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User Journal

Journal Journal: car repairs 6

So I took the mustang to the shop the other day and told the service manager "See it pops out of gear when I drop out of warp."

He looked at me like I was a dork. Of course the mechanic found nothing wrong. Why does that always happen? It's like when I goto the shop they never can replicate the problem I am having. Is it just me?

So $700 later the car is running fine again. Needed some kind of air valve, and all the fluids changed, and the drive belt has been replaced. I'm all kinds of poor, now.

User Journal

Journal Journal: domain name junkie

I wonder how many people buy domain names for themselves?
I just checked out of curiosity how many I own and it is 17!
Some of them are permutations of my name, and others are just completely wacky, like things I made up during full-moon late night mania. Other ones are speculative businesses that I dream about running some day, such as a small publishing or design company. A few are hobby oriented.

Domains are so cheap now -- it costs about $14.00 to register a name which includes private registration. When I add it up that's about $238 a year -- which is a lot -- but I rationalize it by saying it feeds my dreaming and perhaps this sounds lame, but it fosters hope -- Hope that someday I will have my own business. When I look at my list of 17 domains I see how unfocused I am in exactly what I want to do. I don't know if it is worth $238 to pander to my "what ifs" and psychological game I play with myself.

I've never bought one purely for speculation on reselling it but I know people who have done that. All 17 of mine I view as "mine" and like my cluttered room full of books, I do not like to think about parting with them even though they sit unread, and so the domains sit unpublished.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Thinking of getting a new PC, or a Mac

I sadly have come to realize my 4 year old computer with the AMD Athlon XP 2200+ chip, cannot go above a 512K RAM. I stupidly spent money on Adobe and Macromedia stuff for Windows and so now I am faced with a hard decision. Do I buy a new PC and transfer all of my shiny graphics software to it? Or, do I buy a new Mac (which would be much cooler) and buy all new software? This is an expensive option and one I do not want if there's a way around it. So I'm wondering if the new Intel Macs will run Adobe and Macromedia Windows version software and if so does it run it well? Will I be able to upgrade my current CS2 (Win) to Apple and pay just the upgrade price?
User Journal

Journal Journal: geek fit

I found this interesting website/blog podcast at Geekfit. I haven't had a chance to listen to the podcasts yet but it looks like a humorous approach to fitness.
User Journal

Journal Journal: racism?

In an online journal community I read a post from a guy who took umbrage to a lawsuit filed by a white student who wish to be admitted into a minority based journalist organization. He said:

"Programs such as these are designed to attract future journalists at a young age and groom them into professional reporters and editors. By allowing white students into these programs, we're defeating that very purpose."

I responded:
"It would help to understand what this group's mission is. If it is to train/educate journalist to focus on minority issues, then I think what does it matter what your race is? Would it make it more acceptable to you if they gave minorities preference in the scholarship process, but still admitted whites? There are white journalists, lawyers, and activist who are advocates for minority issues. Cutting them out just shrinks the pool of people minorities have to lend their voice.

I will give you an example of my thinking. Do you know what Open Source software is? It is software that is free to distribute, but also the base code that makes it is open for anyone to modify and build their own additions upon. Teams of people, and sometimes it's just one person, create this software then put it "out there" for the world to consume.

People join in as a "community" and work on making it better. They know no race, no color, nor does it matter what country you come from. The idea is to make the software work better. There is no feeling of competitiveness because there is a higher ideal -- that if another team comes along and makes a similar piece of software -- it is viewed that *we all* benefit and that it increases the distribution of Open Source software, it's "visibility" in the world, and that is the higher ideal.

I'm wondering if you can see the higher ideal of increasing journalistic endeavors which bring attention to minority and race issues, above the smaller issue of what color the contributors are."


So my thoughts are, is this true though? Is what I said true, or is it some kind of pie in the sky way of thinking and I just wish it were so? Should I break out the tie dye and birkenstocks?

