MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

From the "Revenge of Fartman" department:

Howard Stern has not only found new markets in the four cities where radio juggernaut Clear Channel dropped him in February, he has added four new outlets. All eight new stations are affiliates of the other radio juggernaut, Viacom tentacle Infinity Broadcasting.

I'm not a big fan of Stern...he kind of lost whatever appeal he had to me after he and Allison broke up. One of the funniest things about Stern was how far he could go with a given risque situation before his wife would call up to complain and berate him. Without Allison as the random factor in the equation, the show falls about as flat as a burst silicone breast enhancement module. Billy West was also a good seasoning in the mix too...of course, after the big confrontation between West and former employer John Kricfalusi on the Stern show, West was kicked off Stern's show.

Now if only Air America would get another Los Angeles outlet...

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Remember this post? Well, the outcome I dreaded has come to pass. Financial Aid has revoked its approval of my program at Los Angeles Valley College, and unless I can change the Financial Aid Commitee's minds I will not have any more Financial Aid from LAVC.

There is a definite possibility that I could be on my way to Woodbury sooner than I expected. I would simply do all my math courses there instead of at LAVC, and I'd wash my hands of LAVC. I did one positive thing today: I directed a copy of my FAFSA at Woodbury.

Richie has assured me that I will be able to continue my education no matter what. Even if it means dealing with College expenses by further sacrifice on the home front. And I will continue to look for some part-time work. Even if it is extremely elusive.

I meet with my counselor at Valley next on July 7th.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

OK, two things.

One, if you took the last post as anything other than absurdist satire (the links to Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal" should have been a dead giveaway to those with more than room-temperature IQ) then I really feel sorry for you. This message is here for the satire impaired.

Secondly, if you are looking at this site with IE on Windows, go IMMEDIATELY to and download Firefox 0.9. When you are finished, GET OFF OF IE and INSTALL FIREFOX IMMEDIATELY.

There is a Zero-day Exploit of an unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer 'in the wild' as security folks call it.

I would then suggest using Firefox to download the full version of Mozilla 1.7. Firefox is from a different codebase and is a bit unstable at present. I noted a memory leak using FF0.9 on a Linux box of mine. Mozilla is from the older Gecko codebase and is far more stable.

(Note 7/1/2004: Both Firefox and Mozilla share the same Gecko codebase. However, I stand by my assessment that the Mozilla suite is more stable than Firefox.)

When you are finished with this, resume surfing happily. Until then, DEAL WITH THIS VULNERABILITY BECAUSE IT IS BAD NEWS.

From the Modest Proposal department:

This gentleman from the CIA who recently wrote the book Imperial Hubris has raised some excellent questions about the wisdom of President George W. Bush and his advisors, or lack of it, in invading Iraq. However, his advice to Bush about what to do next is not necessarily the best for our country and our sons and daughters now fighting in Iraq.

"Anonymous" has been making the rounds all over US political talk shows and news programs. While ABC News has yet to post the transcript of their conversation, MSNBC has seen fit to do so with Andrea Mitchell's interview with him. What follows is a quote from that interview.

Mitchell: "You call for some very tough actions here. You talk about escalating our war against them, and you say in your book that killing in large numbers is not enough to defeat our Muslim foes. This killing must be a Sherman-like razing of infrastructure. You talk about civilian deaths. You talk about landmines. Is that really what we have come to in this war on terror?"

Anonymous: "I think we've come to the place where the military is about our only option. We have not really discussed the idea of why we're at war with what I think is an increasing number of Muslims. Which — it's very hard in this country to debate policy regarding Israel or to debate actions or policies that might result in more expensive energy. I don't think it's something that we wanted to do, but I think it's where we've arrived. We've arrived at the point where the only option is military. And quite frankly, in Iraq and in Afghanistan we've applied that military force with a certain daintiness that has not served our interests well."

Well, let me submit that even the actions "Anonymous" is advocating is even "too dainty," to use his turn of phrase. Here is a plan that will deal with our problem once and for all.


That's right...evacuate our sons and daughters from the entire region, evacuate our allies from the region, pack up, leave, then just aim all those missiles that we built to take out the Soviet Union at the entire region. Start at Gibraltar and don't stop until we finish off Kashmir. Lob a few at Indonesia while we're at it. Just carpet-bomb the whole region with America's best WMDs until it is a single smoking glob of atomic glass.

