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, January 28, 2005

Wow, haven't blogged in a week...this has been a madly crazy week, so it's totally understandable.

I will be moving my blog to the pages of Toon Magazine's website for the weekend as I cover the first annual Anime-LA. This will not be the last Anime-LA, that's for sure. It's going great guns and if I was 20 years younger I'd be pulling all-nighters there.

See you at Toon!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Mod up +5 Astute...and also depressing as hell.

I wonder how much University in the Netherlands would cost...

Saturday, January 22, 2005

I avoided the Inaugural just fine, but I didn't avoid hearing about the speech. According to the Brattleboro, VT, US Reformer, Dubya used the word "Freedom" 27 times and "Liberty" 15 times.

All I can think of is Inigo Montoya, cringing as Vizzini misuses the word "Inconceivable" for the umpteenth time.

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Friday, January 21, 2005

Wow, Blogger is in weird shape...couldn't get on with Firefox, got a lot of "document contains no data" messages. Could it be that Blogger is stressed by post-Inaugural blogging? Well, let me add my voice to the fray.

I was able to successfully avoid the TV, but I couldn't avoid spending money, dammit. My husband couldn't get me to College last night, so I had to hop a bus and spend $3 for a day pass. And the punchline? Dr. Sellwood, my Psych 1 Prof, wasn't even there. She was ailing Wednesday so I suspect she's got a full-blown something-or-another now. Cold? Flu? There's a lot of crap going around now.

The limo passes by as the crowd from Reuters

(Photo by Reuters, used under Fair Use guidelines)

The protestors rained on the inaugural parade, big time. Note how there's no Bush fans in the crowd here? Lots of anti-Bush placards. At least while the parade passed by everything was pretty much as planned.

The GOP must have paid a few freepers to blend in with the crowd and start shit, because it all ended quite violently. People being doused with pepper spray, nightsticks, arrests...oh well, so much for peacefully registering our dissent. The press blamed it on Anarchists...Emma Goldman is spinning in her Chicago grave today. :P

Yes, America is divided. And the one with the sword, rending our country in two, is George Walker Bush. You ain't MY president, buddyboy. Goddess willing, my Chairman is Howard Dean.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

That's it, I'm linking to Capitol Hill Blue from now on.

Again, they hit the nail right on the head regarding the coronation...umm, I mean canonization...wait, I mean inauguration tomorrow. There was only mention of FDR's wartime inaugurals in this article, which is disappointing.

People forget that Jimmy Carter's inaugural in 1977 was a toned-down affair which included the Capra-esque spectacle of the President-elect and his wife getting out of their limo and walking the parade route to the platform where Carter was sworn in. Carter didn't throw huge, elaborate parties, with or without taking from the public coffers.

It is very clear where President George W. Bush's priorities lie, and a big one is stroking off his wealthy donors/patrons. How better to do it than with a bevy of balls. If the troops really were a priority for President Dubya he would have followed FDR's excellent example and just held a small function in the White House after a brief, sober swearing-in ceremony. No balls, no parades, no concerts. Take that money and armor some hummvees, Dubya.

If you want to do something, just for yourself, here are two suggestions:

1.) Turn the TV off, and keep it off, tomorrow. Get your weather info from Weather.Com or something like that. I know I will be doing that.
2.) Keep it in your pants...your wallet, I mean. It's not going to make a big fricking difference, but if people didn't go to the store, fill up the gas tank or spend any money whatsoever tomorrow, and enough of them did it, there would definitely be a measurable glitch in the sales figures for January. Empty stores, empty would be a really interesting thing if it could be pulled off. Unlike the first suggestion, there is actually some organization behind the second...they can be found at

Friday we'll all wake up, and nothing really will have changed. Bush will still be President. American boys and girls will still be dying for nothing in Iraq. The "PATRIOT" Act will still be on the books. Osama bin Laden will still be laughing at us from an undisclosed secure location somewhere on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. And things will be as fucked up as they have been for the past 3-odd years. Tomorrow, however, let's just ignore the bastard. Fuck Dubya, fuck the Bush family, fuck Cheney, fuck Halliburton, fuck 'em all.

Oh yeah, download this MP3. Or this Vorbis file. Put 'em in your P2P sharing folder/directory and share and enjoy. Gotta have something to do tomorrow, right?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

And speaking

Bill Gates: Teen Heartthrob?

I have only three questions about this:
1.)What were the editors at Teen Beat smoking when they came up with this idea back in 1985?
(No, it's not 1983 as some have said, but 1985.)
2.)Did they give Bill some of it, hence the heshed-out, goofy look to his face?
3.)Can you still get any of it?