I'm unsure why I even thought to use Open Source collaborative process as an example, but I think in the back of my mind I was remembering how non-discriminating the develpment process is in terms of things like race -- you can't see someone half a world away, to make those kinds of judgements. But I am reminded that even when sending correspondence through the Ether, people will try to make race an issue even when it isn't possible [CmdrTaco].

User Journal

Journal Journal: memories

I left a comment in this Ask Slashdot article:

Do You Still Find Amateur Radio Interesting?

I've rewritten the here in my journal because it's a strong memory I want to keep in this place.

As a kid in the 70's-80's I would visit my dad in his HAM shack late at night while he talked with people all over the world. He had old 1940's Collins vacuum tube radios that he kept in pristine condition up until 2004 when my parents lost their house to Hurricane Ivan.

I have many fond memories of those times. We moved around quite a bit as my parents worked for the Navy. Every time we moved we knew we were settled in to "home" when dad would put up his tower (I suppose it was a 30' tower you could climb). The HAM shack smelled of metal, dust, and ozone - much like the pilot's shack we shared when taking flying lessons. There's a distinct smell of things that are painted Government Issue gray.

The things I appreciated about HAM radio are probably different than other people. I appreciated there was a formality an etiquette you do not find in Internet communications. There really wasn't anything like "flaming" on the radio; everyone was courteous and so excited to make a contact. I learned about phonetic alphabet just from listening in and use it still this day when I am on the phone and have to read off letters to someone. Mostly, and these are memories of a kid, I loved the wall filled with QSL cards.

I think if I did HAM radio today I would do it just to collect QSL cards. They are beautiful and a tangible "proof" of a contact. There are some things like that on the Internet (like Postsecret I suppose) but there's something cool about getting a acknowledgement that we spoke together and made contact. They would have exotic stamps from other countries and interesting art on the front with the sender's handwriting, often in highly stylized scrawl, on the back.

All my dad's QSL cards are washed away in the lagoon or bay somewhere and I'm saddened by that. As an artist, these are the things I learned from HAM radio.

User Journal

Journal Journal: okinawan diet

"The Okinawa Diet Plan : Get Leaner, Live Longer, and ... etc."

This looks good but I'm unsure if Psy would go for such a radical change in food types.

Oh how I love miso soup!!


Journal Journal: air filter, punk rock, and Dr. Who

* Dr. Who spoiler below *

I changed the air filter in my car this weekend. The exciting part was I removed something called an "air intake silencer." It was in the way, anyway, and now I have a little more pep.

Watched Another State of Mind (1984) [IMDb] movie featuring the punk rock band Social Distortion. The commentary from Mike Ness (lead singer/song writer) was well worth watching. This was a great movie and brought back a lot of nostalgic memories. There is this one scene where a punk gives a lesson on how to slam dance. It's laughable... but then, dang he was pretty good at it.

Also, Kurt and Courtney (1998) [IMDb] This movie upset me and I have mixed feelings about the whole murder conspiracy theory. The documentary was done by the BBC and Courtney blocked a lot of the content and the picture that was painted of her was pretty negative. Even so, the journalist in the movie asserted he did not believe she had Kurt murdered. But there's questions about evidence, and her her "personality" of latching on to people she felt she could ride the wave of success with. I don't think you can accuse someone of murder, though, just because they have a crappy personality I mean you really need proof.

Watched a Dr. Who episode, "Father's Day" where the Doctor tells Rose not to ever touch the baby and what does she do? She touches it. She did some other stupid stuff too. I understand she had some unfinished business with her dad and I don't dismiss her emotional feeling about it all, but DAMN she was STUPID. The monsters attacking the church were very cool looking and scary. Reminded me of the Shadows from Bablyon 5.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Dog names

People should not name their girl children Dakota or Savannah. These are golden retriever names and should never be used for humans.

I have discovered Mozilla's DOM Inspector and it is good.

Briefly addicted to Yahoo! Answers Beta. Lots of questions like, "If a boy doesn't call me anymore does that mean he doesn't like me?" Uh, yes. "I have been dating this boy for 3 months and we are in love. He is going away to college in the Fall. Should I ask him if I can move out there and we can move in together? I know he feels the same way." Yikes! Anyhow, Yahoo! Answers. The interface reminds me of and this new trend in ego stroking data mining under the guise of "community" but oh well.

