MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
Visit me at my new blog, MsGeek.Org v3.0

Heard the Word of Blog?

Friday, May 28, 2004

Yo G, I got Gmail...

Interesting thing: now that there's a big ole honkin' controversy here in California over Gmail and its functionality, I decide that maybe I should take that offer Google/Blogger made me. I want to see how this all shakes out, and what better vista than from the inside?

Anyway, look to the right column, just above the links to friends' blogs. If you feel the burning desire to contact me, there ya go.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Well, well...two of my Profs have shown their hand vis a vis my grades for this semester, and one is a surprise. My Philosophy 20 Prof didn't tell me, with tongue in cheek, that I could just "phone in" my final exam like the History 11 Prof did last semester, but he said "it would take a really crummy essay to lower your final grade to a B." The surprise is my Education 203 Prof. I was fully expecting to have to content myself with a B or a C this class, but she told me "you could pull your grade down to a B if you don't provide me a decent Reading Log entry," which was quite a surprise. (She insists on people writing Reading Log entries on every chapter from every book...I read fast so the system slows me down to the point of total frustration. This is why I haven't done many of them, and every entry I have done hasn't been up to what she wants, which adds even more frustration.) So yeah, if I play my cards right I could have another semester's worth of decent grades, even if the History 86 final exam doesn't go well.

Another sure A this semester is PE630, like I mentioned in an earlier post. I'm chilling in the Lions' Den cybercafe now blogging this as I wait for the Fitness Center to open.

Can I make a 3.5 or better GPA this semester? I am not entirely sure. But the odds are looking a lot better.

Speaking of health, I found an interesting story just now. It seems that not everybody is 100% enthused with the Atkins diet...this Florida businessman is suing because he believes the diet gave him heart disease. While it is true that the folks who are helping the guy sue are pushing their own agenda, I have a sneaky suspicion that this is not the first Atkins-related lawsuit we will see in the future. A good friend of mine was playing around with high-protein, low carb diets well before the current craze began, and he now has lost most of his eyesight due to Diabetes related retinopathy, and can no longer play guitar due to Diabetes related neuropathy. Sure, the guy was quite large to begin with, and had been large all his life. But the diet didn't do him any good. He never lost the weight, whatever diet he tried.

I have not been really losing much weight from the current increase in activity. Right now I'm down about 5 pounds from the plateau weight I had been lugging around for the past few years, and I'm down about 12 pounds from my heaviest. However, my clothes fit better, I feel physically stronger, I'm not as likely to get winded from activity, and overall I am feeling healthier. I did my step test on Monday, which was something I could not complete when I started there. My next trick: get some sort of routine together I can do at home so I don't just let myself go after I'm finished putting in the required hours for that A grade.

I wrote on my health plans in my old journal last November. I still stand by what I wrote there, in spades. I think the most important thing one can remember about food is this -- I'm not sure where I picked up this truism, but I think it's pretty good: "Don't count calories, make calories count." What I mean by this is that if you put good quality food in your body and don't consume too much of it at a time, you are most of the way to eating right. Even at so-called "Junk Food" establishments, most places have good alternative menu items that you can eat without being upset at yourself later. And exercise is key. I never thought that after having Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome in 1991 to 1994 I would be able to exercise with as much intensity as I do now, but I'm surprising myself a lot.

Monday, May 24, 2004

There is nothing that more bandwidth won't cure. I'm sure of it. It looks like my Last Mile Provider, Verizon, is going to be upping the basic upstream bandwidth from 128Mbps to 384Mbps. Since it's about the time I'm supposed to reup for another year of service anyway with the World's Greatest ISP on the Planet, DSL Extreme, I would probably not be charged any sort of service change fee.

This means I would have enough bandwidth to run a server of my very own. Web? Check. Email? Nah, too much hassle, best left for experts. Node of BorgChat.Net? I was planning to do it anyway.