Although truth be told, we aren't doing so hot on the Open Source side regarding male pulchritude.

Monday, January 17, 2005

How do you say "sexist pigs" in Tagalog?

There is a contest, ostensibly to find the next female "superstars" in IT, being held by the Philippine Computer Society. This is apparently the equivalent in the Philippines of the Association for Computing Machinery or something like that.

How are they selecting "Digital Pinay 2005?" (Pinay is colloquial Tagalog for "Filipino girl.") Are they looking for code samples? Papers on IT issues? Uh-uh. No, they want MEASUREMENTS. Bust size, waist size, height, weight, etc.

Apparently they are holding a full-blown Beauty Pageant for this. Great. :P

Thanks, SachaChua, for letting everyone on the DebianWomen mailing list know about this. You'd think this kind of crap was over with a long time ago. Wrong!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

As far as getting anything done today I really didn't do well. But as far as catching up with some old friends in Cyberspace, I did pretty well. I managed to hook up with some people with whom I hadn't talked in a long time. I think I'm also going to wind up addicted to Leo Laporte's weekend radio show on KFI AM 640. I miss the old The Screen Savers show, even though I did attend a taping of the impostor Leo-less show at Comcast's West LA facilities in October with Chad and Donald and Pam.

We did go out this evening for food, getting the Sunday papers and a few things from the drugstore. I found a couple of nice things for Cosplay...a pair of Tatami Zories and a pair of red brocade slippers. Either one will go nicely with my Kimono when it's made. I've got to go to Little Tokyo to get some Tabi socks so that I can be close to authentic with the Kimono. I also want to go back to Marukai's answer to the 99 Cent Store and get some kitchen and Bento stuff.

I also want to go used book store diving. I have some, but not all of the books I need to write my paper for Psych 1. There is one thing about this paper that I can't do much about...there is a fair amount of research about Dyslexia and reading disorders and other conditions that interfere with Language Arts development, but really not much out there on Arithmetical and Mathematical learning disorders. It's sort of like the place we are at understanding Arithmetical and Mathematical development versus Spoken and Written Language Development. There is metric tons of research about how people acquire their first language, what Linguists call the L1, and how people either acquire or learn second languages. But the research is pretty thin regarding Math and "Number Sense." Someone in one of the papers I read over the Web about the subject estimates that research into how people learn Math is 30 years behind linguistic research.

It is thought that Neanderthals had spoken language, and there is evidence that perhaps hominids had language earlier than that. That covers about 70,000 years of existence. Yet, what we know now as modern Mathematics was developed in Ancient Greece and in the Early Caliphate period of the Islamic Empire...quite recent by comparison. When Anthropologists come in contact with indigenous tribal people, often they find that their "Number Sense" is quite stilted. Some will count "One, two, many." Others will count "One, two, three, four, many." Still others might be able to count to ten before they stop counting and just say "there's lots of them." It's a relatively new facility to be able to do higher Mathematics or even simple Arithmetic, in Evolutionary terms.

All I know is that it fascinates me. I want to learn more about this. As the cliche goes, "this time, it's personal."

Saturday, January 15, 2005

If you live in Los Angeles, and you care about literacy, you should attend this event.

Children's Community School
& the CCS Parent Education Committee

Stephen Krashen, Ph.D.

USC, Professor Emeritus,
Learning and Instruction

A wonderful opportunity for teachers and parents to hear about the current state of language arts curriculum and get sensible advice about your child's education.

Thursday, January 27, 2005
7 to 9 p.m.

CCS Auditorium
14702 Sylvan Street in Van Nuys
(2 blocks south of Victory Blvd. and 2 blocks west of Van Nuys Blvd.)

For information and to R.S.V.P. call 818-780-6226.

Friday, January 14, 2005

I felt a great disturbance in The if a million LiveJournal blogs cried out at once, and then were silenced.

Oh wait, it actually happened.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I had a sort of somewhat cool stupid quiz to share with you, but it doesn't import well into Blogger. Oh well, you can see it on my LiveJournal:

I got a blistering 98% out of 100% on my first Psych 1 test. It wasn't really in doubt...I have a fair amount of background knowledge, and the quiz was not only multiple choice, but open book too. One of my strongest suits is research, so basically it was a breeze. If I wasn't sure about a question, I looked it up. I will have no trouble getting an A in this class.

