spew - what is it?
more spew
This is where I go to get things off my chest every now and then. For those of you familiar with my old rantings, this is basically the same thing, 'cept maybe a tad more risqué since I won't mince on cussing. ;-p But don't worry, I won't spit out shit for no reason. For those of you who've never been to my pages before, this section is here for me to make comments (mostly educated, sometimes not) about things that I've observed in my life and also just to keep my friends up to date with what I've been doing. Keep in mind that anything you read on here is pure opinion which might not jive with your own view of the world. If that's the case, friendly messages espousing your own views are welcome but flames will be cruelly mocked. So, without further ado.... > Current Spew
> A newcomer...
> Life goes on...
> Bend in the road...
> Life in slow mo...
> Sittin' 'round da House...
> Unemployment Blues...
> Slowing down...
> Time Flies...
> Frivolous Thoughts
> Catching Up...
> Life as Usual...
> Changes in the Air
> Words Cannot Convey
> Almost a Revelation
> A Whole New World
> Beginning of a New Era
> Millenium Revisited
> Sticks & Stones
> New Millenium!
> Karaoke Madness!
> Conspiracy Theory

web hitokiri.com
Apr. 2, 2003 - Sloggin' along...

Obviously the topic of the day should be the war that's been going on for a few weeks now. I'll refrain from making any comments for now but will do so later on.

I figured it was time for a new spew when Andy starts leaving weird comments like the one below. Unfortunately no time for a full-length spew right now so I'll actually just be adding on to this one in the next few days.

Wandered through the local mall pet store the other day and a thought occurred to me. Why aren't there any Rent-a-Pet stores? Or to start off more specifically, Rent-a-Dog. I mean puppies are just cute as hell but one of the main problems with pets is that it's usually a pain in the ass to actually take care of them. It's like having a child but with more shedding. I wouldn't mind renting a dog on a nice day and taking it out for a romp. I guess there'd be the matter of the dog's emotional well-being but if it's being played with daily and taken care of at the Rent-a-Dog store, there are worse fates out there.

Was coming home from the city the other day and noticed a girl with a backpack and a "No War For Oil" pin on it. I think those of the anti-war movement who came up with this is setting a bad precedent because they're providing the pro-war movement with loopholes. "We're not at war for oil, we're at war to 'liberate the Iraqis.' Ha ha, those silly liberals." If you're going to be anti-war, be anti-WAR. Just give out pins that say "NO WAR". Unless they actually do think that war is ok depending on the circumstances. In which case, the hell kind of liberal are you? ;-p

Only in America can you see something like this. Pitiful.

Ugh, you've gotta be kidding me. 4-8 inches of snow forecast in this area for today. And it's already started. Tiny amounts drifting at least. What annoys me about this isn't the snow, but the idiots who start going, "Global warming? What global warming? It's snowing in April!" Global warming is definitely becoming a bit of a misnomer. Them scientists need to come up with a new name that doesn't emphasize just the "warming" part. Although I guess "global weather catastrophe" might cause more global warming disbelievers to argue that the scientists are crying wolf even more. Ah well. Anyways, this site has a good list of "harbingers" for global warming. I would pay attention.

Ironic ad campaign of the week goes to the Fox News network. Their new ad starts off with "Real Journalism - Fair and Balanced." This coming from the network who has O'Reilly as their main pundit. Not like they didn't make fun of anti-war demonstrators a few weeks ago or anything. And they haven't proven themselves to be the most biased news station out there already. Nah, nothing like that. Their slogan, "We report, you decide" should really be, "We report, you decide, as long as you decide what we want you to decide."

Mar. 8, 2003 - Yay for me!

Not exactly one for self-adulation but I'd just like to note for the record that I took the aforementioned Java programming certification exam this past Wednesday and received a respectable 86% score. 53 out of 61 questions. Passing score was a relatively low 52% and I would've been pretty happy with a score in the 70's so what I actually wound up with was a nice treat. I suppose I got such an adrenaline rush out of this that I'm all gung-ho to continue my certification track. Next step will be the Sun Certified Web Component Developer for J2EE Platform which needs a 61% to pass, has a shorter testing time and 1 less question, but it's supposedly easier than the Programming exam that I just took. So we'll see how that goes. After that, will probably go for the Microsoft exam just to round things out. My god I've become a certification addict! =p

Seriously though, studying for these exams has turned out to be a pretty good way to spend my time. I probably would've studied these subjects anyway but there's nothing like the fear of wasting $200 (while I'm currently generating zero income) to get my ass in gear and really get the material to sink in to my aging brain. Or it could just be a stroking the ego thing. *shrug* Either way it can't be _bad_ for me at least.

Now here's something we can all aspire to. Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway holding company posted a record profit in this crapass economy. That, in and of itself is pretty darn impressive. What's even more absurd is that his stock is valued at $64,800 PER SHARE. Sheesh, talk about exclusive.

Since I decided that I wasn't using the EMTAC Bluetooth GPS for my Palm as much as I thought I would, I sold it off on eBay and used the money to bump my Powerbook's hard drive from 20 to 60GB and get an extra 512MB RAM chip. My Powerbook's HD was hitting ~15GB (and that's not counting the prOn ;-p) so I figured a HD upgrade would be more useful. And you can still find pretty good deals on eBay. The HD I got for less than $200 (new too) shipped when one from retail sites would be close to $300+. And the RAM was about $70, $20+ less than retail. Pretty sweet. These new drives with the Fluid Dynamic Bearing motor drives are amazing. What I thought at first was my Powerbook's fan noise now turns out to have been the old hard drive. These new drives are practically silent and they weigh practically next to nothing. Great stuff.