This would *definitely* force me to learn to run a xNIX box. Which would be a VERY GOOD THING (tm), because right now, even though I do have Linux boxen, I pretty much use them as if they were running a consumer operating system. This would force me to get some admin chops going. Good.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Do you feel a draft?

Friday, May 21, 2004

Mod this -1 Disingenuous:

The pendulum inside Iraq is...swinging slowly and painfully and clearly in an American direction.

Fun with Neo-cons in Iraq, Next! On Sick, Sad World!

Thursday, May 20, 2004

I AM 59% GEEK!
59% GEEK
Nerd, Freak, Geek, Dweeb. Sound familiar? That's okay, cause I will be the richest person at my 15th year high school reunion. If a "con" isn't happening that weekend.

Only 59% geek? WTF? The nerve of those guys!

I'm impressed by just how good the links can be from Plastic.Com. I read this Op/Ed piece, from an otherwise conservative commentator, and almost burst out crying here at the LA Valley College "Lair" computer lab.

Yes, I agree with this guy...this is the worst year to be an American that I can remember. I lived through the Reagan years and its "two-minutes-to-Midnight" nuclear/Commie paranoia. I was too young for the '60s. At least with Nixon he had the good sense to leave office when he screwed up once too many times and got caught. Ford and Carter got stuck with an economic mess from Nixon they didn't have the ability to fix. Clinton was slimy and couldn't keep his dick in his pants, but as the cliche goes, I had a job when he was President.

We talked about the Mayans in History 86 this morning. They believed the world would end on December 23rd, 2012. Well, Bush The Younger's actions, along with the evidence for "Peak Oil" and various other environmental Damoclean swords hanging over our heads, seem to all be conspiring to make the Mayan prophecy a self-fulfilling one. One good thing: if it all goes "boom" on 12/23/2012, I won't have to struggle with too many student loan payments.

(cue "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian...)

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

From the "No Dogs, Buddhists or Unitarians need apply" department:

In Texas, if you are a Unitarian Universalist Church, don't bother applying for tax-exempt status. This according to an article in the Dallas/Fort Worth Star Telegram. According to the Comptroller of the State of Texas, a church is defined as an organization which has "simply a belief in God, or gods, or a higher power," The Unitarian Universalist Church, which was the church espoused by Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and which also included members such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, allows its adherents complete freedom of belief. Some Unitarian Universalists are indeed Theists, in the classic sense that most of the Founders of the US were. Some are Neo-Pagan and worship a Goddess instead of a god. Some don't even believe in a supreme being at all.

The Texas Comptroller, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, has also denied tax-exempt status to a couple of Freethinkers organizations, a Neo-pagan Coven, and a few New Age groups. However, Buddhism, the fifth largest religion in the world, would not pass Strayhorn's 'belief test' because it does not speculate about the existence of a Supreme Being but instead stresses the individual quest to obtain enlightenment "for all sentient beings."

This is a distressing development for anyone who cares about both freedom of religion and the separation of Church and State.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Wonder of wonders, I might actually get a decent grade from my Education 203 Prof, Dr. Rosow. Yesterday she spent about an hour going over my portfolio with me...the totality of all the work I have done so far for the class. I got "4" grades on most of the points on the rubric sheet, and a couple of "2" grades. I've already got a "4+" on my observation journal. I still don't know about how I did on my presentation (I didn't think it was up to my standards) and there is still the looming Final Exam which I have zero knowledge about and no clue as to what to expect.

I have one last field observation to do, and one last "extra credit" event to attend. Then there's finals. I don't know anyone who is comfortable at finals time.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

In loving memory

William Howard Hass

My father in law passed away about 30 minutes ago. He went peacefully. He will be missed but he lived a good long life...85 years.

He was an expert on antique fire apparatus, and his book on Water Tower-type fire engines is considered one of the most complete titles on the subject ever printed.


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

And now, the blowback over the prison atrocities begins.

I find it interesting (and scary) that the guy's name was Berg. Being that my birth surname was Klein and both my parents and one side of my husband's family came from Jewish families, I got a chill up my spine when I first saw that. If you're Jewish, it seems like jobhunting in Iraq is especially hazardous.