Um, uh...maybe I shouldn't have said that...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Some other thoughts about where the Mac Mini could be quite useful:

1.) Harsh environments. That little box could be locked up quite easily into a protective box with a controlled environment. (filtration, cooling, etc.) The only cord that would need to go outside the box would be the power supply cord. The keyboard and mouse could be a bluetooth variety, the connectivity could be 802.11g, and you'd just not use that optical drive for anything. Slashdot discussed this yesterday, before the rumors of the Mac Mini were confirmed.

2.) Onstage machine for musicians. One of these puppies could fit in someone's pedalboard case, and with a sufficiently long DVI or SVGA cable the machine would be out of harm's way with only a monitor and bluetooth keyboard and mouse. (trackball, maybe) USB might be a bit problematic but that could be solved with a USB-Cat5-USB extension. All bets are off with firewire. Of course, there's tons and kaboodles of great music software for MacOS X, including Ableton Live! which is supposedly better than ACID for loop composition...sorry Chris Moulios, but that's what I hear...

3.) Electronic News Gathering. Yeah, I know that PowerBooks can be used in such a situation but face it, folks, news is a cost center, not a revenue center, for most TV studios. For the cost of a similarly equipped PB they can get three Mac Minis, keyboards, mice and even jog-shuttle controllers. These Mac Minis have enough cojones to run stuff like Avid Express. Edit on the road. Save money, perhaps obviate the need for microwave trucks unless you are covering a breaking story.

4.) In a similar vein, indie filmmaking, especially guerrilla indie filmmaking. This is the least expensive Mac ever made. And it can run Final Cut Pro without breaking a sweat. No more need for expensive PBs or slightly less expensive (but still way more expensive than the Mini) but more fragile iBooks.

5.) The best thing of all, in my view. I had the idea of a dockable Mini-ITX system for schoolkids. Junior and Missy would take their little computer to school every day, plug it in to the docking station at school where they'd get keyboard/monitor/mouse to use during the school day, then when the final bell rings they'd undock their computers and bring them home, where there would be an identical dock for them waiting for their homework.

The thing about Mini-ITX, particularly the VIA EPIA version which is most common, is that IT'S VIA. Any geek will tell you just how bad their quality control is. And the various EPIA microprocessors, based on the Centaur C3, just do not give you the best bang/buck ratio. You can make quiet computers on this platform, but they don't have the oomph of a G4. Period.

I know I mentioned that a Mac Mini tweaked the way I would like it would be about a Grand when you take into consideration all the bells and whistles I want. However, the base model at $499 would be more than adequate for a schoolkid. I'm sure that if a big school district bought sufficient quantities, Apple would give them a major break on price. There already are some school districts giving kids laptops...this would be so much less expensive. And a 3 pound Mac Mini sure beats a backpack full of books, plus notebooks, etc. etc. Apple created the LC series with Education in mind, wanting to wean thousands of schools off the ubiquitous Apple ][e. I think perhaps this is what Apple truly created the Mini for as well. Sure, getting frugal PC families to Switch is one thing. But regaining total ownage of the educational market wouldn't be so bad, either. Two generations of kids learned about computers in front of Apple computers. Time to get ready for the next one.

Mmmmmmm....Mac Mini. Too kewl.

Of course, when you add all the goodies that I would probably crave, like the Bluetooth module and more RAM and a SuperDrive and the necessary AppleCare, I'd be in for almost a grand.

Still...this is what I want for my LAVC grad gift. Mac Mini. Happy Michelle.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

To be 100% fair, it seems like now the big domain transfer screwup has to do with the transfer of the domain between one registrar and another. Nothing can be done until the domain changes from one registry to another. So I can't blame Hosting Matters and I can't blame VizaWeb. Hopefully this will resolve itself soon. At least I hope it resolves itself before Hosting Matters feels entitled to charge me another month's service.

Just felt that I needed to be 100% accurate and fair here. No more, no less.

100% Bleah today...

Rain. Lots of rain. Richie and I could sleep in today because one of his students bailed on him because of the rain.

The ex-pool is slowly but surely turning into a quagmire. I don't even think the plants are enjoying the extra added water. I am a bit concerned for my neighbors who are on ground-level with the pool, because if this continues they are going to start getting mud flowing into their apartments. I suppose nobody who owns the building stopped to think of the fact that scientists were predicting "a mild El Nino year" since June and July when they decided to make a big planter out of the pool. I suppose, when you consider the perspective that the Indian Ocean Tsunami tragedy brings, this is all a very minor consideration. Still, having to clean up after a mudflow into your apartment would still be a bummer.