What, you say? What about Israel? Bah. A Jewish State could have been constituted in either the British or American zones of Germany, or, if the Jewish People wanted a more Mediterranean clime, occupied Italy. Why the sam-hell did they have to chose British Palestine? They could have had their ultimate revenge against the architects of the Holocaust, or revenge against those who shipped boxcar-loads of Italian Jewry to death in Nazi Concentration Camps. Instead, they chose a godforsaken strip of Mediterranean scrubland. The Mojave Desert would have been more promising land for such a state. Too bad they didn't have the foresight to choose the right place to relocate from the Diaspora. Collateral damage. Sorry, thanks for playing.

And of course, there's all that disturbing speculation about the results of such a nuclear strike on such a large swath of the planet's surface. Nuclear winter? Climate change? Whole areas of the world rendered nuclear no-go zones? Bosh. Collateral damage, can't be helped, mustn't be too dainty.

No, if we are to come to an endgame with the terrorists, if we are to truly win the War on Terror, we must take bold steps. We must dare to be great. The Romans had a Carthaginian problem. The Israelites had a Canaanite problem. They did not have the awesome power we have at our disposal. They both took massive casualties as they prosecuted the eventual destruction of Carthage and Jericho. We don't have to. A few missiles retargeted, a few passwords entered, a few buttons pushed. That's all. Our Final Solution to the Osama bin Laden problem is at hand, if we are bold enough to use it.

Call it Operation Modest Proposal. The name has a good ring.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

OK, I'm calling Godwin on George W. Bush and Karl Rove and his bully boys at the Bush reelection campaign.

I'm sure all the conservative readers of this blog (yeah, all one or two of you) remember the MoveOn.Org ad contest where someone created an ad that compared George W. Bush to Hitler. It got a lot of GOP dander up. It didn't even end up amongst the 15 finalists. However, someone in Bush's campaign didn't forget the dustup.

There is now a new ad on the official Bush re-election campaign website that compares presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry, defeated Democratic challenger Howard Dean and former Vice-President Al Gore with Hitler. And some conservatives think Michael Moore plays fast and loose with emotional images?

The truth of the matter is that the original ad was not officially sanctioned by anyone even in the organization MoveOn.Org, much less the Democratic National Committee, or any Democratic candidate's campaign. It was an open submission to a contest. It was rejected in the course of the contest. Now there is a web ad from the Bush campaign that tars Democrats with the same brush that the contestant used.

MoveOn.Org moved very quickly to "call Godwin" on the offending ad. I think it's time for Bush and Rove to do the same.

Friday, June 25, 2004

OK, one more entry for the night. I think that I would like to link to this article on Slashdot because the parent is looking like it's going to get mod-bombed into oblivion.

Here it is. This is about how Linux should be encouraged amongst University/College students with computers, particularly students that are connected to the College/University's network.

I think I'm right about this. I encourage people to email me if they disagree. My email is amongst the links on the right-hand side of my blog.

Looks like Herr Governator Schwarzenegger is having waffles for dinner, and is going to have to find some other poor, powerless constituency to pick on to get the California budget balanced. Because somehow he forgot that even though animals can't speak for themselves, they have plenty of folks to speak for them.

Looks like animals are going to get the brunt of Herr Regler Schwarzenegger's budget. Sheiss.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

From the "Pass The Hat" department:

I have added a new feature to my blog...I am now accepting donations to my College Fund. The Wish List for books is one thing, but when you are a full time college student the "little things" like school supplies and so forth kind of nickel-and-dime you to death. I'm looking for part time employment, but that's looking pretty skimpy this Summer. And no financial aid will come to me until Fall 2004 semester is well underway.

I don't like doing this, but frankly things are looking kinda scary now so I have to figure out ways of keeping afloat. So unfortunately it has come to this. Please help if you can. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

OK, I have a modest wish list up now at Amazon.Com. I only know the information on books for only one of the three classes I'm taking this time (it's actually four but one class is the lab for another) and that's what's on my list. Used is fine.

One of my books (for Math 113) I will either have to buy from LAVC or from the publisher...damn you Educo Publishing! Not only does your courseware suck ass, but you don't sell through Amazon! Their text and courseware for Math 112 was a major reason for why I had to take an incomplete on the course. Grrrrr....