And now for something completely different...

I think it's fairly clear that I have one ace coming this report card: I aced both essay tests given so far in Philosophy 20, which is Ethics. I sure do wish that Dr. Ravitch wasn't retiring after this semester...he's a really stellar teacher. I don't begrudge him wanting to retire...he's given most of his life to Academia and he has a right to get a little bit of it back. I mentioned the other easy ace last post...8 more workouts to an A in PE. However, my fate in Education 203 and History 86 is not as clear. Hopefully I will be able to get some decent grades off of them...a B, perhaps. But C is a definite possibility in Education 203...the bar is very high to getting a good grade there.

I've been wrong before. Check some old posts both here and in my old Slashdot blogs. I thought I was going to get a disappointing grade in Speech 101. That is, until the A came through. ;-)

Monday, May 10, 2004

Welcome to the transfigured MsGeek.Org.

The vast Google/Blogger empire has enhanced my blog. Now people can link permanently to articles on my blog, which is quite an improvement over the original Blogspot/Blogger setup.

I hope you like the new more orange everywhere. I think this is a bit easier on the eyes.

Gonna have to bail...time for a workout at the Valley College Fitness Center. One of the only classes this semester that I have anything resembling a choice about how well I do is PE 640. You put in the prerequisite hours in the gym, you get your A. You don't put in enough hours, you get a lower grade. Simple. I like that.

There's more of those hideous pictures of tortured Iraqis under US control. You can go to to find them...I don't think I want my blog to turn into a link to every picture of every suffering Iraqi I can find. Suffice it to say, though, that this crisis is going to get worse before it gets better. However, the damage that has been done already is enough to ruin the US' credibility. More revelations only dig the hole deeper. [sigh]

Sunday, May 09, 2004

I haven't spoken yet about the Iraqi Prison Torture scandal yet, but I think I'm going to change it now.

It's official. The Ugly American is back. In fact, we're worse than Ugly: we are now right up there with the worst figures of history. This is not behavior worthy of us, it's worthy of Genghis Khan, Vlad Tsepesh, Mao Zedong, Nicolae Ceaucescu, Stalin, and even (don't call Godwin on me, it's true) Hitler and his SS death machine.

If lies about the casus belli of Gulf War II weren't enough, now George W. Bush has war crimes on the list of impeachable offenses that can be laid at his feet. Ultimately the behavior of the armed forces reflects on the values of the Commander In Chief, and this is horrifying behavior.

The current Administration must be held accountable for this. Luckily this is not Mao's China, Stalin's USSR, Ceaucescu's Romania or Hitler's Germany. We have elections here. If enough people vote against George W. Bush and vote for John Kerry, no amount of electronic ballot stuffing or election day shenanigans can entirely thwart our will. It might be tempting for some to vote for Ralph Nader as a protest against both Bush and Kerry, but the fact of the matter is that in this case, a vote for Nader is not just a wasted vote. A vote for Nader this time is a vote for Bush. Arguably it was the case in 2000 as well.

In the case that Bush is returned to office, articles of impeachment against him, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz and Attorney General Ashcroft should be drawn up at once.

(UPDATE 2:20pm PDT)
The Memory Hole has some very important documents about the current Iraq Prison scandal up:

The Army report on the torture incidents
The pictures. Warning: these are pretty graphic and probably work unsafe.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

So long, Sen. Pete Knight. Don't let the door hit your butt on your way out.

If there is any case of "just deserts" that has happened recently, it's the death of California State Senator Pete Knight. This was the bastard who wrote "The California Defense of Marriage Act" and put it before the voters after it was voted down in the legislature. It won because enough FUD was flung about to get the right-wing Christian (and Mormon) types scared and angry enough to move on it.

The nastiest part of it all is that his venom against Gays/Lesbians/Bi/Transgendered people was fueled by the fact his son was Gay. Of course, father and son were estranged.

I, for one, won't miss him.