People did Yoga today at work in the main auditorium and now they all have come out and smell like perfume and cologne. I guess they don't have time to hit the showers (which are luxurious shower stalls/facilities I must say)

I need more sleep as this week has been really deficient.


Journal Journal: american inventor

We stayed up late last night watching a round of American Inventor. I was really disapointed with the Sackmaster dude and his unwillingness to listen to ideas. It almost seemed like he got a God complex a little bit.

I understand conviction in one's creation, but to completely shut out advice from professionals was stupid. I have a suspicion that he already had a business offer for the product and even if he lost the competition was going to have it picked up by a major business. Which is a good thing (if it happens) since it's a useful and meaningful invention. I just didn't like his attitude.


Journal Journal: Gorgeous

Jackie Chan's "Gorgeous" (1999) was a lot of fun but one of the most fluffy JC movies I have ever watched. It was really different from his usual fare... not a lot of fighting, and as one online review said, "his worst enemy was himself." Watched it dubbed which I am unsure if I liked since I usually watch these movies with subtitles only. Qi Shu (from "The Transporter") is truly beautiful. Lots of sappy scenes, music, and comedy. And dolphins! (which rank as #2 cutest girlie animal, with #1 being a Unicorn)

Journal Journal: music documentaries / concerts DVDs

Thanks to Psy I've been watching a lot of music concerts and documentaries on DVD lately. Here are 3 I would recommend:

Queen, Live at Wembley Stadium (2003?) - This is a great DVD for any Queen fan. The 1986 concert has a wide variety of their songs and the performance is just fantastic. Of all the rock concert videos, this one has the best Bonus material I have ever seen in the interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor from 2003 and their sound engineer go into detail about how the songs are made, the instruments they used, and the background to the songs and what they were going through at the time.

Bob Dylan, No Direction Home (2005) - Directed by Martin Scorsese, this was an enlightening documentary for me. I've never been a big Dylan fan and he was before my time, but after seeing this I really have a lot of respect (and a bit of awe) for his song writing ability. There are scenes of him singing with Johnny Cash, and also some important footage of his singing at Martin Luther King Jr's Dream speech in front of the White House. I can see why Dylan's songs meant so much to people. He said he wasn't political, but yet you would find him near activists - at the end of the documentary I still do not know what he "stood for" and he intends it that way.

New York Doll (2005) - This documentary is about the New York Dolls, a very influential early 70's rock band that are known to have started "glam rock." After a very short burst of almost success (they were on their way), the death of their band mate, and drugs, broke them up. The documentary follows 30 years later the life of Arthur "Killer" Kane, the bassist for the group, his poverty and redemption. This is an award winning documentary at the Sundance Film Festival and has many recommendations from the music magazines.

User Journal

Journal Journal: linux and 3d animation

Old news, but I'm really excited to know some 3d animation programs run on certain distros of Linux. This just excites me! Wish Adobe would do something and make Photoshop for Linux. sigh
User Journal

Journal Journal: word hate

I hate the word

Everytime I hear it I think of the movie Heavy Metal and the despotic prince and Den fighting over the Lochnar. It's especially bad when someone has a nasally voice and says it. Then the "-nar" part is strung out and I envision drool dripping from zombie lips.
User Journal

Journal Journal: fedora core 5

So I tried installing Fedora Core 5 and it crashed everything and rendered that disk useless. I'm sure someone with more expertise could have fixed it but I just didn't have the patience for it. Ran to Borders and picked up a Linux magazine with a free Mandriva DVD included. It installed fine and works great, but I've fell off the wagon and have been using XP almost all the time since then. Granted I'm doing a lot of Photoshop stuff at home lately.

The iBook is working great and I love it. Wish it had a bigger hard drive but that's easilly remedied. My next big software purchase decision is: Should I buy Adobe CS2 for Mac, or Windows? I am thinking Mac. Eventually I'll purchase a Mac desktop but want to wait until they have all the Intel chip quirks worked out.

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