And as far as the last of the three classes I'm taking goes, I do not know what the Prof is going to assign at this point. The only thing mentioned at the Los Angeles Valley College Bookstore Site is "Book TBA." Grrrr again...

Monday, June 21, 2004

From the "Imagine if schools got all the money they need and Rumsfeld had to throw a bake sale to pay for the US Armed Forces adventure in Iraq" department:

Apparently the budget crunch has gotten so bad in the Los Angeles Unified School District that school Principals are asking parents for donations for basics like textbooks and cleaning supplies.

A debate is now ensuing on the ethical and legal ramifications of such appeals.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

From the "that's his story and he's sticking to it" department:

The Bush administration, and Vice President Dick Cheney in particular, is sticking to their story about a Saddam/Al'Qaeda connection, in spite of the fact that the 9/11 Commission called bullshit on that particular assertion.

Keep your eyes on the Ace of Spades, ladies and can't win if you don't play...

Saturday, June 19, 2004

From the "Spy in the House of Love" department:

This ie easily the most lucid and helpful explanation of how to avoid and remove spyware and other malware on a Windows box. Read it and heed it. BTW I don't trust Mary Bono's SPY ACT bill. Remember, this is Mary fucking Bono, thoroughly 0wnz0r3d by the RIAA/MPAA/BSA and responsible for the Sonny Bono Copyright Act, who wrote this bill. I wouldn't be surprised if this bill mutates into something not unlike the (You) CAN-SPAM Act.

Of course the easiest way to avoid spyware/malware is to just run an alternative operating system, for Goddess' sake.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Tonight seems to be the night of the long knives at Lakers Central. Shaq, Kobe, Coach Phil Jackson and a host of others are either jumping or being pushed from the ship. Looks like The Lakers are going to be in the process of rebuilding for a while now.

OK, now all the grades are in...and I have successfully repeated my all-aces performance of last semester. Final score is as follows:

PE 630 1 unit A
Philosophy 20 3 units A
History 86 3 units A
Learning Skills 40 1 unit CR
Education 203 3 units A

Right now my GPA is at 3.375. Considering that I had a 2.88 GPA upon leaving LAVC after the Spring 1983 semester, this is a big jump. I can't do anything about my being a slacker the first time around, but at least I'm doing whatever I can to make up for it.

Hopefully the news of this getting around to my remaining relatives will mean a little help on some of my school-related needs.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

More from the George W. Bush "Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them" front, this time from the LA Weekly. Apparently the story that George W. Bush got a girlfriend an (then-illegal) abortion, whispered about coyly in 2000, is a story which simply won't go away.

Then again, a lot of supporters of Bush The Younger look at this as a "youthful indiscretion from back before he got Saved," and the hypocrisy argument about his current opposition to abortion, stem cell research and so on doesn't fly with them. However, some of us are not especially inclined to give him a pass on this issue.

Surprise, surprise, surprise. No connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. Why is this not a shock?

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Repo Man: a mystery is solved.

Unfortunately it's too late to add to the Plastic Classic Movie: Repo Man story, but now that I have the DVD of the movie and am currently as I type this listening to the commentary track, I now know the earth-shaking truth of what was in the can of Generic Food. Apparently it was Ralphs' Supermarket Generic Corned Beef Hash. Yes, the stuff did indeed look like Alpo. It is an open question whether or not the stuff tasted like Alpo, because even if Ralphs' still had their generic line of products I am certain I would not do a taste test.

Many other mysteries are solved by listening to this commentary track. Universal Home Entertainment recently re-released the movie in their bargain line. Originally Anchor Bay had released it, and they were the ones responsible for the famous "License Plate Box" limited edition DVD set which now goes for hideously high prices on the collectible market. Only the limited edition Anchor Bay set had the commentary track, but the standard-issue version from Uni now has it. Note that I do not get a commission from this link. I should do something sleazy and money grubbing like that, perhaps I'd be less broke if I did that more. ;P

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Two more grades have come in...both aces. So here's the score right now as it stands:

PE 630 1 unit A
Philosophy 20 3 units A
History 86 3 units A
Learning Skills 40 1 unit CR
Education 203 3 units (Likely A or B)

This means that I'm officially on the Dean's List again. One more semester and I'm on the President's List and get a spiffy little lapel pin.