The domain transfer has yet to occur, and I am beginning to get a wee bit impatient. I have an email in to Vizaweb Customer Service, and so far nobody's responded to it yet. Perhaps there's nobody in the house on Sunday? That's not normal for most ISPs/Hosting Providers. Have I gone from the frying pan and into the fire in this move? Are these guys as flaky as my still-current Host is? Oh well, only a matter of time before I find out.

I am still teetering on the brink of a cold. This has been the case for about two months now. I wish I could have gotten it over with during the 2-week downtime before Winter Intersession began, but it looks like I have to deal with it now. Not fun.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Note to all personal friends/acquaintances/colleagues:

I am moving MsGeek.Com this weekend to a new host...see the comment from last night for details.

If you need to contact me, the link to my email on the right hand side of the page does indeed work. Any email should be sent or at least cc-ed there.

My email also works...those who know this email might want to use it instead because I pop3 this email on a regular basis.

I suspect that there will be teething problems as my domain moves to its new home.

One thing that will not continue to be hosted on Lawndale Commons and the fanfic page. It's an old site and I don't want to have to go through hassles with IP questions. I may move my old fics to Kara Wild's site or something...not sure yet.

Anyway, good luck to us all...

Friday, January 07, 2005


I want everyone to know that I'm alright. Somehow or another my host, Hosting Matters, has dropped off the DNS map. Along with it, my domain has gone silent.

I am SO out of there. This has happened a few times last year. They give me a paltry amount of space and charge me a ridiculous amount when you compare with other hosts.

Sorry Annette, this is the last freaking straw. These DNS failures are unacceptable.

Any host within the sound of this blog is welcome to email me. Yes the mailto link in the right column works. I'd like a gig or two in the $12/mo range. I'd be amenable to pay in advance for the right price.

UPDATE as of 11:39PM: Hosting Matters is being DDOSed. This is not the first time this has happened.

However, I noticed in that Netcraft article that right-wing blogs like Little Green Footballs are hosted there. I'll be moving my hosting to a Blue State company, thank you very much, and hopefully won't have those kind of sites keeping mine company. :P

Excellent...and scary...

This guy's a big-L Libertarian and the president of the Ludwig Von Mieses Institute. It's good to hear that the pro-Freedom Conservatives haven't all gone the way of the dinosaurs yet. This might be something to show to people who might have held their nose and voted for Bush because they didn't buy in to what Kerry was selling.

Meanwhile, that gravitational perturbation you might perceive somewhere in Arizona is Barry Goldwater spinning in his grave.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Open letter to the Hon. Barbara Boxer, Senator, State of California, USA

Thank you very much!!! I was afraid that you would do as you did in 2000 and not question the fraud-ridden 2004 election. But you took the courageous step of signing the challenge to the Ohio votes. God bless you.

I am sure that there will not be a chance that the 20 electoral votes in Ohio will be overturned. Too many Republicans. But there will forever be an asterisk beside the results of the 2004 election. There will be an asterisk next to the second term of President George W. Bush...was he really elected by the will of the people, or were there shenanigans?

It is unfortunate that there will not be a revote in the US, along the lines of the revote in Ukraine in which the will of the people was finally heard, and Yuschenko elected by public acclaim. But this is at least something. Something which will point out to posterity that our electoral process went very wrong.

Hopefully the next step will be real electoral reform, including the universal banning of "black box" electronic voting and the mandating of Free/Open Source software solutions for voting that create a transparent, traceable printed audit trail. I suggest visiting The Open Voting Consortium's website at for a model of F/OSS solutions for voting. When the code is open for anyone with the prerequisite skills to read, there is no chance of partisans adding "backdoors" and other code that could be used to tamper with the vote. Voting needs to be made more transparent in America, not less. The OVC solution can run on low-end, commodity computers...even castoff Pentium computers could be enlisted for the effort. The computers that normally wind up going to the recyclers can be diverted to use as voting machines.

Again, thanks for standing up for the disenfranchised.

Take care,

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Back to Very Important Stuff (tm):

I just emailed my Senators, asking them to protest the election results and force a congressional debate on Thursday. Please urge yours to do the same by using this link:

I hope one Senator has the gumption to stand up tomorrow. If you recall, I emailed Sen. Barbara Boxer before on my own. Then again she didn't stand up in 2000, when she had the chance. So I urge you to use this site and do this. Someone has to call shenanigans this time.

Oh yeah, btw, here's what the Gematriculator thinks of my site:

This site is certified 28% EVIL by the Gematriculator

What? Only 28% 3v17? These meme thingies almost NEVER get it right!

