex-mercenary was aghast, He went to the man with the detachable leg and started screaming at him, "What was that all about?! What did you think you were doing?! Why didn't you run faster than a bird, like you said you would?!"

"Dude, " said the other man to his defense, "I thought you were kidding and I answered in kind. Haven't you seen a wooden leg before? I lost my real leg to a cannonball at the siege of Altdorf."

The conversation would have continued longer, but a squad of the king's guards showed up and took our depressed ex-mercenary to the king.

"Son, " said the king, "I figure you've lost fair and square, and it's only fair that you keep your end of the bargain. You have until morning to make your peace with God, assisted by the castle's priest. But since I like your courage, you shall not hang like a common rogue. You shall be beheaded at dawn, by sword, like a knight or noble would."

"No, father, wait!" intervened the princess who, truth be told, was starting to find the man more handsome than the groom her father had chosen for her. "This man has shown great valour in taking the challenge. Should we not give him a second chance?"

The king rolled that thought around in his head for a bit, then spoke, "That is very chivalrous of you, my daughter, and it would hardly be befitting me to stand in the way of such chivalry. Fine. Choose your next challenge, then, and tomorrow he shall face you again for his life."

This time the princess chose a contest of archery. Our hero politely inquired if he may use a gun, saying that it was a more familiar weapon to him. The princess agreed. With that, the king called the meeting over, and asked the guards to lead the man and his companions to a guest room in the palace.

So this time the ex-mercenary asked his hunter companion to dress like him and go in his stead the next day.

The next day, two large targets were set at a hundred paces away. The two contestants were given a dozen arrows and respectively a dozen bullets, and told to start shooting.

Again the princess did rather poorly, only now occuring to her that reading about ancient Scythian archer women didn't actually count as archery training. Only half of her arrows hit the target at all, and none of them went even close to the bullseye.

Unfortunately our hero's sharpshooter did even worse, with barely two of his shots even touching the target. As the court jester remarked, he did at least get one bull's eye. He actually shot the eye of a bull across the road to the right, dropping him dead on the spot. But since it wasn't on his target, it didn't count.

Again, our ex-mercenary was shocked and he went to berate his huntsman, "What in the Lord's name was that all about?! Didn't you say you could hit a fly in the eye from two miles away?! How could you miss a five foot wide target at a hundred paces?! I could have shot a higher score myself than you and that tomboy put together!!"

"To be honest, " the hunter answered, staring at his own shoes, "that was a joke, and it never occured to me that anyone would take it seriously. I mean, really," he continued as he showed his gun, "this is a smoothbore musket. You said you were in the army, for crying out loud. Two miles? It can't even shoot a ball past two hundred paces. Even at one hundred, as my old captain used to say, the only way to hit a man is if you aimed at another man."

And as the guards were taking him first to the king, and then to the place of his execution, it occured to our hero that maybe he should have tested his employees instead of simply believing any wild claim.


Journal Journal: Governer Rod Blagojevic removed from office 3

the IL Senate has voted unanimously, 59-0 to remove Governer Rod Blagojevi from office. A seperate vote will be held shortly to determine if he ever may hold elected office in the state of Illinois again.

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