Also, I am pretty sure that I'm going to Woodbury University when I transfer. LA Valley College and Woodbury have a special relationship, and it seems like they are willing to do some "above and beyond the call of duty" things to help me get ready for my University transfer. I just put my application in today and already Frank Gonzales, the guy who's the "Woodbury Connections" coordinator, is going to go find a Woodbury student to tutor me in math. I asked him if this help was contingent on my application being accepted, and he said "nope, wherever you go I want you to succeed." He seems to think that my transcripts will be enough to get me in, particularly when my most recent two semesters are taken into consideration.

The one twist which might bust the deal: I have mentioned this before but I will mention it again...Woodbury has no program for future teachers. I would have to be an Interdisciplinary Studies major, and would have to go through a more lengthy post-Grad credentialling program after I receive my BA. It would be nice to do all this through CSUN, but the math issue is a real deal-breaker. CSUN will not take me into their College of Education until I finish every single unit of Lower Division work, and that includes all the math. They have to be picky...Herr Regler von Kalifornien Schwarzenegger is breathing down their necks. Woodbury is bending over backwards for me, or at least Frank is. And that's refreshing.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

If you need any reason to be convinced that our health system needs radical surgery and soon, take a look at this link, from the Conservative-skewing Los Angeles Daily News. Even a paper that is usually rah-rah for the GOP, the Religious Right (they have a doozy of a scare article in today's paper stating that the next step on the ACLU's hit parade is the names of Los Angeles, San Fernando, Sacramento and other religiously-inspired city and town names all over California) and so forth has to admit that the current system is seriously broken.

The grocery strike was all about health care. Part of what might cause the Writers' Guild to go out on strike is health care. The SBC 3-day walkout was all about health care. It is the "number one with a bullet" issue in labor relations. And then there are the people who either can't get or can't afford health care at all. If you are 100% dirt poor you can get charity care. If you are disabled or a pregnant mother you can get Medi-Cal...but the former almost got their coverage seriously curtailed by Ah-nold's budget meataxe. But most of the hard-working folks here in California are SOL unless their company has health care coverage.

Eventually this is going to become a public health problem, and perhaps even a Homeland Security concern. I have mentioned the scenario of an Al'Qaeda operative infecting himself with Smallpox and riding the subway until he drops dead. Ever since gas prices went on their tear, and even before then, the Metro Red Line has become more and more popular as time goes on. Some asshole with a syringe full of Smallpox and a lust for Paradise and 72 perpetual virgins could cause a whole lot of damage if he chose to. There are other ways that terrorists could create a public health crisis in short order. And even beyond such doomsday scenarios, there are any number of preventable diseases which could become major problems for those without access to health care, and also for those lucky enough to have access but who are still caught up in an epidemic or pandemic.

Someone is going to have to make some bold moves to fix this problem before it gets worse. I see neither W nor Kerry talking about anything substantial. If we don't do something, it will become even more of a crisis.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Hell has frozen over, and Mouqtada Al'Sadr now supports the new Iraqi interim government. It's not stopping the constant violence...a senior diplomat working for the new interim government was assassinated the same day...but I suppose it's a positive thing.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

I couldn't's my rating and I will stop blogging for the night.

What rating is your journal?

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Oh yeah, one last thing: ISA, the stupid Opinion Research company I used to work for (and hate,) won't give me my job back. I suppose this is a blessing in disguise....I hated the place, I hated calling people and annoying them, I hated wearing the "kick me" sign on my back.

I do need a job, however. Need it yesterday. I type 60WPM, I know all the Microsoft office apps plus Open Office and AppleWorks. I have a well-equipped office here and I have a broadband connection, which I might not be able to afford if I don't get something going for myself. I am also willing to work at your location. Email me. Make me an offer. I'm flexible.

This flu-like thing of mine is getting real old real fast. My left shoulder is really screwed up...raising my left arm causes throbbing pain. I'm still in a temperature range of about 98 degrees to 99.3 or so...normal to just a little above normal.

Another sad thing today...I knew that Ray Charles was on his way out, but it's sad he's gone for real. Anyone who saw Clint Eastwood's segment of Scorcese Presents: The Blues saw Brother Ray looking Eternity in the face.

I hope he gets a nice big sendoff. By rights, what should happen next is that "America The Beautiful" replace "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the US National Anthem, and Brother Ray's recording of it become the official recording. Of course, that will never happen.