Friday, May 07, 2004

AirAmerica Radio seems to be going down in flames. Finding a new LA outlet is now the least of their worries. The Chicago Tribune first broke the story that several bigwigs at the fledgling Liberal radio network, including the Chair of the Board and the Vice Chair, are bailing. And wait: things get worse. Here's a fair-use copy of the text:

Air America Radio chief resigns

By John Cook
Tribune staff reporter

May 6, 2004, 6:01 PM CDT

In yet another sign of trouble for Air America Radio, the liberal talk network entering its fifth chaotic week on the air, co-founder and chairman Evan Cohen resigned Thursday, as did vice-chairman and investor Rex Sorensen.

The company also failed to make its scheduled payroll Wednesday, leaving its staff roughly 100 radio personalities, writers, and producers unpaid until Thursday.

"We're on a wild ride," said Jon Sinton, the network's president, acknowledging that Air America has suffered "the typical bumps and bruises faced by any start-up."

"But the bottom line," he said, "is that we are on the air to stay."

The departures of Cohen, a former Republican political operative from Guam who was among the network's initial investors, and Sorenson, an investor who owns radio stations in Guam, mark the second executive shake-up at the fledgling network in as many weeks. Last week, co-founder and CEO Mark Walsh resigned (he remains a senior adviser to the network) and programming chief Dave Logan was forced out.

Replacements for Walsh and Cohen have yet to be named. Asked when those executive positions would be filled, Sinton replied: "I wouldn't hold my breath."

Copyright © 2004, Chicago Tribune

This doesn't look good at all. Sure do hope that some of the more entertaining folks on the network get new homes when this all busts up. I've gotten to liking a lot of the programming on the network...Randi Rhodes, Janeane Garofalo, Chuck D...hell, even Al Franken has his moments.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

I seem to be blogging in matched pairs lately, but I couldn't sit on this. Everyone at TechTV got their 60 day warning that they're getting laid off. Including Leo Laporte. Here's a link to his blog entry on the subject. This sucks. Back when I had cable TechTV was default mode here at Hass Manor. If Comcast buys Adelphia, no way am I ever going to re-up for cable.

Semester two, year one of my return to College is winding up. I am not sure what will happen grades-wise, but I am pretty sure I will not be able to repeat the spectacular "all aces" report card from last semester. And then there's the stubborn problem of math...ugh! I mean, now I know that I have a diagnosis of "Learning Differences," and found out I have more in common with a "Mainstreet" PowerBook G3 than I ever thought I would. (No cache RAM, slow processor) But that doesn't mean I get a "bye" from my math classes. Not that I'd even want one if I could get one.

I have decided to take a pass on Summer classes this year to give math a bit more attention. I'm also withdrawing from Math 113 because A.) I don't want the pressure of having two incompletes hanging over my head, and B.) I might want to actually take Math 113 in a classroom context, preferably at a nice slow pace with extra help. The courseware has been more trouble than it's worth, it's buggy (Active X applet, need I say more?) and it is a piss-poor pedagogue.

The Eisner School of Education at CSUN is starting to get wicked crazy about their requirements to get into their program. It is looking more and more likely that I will have to look at alternatives. Unfortunately, they are all a *lot* pricier than CSUN is. Shudder.

Student loan debtor's prison, here I come...groan.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

An update on the AirAmerica Radio front: Air America is going to get its first FM outlet. Finally.

I mentioned in a post on Plastic.Com that I strongly believe that AirAmerica should angle for FM outlets from now on when looking for affiliates, because AM radio is on its way to being marginalized out of existence thanks to super-cheap FM only portables and MP3 players with FM-only tuners. This includes Los Angeles, since Air America has told MultiCultural Broadcasting to get stuffed after the big debacle over supposed bounced checks and MultiCultural Broadcasting's ties to politically right-wing causes.

So very soon, Santa Fe, NM will have its very own AirAmerica outlet, right there on the FM dial. Hopefully Los Angeles will be next. Stay tuned.

I have one word to say...Chii! Persocoms really do exist now.