Was poking around Ernie's House of Whoopass (NOT work safe) and at the very bottom found an entry concerning Jesica Santillan, the poor Mexican teen who had those botched heart & lung replacement operations at Duke a few weeks ago. Basically the entry was from a Neal Boortz who's one of those ragin' Republican nationally syndicated radio personalities that we all love to hate. He basically had issues with the fact that Jesica and her family were not only illegal immigrants, the parents had also refused to donate the organs after Jesica was declared brain dead. Kinda ironic considering how she got to that position in the first place. Anyways, the entry disturbed me a bit so I decided to look around to see if there was any truth to the matter. Couple of minutes on CNN revealed that the family were illegal immigrants but that apparently it was legal for US hospitals to shunt up to 5% of organ donations to illegal immigrants. As for the refusal to donate the organs, the mother had apparently asked the doctor in charge whether it was possible or not but had been told that they would be in no condition to be donated due to the amount of drugs that had been pumped into Jesica in the aftermath of both operations. Pretty reasonable I would say. So what really irks me is that this guy is spewing this misinformation all over the airways and online and you can bet that not very many people are going to be like me and dig around for the truth behind the accusations. What's even more assinine is this statement that I just noticed on the Boortz site:

    WARNING! Do not believe anything you hear on my show, or anything you read on the Internet unless it is consistent with what you already know to be true - or you have actually taken the time to verify the information with another source. That's called "doing your homework."

The fuck? I wonder if Boortz follows his own warning.

Whoever came up with the idea to tie in acceptable social behavior to the afterlife in organized religion was a genius. Taking advantage of the innate human fear of the unknown was a pretty good idea. A tad outdated I would say but still effective. Personally I'd rather be a pessimist during my Earth-bound life and not worry too much about the afterlife. That way, if there actually _is_ an afterlife, I'd be pleasantly surprised. Maybe I should start my own religion. There'd be only one commandment, "Be considerate... or we'll kill you." Then again, maybe not.

Did anyone catch the presidential Q&A on Thursday night? Basically Bushie Jr. trying to explain his stance on Iraq. Couple of things that were apparent. Some reporters actually asked some decent questions. Naturally, having no written answers to the questions beforehand, Bushie Jr. basically never anwered those questions. And he did a shit-poor attempt at dancing around the answers to those questions. However, whoever coached him on his demeanor deserves a medal. He actually came across as a reasonable, soft-spoken, non-rabid Republican. Of course he almost lulled me to sleep but the apparent points he wanted to get across was that: 1. He didn't want war. War is the _final_ option. 2. He's doing this for the safety of all Americans. And 3. He doesn't give a rats ass about the anti-war crowd because when it comes down to it he's the one calling the shots. Or at least Cheney is. ;-p But he did it in such a nice, soothing way that I almost felt like he really did care for me. Bravo. Unfortunately, his Jedi mind tricks won't work on me.

Feb. 24, 2003 - Just some housekeeping...

Took some time this weekend to take a look at what exactly XHTML was. Just an evolution of HTML4 so I also took the time to convert all the front-end pages of this site to it. For you, my esteemed visitor, you shouldn't actually notice any difference since the newer browsers should all be able to handle XHTML. If something does break for you on this site though, please let me know. Or just update your browser. =p Was nice to see that BBEdit is already equipped to handle XHTML and even has a nice built-in syntax checker that pretty accurately points out the changes that needed to be made when converting from HTML4 to XHTML1.0. I freakin' love BBEdit.

I also took some time to upload a favicon.ico for this site so if you have a browser that has the capability for it, you should be seeing a tiny icon showing up next to the site URL or bookmark. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry about, you're not missing much. Thanks to Lee for providing the original 32-bit Kenshin folder icon.

'sides that, not too much exciting this weekend. Cleaned house which was long overdue. Took a ride up to Hackensack on Saturday night to check out the Cheesecake Factory at the Riverside Square Mall but I keep forgetting that it's an American custom to eat out on Saturday nights so was met with an hour and a half wait time. So just decided to get my key lime cheesecake to go. =p Next time I'll have to remember to make a reservation first. At least I know there's a Morton's up there too.

For those of you using MacOS X and haven't already done so, you should go and check out Konfabulator. It's some sort of Javascript engine that lets you run these tiny informational programs on your desktop. And they look great too. Apparently the programs are pretty easy to create so I've seen the number of available widgets shoot from 5 to 85 in a span of a week or so. Right now I'm running 4 widgets: one that displays a to-do list, another that shows me my current RAM usage, the third shows me the name and space usage of any connected drives, and a functional Magic 8-ball to make those really important life decisions.

A quick plug for the new Oriented site. If you're working in the Far East or thinking of working there or have worked there in past, definitely check it out. Just launched a week or so ago so still in the trial stages. It's taken Christine about 2 years I think to get this site up and running so kudos to her. She has big plans for this site.

Found a nifty little app that lets me control iTunes, PowerPoint, Keynote, and DVD Player with my cell phone via Bluetooth. I can even set it up so that when I (or more specifically, my phone) comes within range of my laptop, iTunes will automatically start playing. And it'll stop playing when I leave. Some pretty nifty shit and this is just the beginning.


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