Oh yeah, the Lakers played like crap tonight. If Detroit continues to play as hungry as they have been playing and the Lakers continue to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and be as much the chokemeisters as other LA teams seem to be, it will be Panic in LA and Party in Detroit. Of course, both LA and Detroit fans will probably celebrate the same way they have always celebrated...with a big fat riot. Note that when the Sparks win WNBA's championship, as they have done for every one that's been played save one, there are no riots.:P

Monday, June 07, 2004

One last bit of blogging for the night. I know that I have said a few snarky things about Ronald Reagan in several different quarters. Let me say a few more things to be scrupulously fair.

1.) I would not wish Alzheimer's on anyone. Anyone. No matter how scummy you were in life, you don't deserve to go out like that. Period. The thing about losing someone to Alzheimer's is that by the time they actually give up the ghost you have mourned and mourned and mourned that person and you just feel relief that the person is finally liberated from that malfunctioning body and all that suffering. I went through this with my Grandfather Bernie, my Great Uncle Art, and I'm losing my Great Uncle Chuck to it now. My Grandmother Lottie had a different kind of dementia which consists of the results of hundreds of tiny strokes. A couple of good friends of mine, who are brothers, lost their father to the same process. And another member of my family related by marriage became demented as the result of effects of Parkinson's Disease. It's a horrible thing to watch happen, and I can only imagine it's absolutely frightening for the person who is going through the process of their mind decaying. I couldn't live that way, myself...I wouldn't want to go on in a case like that.

2.) Reagan was not the worst president we've had. And we didn't turn into Nazi Germany on his watch.

3.) I think that Nancy Reagan is very, very brave for sticking up for Stem Cell Research and going counter to the Religious Right on that issue. I hope she's able to shame W and his buddies into liberalizing Stem Cell Research. There *are* ways of getting stem cells from sources other than blastocysts. Improving the ability to grow stem cell lines from umbilical cords would be a great idea and something even the anti-Choice lunatic fringe can't say "boo" about.

4.) For all the folks who are genuinely moved and saddened by Reagan's passing, my sympathies go with you.

OK, this had to go up.

After a lot of hue and cry from animation fans all over the world, the architecturally distinctive and historically significant Hanna Barbera Animation complex on Cahuenga Hollywood will be saved from demolition and a fate as another satellite parking lot for Universal Studios and CityWalk.

The complex was built in 1963, the year of my birth. All the while growing up, I could point to those buildings while zipping by them on the Hollywood Freeway and say "Look, mommy, there's where The Flintstones live!" As a kid, I really did think that The Flintstones, The Jetsons and The Banana Splits all had digs in that building.

I never got to see the insides of the place, even after I joined the staff of Toon Magazine in 1996. An article in the LA Times (Evil brain-sucking registration required) speaks of how Joe Barbera used to double as a tour guide for visiting dignitaries, and would point out the sophistication of the building's architecture and interior design, as spiffy as anything The Jetsons would see in their world.

The main building will remain an office building. The current tenants of the small, Ted Turner-era addition to the site, Generation Entertainment, will be allowed to stay. The middle building will become a branch of the LA Fitness health club chain. And a fourth building will be added to the complex, a "luxury apartment building."

Here's a picture. I think this is of the building which will be turned into a health club.

It's like a page out of the script for the Oliver Stone movie Nixon, but it's happening right now according to some sources. Is President George W. Bush going, as they say in Texas, 'batshit crazy?'

The article also goes into detail about what Bush and Ashcroft may have in common with Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi and a beloved duo of Saturday Night Live characters they created, and speculates that Secretary of State Colin Powell might be next to "retire for personal family reasons."

The website on which this article appears seems to not be particularly leftward fact, most of the articles seem to veer more towards right-of-center. The site's FAQ calls the editors of the site 'political agnostics.' So you decide whether this is credible or not.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

In honor of the demise of President Ronald Wilson Reagan, I hereby reprint the lyrics to The Dead Kennedys' We've Got A Bigger Problem Now.

Last call for alcohol. Last call for your freedom of speech. Drink up. Happy hour is now enforced by law. Don't forget our house special, it's called a Trickie Dickie Screwdriver. It's got one part Jack Daniels, two parts purple Kool-Aid, and a jigger of formaldehyde from the jar with Hitler's brain in it we got in the back storeroom. Happy trails to you. Happy trails to you.

I am Emperor Ronald Reagan
Born again with fascist cravings
Still, you made me president

Human rights will soon go 'way
I am now your Shah today
Now I command all of you
Now you're going to pray in school
I'll make sure they're Christian too

California Über alles
Über alles California

Ku Klux Klan will control you
Still you think it's natural
Nigger knockin' for the master race
Still you wear the happy face

You closed your eyes, can't happen here
Alexander Haig is near
Vietnam won't come back you say
Join the army or you will pay

California Über alles
Über alles California

Yeah, that's it. Just relax. Have another drink, few more pretzels, little more MSG. Turn on those Dallas Cowboys on your TV. Lock your doors. Close your mind. It's time for the two-minute warning.

Welcome to 1984
Are you ready for the third world war?!?
You too will meet the secret police
They'll draft you and they'll jail your niece

You'll go quitely to boot camp
They'll shoot you dead, make you a man
Don't you worry, it's for a cause
Feeding global corporations' claws

Die on our brand new poison gas
El Salvador or Afghanistan
Making money for President Reagan
And all the friends of President Reagan

California Über alles
Über alles California

--©1980 Jello Biafra (P)Alternative Tentacles, Inc.

PS: We have an even bigger problem now.
Don't forget to vote November 2nd....

OK, finally talked to my ISP, DSLExtreme, about the upstream speed boost. First off, my re-up date is August 1st, not June 1st, so I will have to wait a couple of months. Secondly, the increase to 384Kbps upstream won't cost me a penny if I do it on August 1st.

Have I mentioned here how much I like DSLExtreme? OK, I'll mention it again.

Anyway, I'm sick today...some sort of weird flu. Trying to get any sleep last night was hell. I have to run some errands and do some more laundry but other than that I'm going to take it easy.

Friday, June 04, 2004

As Neo would put it...whoa.

One of my grades are up, and it's History 86, which I had mentioned earlier on this blog was a concern because my Prof for retirement is perhaps the best way to put it.

I aced it! I can't believe it, but I aced the class! I was expecting a B or below.

This might be another all-aces semester. Stay tuned.

Didn't go to the Opinion Research place today...the heat was too strong, and also I was in need of clean laundry. Got some of it done, but since one of the two dryers downstairs in the laundry room is busted, I was unable to run more than a couple of loads. I could go to the laundromat...there are a few in the neighborhood...but the idea of sitting around waiting for laundry to get done and wasting time doesn't necessarily appeal to me.

This weather has been hell on my exercise routine. I'm feeling out of shape now since I haven't had a workout in about a week. Not only is it hot, it's not the typical "but it's a dry heat" Valley hot.

I'm watching this Dateline NBC show, and I'm not liking what I'm hearing about how easy it is to socially engineer hotel personnel into giving up personal information and even to get let into a room. I'd better keep my laptop computer with me 24/7. :P Don't trust's the article:

Thursday, June 03, 2004

OK finals are over. Tomorrow I am going back to The Evil Opinion Research Company to see if I can get my old job back. Fahrenheit 9/11 is coming out June 25th. Finances suck. I got my bus ticket for Anime Expo today in the mail. (no, I'm not paying to get in, I'm going to help a friend who has a booth there.) Other than that, nothing's happening. You?

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

It's time for "GeekBack" boys and girls!

To explain what I mean by this, I need to go back to my old Slashdot journal. "GeekBack" is a lot like Slashdot's "SlashBack" article topic, where I revisit and update ongoing stories. Today we have two updates, one good, one not so good.

First, it looks like Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 will indeed be in theatres before the November 2nd elections. In fact, it's coming to theatres possibly as early as the end of this month. The coalition of cable channels, theatrical distributors and other companies to facilitate this release is nothing short of amazing. I have a link for details to The Hollywood Reporter right here.

Second, on a more personal note, it looks like I am going to have further battles with Los Angeles Valley College Financial Aid, this time over the need to take math a bit more slowly than originally intended. Because of the fact that I had a lot of credits on my transcript from 20 some odd years ago when I was in college the first time, I had to formulate an educational plan before they could even consider me for financial aid. This was in August of last year.

For a bit of a refresher on the whole process, here are some links:

Journal entry for July 31st, 'Good news, bad news'
Journal entry for August 13th, 'Fully booked...'
Journal entry for August 18th, 'Two steps forward, one step back'
Journal entry for August 25th, 'The appeal has been submitted'
Journal entry for September 3rd, 'Putting away the begging bowl...'

What Financial Aid is now saying is that I need to do two things: narrow down my educational goal from both getting my Associate of Arts degree and transferring to a four-year University to either one or the other; and have Disabled Student Services resubmit my educational plan in light of the newly-diagnosed Math-related learning "difference." These things must be done by June 8th, or I might lose my eligibility for Financial Aid for the entire 2004-2005 school year.

This may mean having to choose between getting my AA and some closure on my LAVC adventures from 1980-1983 and 2003-present and transfering to Woodbury University, which looks like the 4-year University where I will end up doing my upper division work towards my BA. If pressed, the choice is a no-brainer...transfer or bust. An Associates' degree is nigh-meaningless in the Real World. All the AA would mean to me is that I finally finished what I started on the Community College level. It would mean also that I would officially be able to call myself an LA Valley College alumni. The Baccalaureate is more's meaningful to the outside world, and it's the true "next step" I have to take in my eventual goal of getting my teaching credentials.

The educational plan stuff I have to submit has to do with the 2003-2004 school year that I am now winding up, not anything for 2004-2005. Huh? All they have to do is pull up my transcript to see that 2003-2004 looks like this:

Fall '03
Math 112 -- Incomplete
History 11 -- A
Speech 101 -- A
Health 11 -- A

Winter '04
Child Development 1 -- A

Spring '04
History 86 -- (unknown but at least passing)
PE 630 -- A
Education 203 -- A
Philosophy 20 -- (likely) A
Learning Skills 40 (diagnostic for LD) -- Credit (CR/NCR course)

So there you have it. Aside from the Incomplete on Math 112, which I intend to finish for grade this Summer, and the still fluid situation with History 86 and the case of the old-timer Prof who should have retired years ago, I have been getting straight As across the board. I have been busting my hump and getting excellent results...all except in the math department. This is decidedly NOT a replay of 20 some-odd years ago when I didn't take any of this stuff seriously and kind of drifted from Journalism course to Photography course without any attantion to "Solids" courses. All the stuff I have taken from Fall '03 on out have been 100% "Solids."

Let me put on my tinfoil hat and "speculate beyond the data" about what might be going on here. Thanks to our wonderful usurper Governor Ah-nold Schwarzenegger, lots of deserving students out of High School are getting pushed away from the University of California and/or the Cal State University system to the Community College system to do their lower-division units. They are guaranteed a place in the UC or CSU system if they complete their lower-division units satisfactorily. This puts pressure on the Community College System, in my case, the Los Angeles Community College District, to get rid of what would seem on the surface to be higher-maintenance students who are not conforming to their views of where a student like me should be in my position. Budgets are tightened up so tight that they are ready to burst at the ends like an overstuffed sausage. So the "edge cases" need to be "cleaned up" and off the student rolls.

My record since Fall 2003 speaks for itself. I am not a slacker amusing myself with classes in underwater basket weaving and the history of women in film. I am dead serious about my education, I am taking "solids" courses, and I want to come to, to use a turn of phrase my mother used when she gave her ultimatum that led me to drop out of college the fist time "come to an endgame" with my studies in the LA Community College District. Some of the courses I am taking are not courses I would choose to take if I was not wanting to receive my AA. For example, the requirements imposed on AA candidates include taking a Phys Ed course and a course in "Healthy Living." Done and done. Both with A grades.

I have even taken the time to petition the Graduation Department to have two units of crap taken off my record. Academic Renewal, isn't it cool? That F and that No Credit grade...whoosh! Gone. After examination of the Fall catalog, it looks like I can also get Withdrawals taken off my transcript that date back from 1981 and earlier. I intend to take advantage of that...W units used to not count at all, but now they do. I want to take every opportunity to "look good on paper" for the admissions department at Woodbury.

Anyway, if I have to make the choice between an AA and transferring, I will wave bye-bye to LA Valley College and get on with my academic career as soon as I can. I would have prefered it if I could have gotten up on that podium with cap and gown and gotten my sheepskin from good ole LAVC, but all rah-rah sis-boom-bah aside, it is no big deal in the ultimate scheme of things.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Remember I've said a thing or two here about Christian Reconstructionism/Dominion Theology? Here's an interesting post from Slashdot about it...some good links, a nice little primer. Weird article/story pairing, but still it's worth reading.