The professor didn't show for the first class. Instead, she had a TA giving out the syllabus and marking attendance. Thanks a lot, Prof. I wound up cooling my heels in the Admin building until I got kicked out at 7pm when everything shuts down, then waiting outside in the cold until 7:30 when Richie arrived early (class was supposed to be out at 8:05) to pick me up.

The grades are finally posted on the LAVC website, and I can now see how much progress I have made since when I left LAVC 22 years ago with a GPA of 2.88. I'm now up to a GPA of 3.34, 3.39 if you don't count the Non-Degree Applicable Math 112. I have basically raised my GPA one half of one grade point since my return. If you don't count the old grades and instead just look at the ones I earned since returning to school I would have a GPA of 3.675, with a bar over the 675 to denote that it infinitely repeats. 3.68 if you round to two digits precision.

Wow, and the way I just wrote that suggests even more progress. I'm getting more comfortable with Math concepts, I think.

Today I started the day by getting my books for Spring 2005. I now have all the books I need for all my classes. One thing that I did accomplish was proving that I did get the right book for my Psych 1 class, complete with being the right edition, which was a big deal last semester when I had an 8th Edition Physical Science 1 text and everyone was using the 10th edition. Since the text was almost completely unchanged, I had no trouble with the course, except for occasionally getting lost when the Prof indicated that we should look at a particular passage in the text. Looking at someone else's 10th edition was enough to get me reoriented and on the right page of the 8th edition text. Have I mentioned here that Textbook Publishers should be banished to the Ninth Circle of Hell right next to the traitors? Well, if I haven't, I did it now.

So basically I have 13 more credits to complete, and I graduate from Los Angeles Valley College with an AA in Liberal Studies. (Not one snicker, Conservative readers!) I'll have a spiffy little President's List pin to wear on my robe. I just have to ace Psych 1, English 103 and Biology 3. I would like to get a B in Math 114 but I'll settle for a C if I must. If I can eke out a B in Math 114 I will be on the Dean's List for all four semesters I have been back at Valley. If I only get a C I will miss the Dean's List by a tenth of a grade point. Hmm...maybe I should give Phys Sci 14 another shot? Hmm...maybe not. It won't be a total bummer if I don't make the Dean's List for my final semester. Best to not get too caught up in Lust of Result.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Buttercup is 100% up and running, and all the data has been restored. This is easily the least eventful upgrade I have ever done on a computer.

I can't say enough good things about Debian. Really, if you have been scared away from it in the past, you should check it out now. It rocks.

Tonight is the first meeting of my class for Winter Intersession: Psych 1. I wanted to accomplish more things in the two weeks between the end of Fall Semester and the beginning of Winter Intersession, but it's ok, I needed the downtime more than anything else. And by downtime I really mean downtime...not working downtime or puttering around the house downtime but real downtime. Time to just screw off and be unproductive.

This shouldn't be a hard course. Gotta remember to get back into the math this month...get my mental muscles pumped for the next math course, Math 114. Richie seems to think that I could have done better than a C in Math 113. I don't know about that, but I have made a lot of strides with math in the last few months.

With Buttercup back up and running, I can blow away the install on BlueTomato if necessary. And since I now have a DVD-/+RW in this machine I can do a full backup onto a DVD of all my stuff. Cool.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Debian is not as hard as it used to be.

My first recent exposure to it, and the Sarge Installer, was just on a very stubborn, weird machine. Laptops/Notebooks/Whatever you want to call them are quirky by their very nature. The machine on which I did my most recent install, however, is a generic white-box PIII computer with an Intel motherboard and i815 Coppermine-rated chipset. Everything didn't work right out of the box, but after I finished an epic update (700+ packages...goddamn!) it all fell into place on the next reboot. (Yes, sometimes you do have to do a reboot when updating, especially when you need to replace the kernel!)

Now all I have to do is move the info from the ThinkPad to the Desktop (actually copy, not move...I like having a redundant copy on my faithful lappie) and I'm good to go with this machine.

Really...Debian's no longer the distro for the more macho than thou geek. That distinction now is held by Gentoo. And Synaptic is just the kewlest little program for discovering all the neat packages available from gives you capsule descriptions of each package when you highlight them. Just like the Mandrake installer.

I did have a few little teething problems with this, and had to ask my geeky buddy Chad some advice on a few things, but once that was out of the way, it was smooth sailing.

Now if only I didn't fuxor sound on my ThinkPad from a hasty update...bleah! :P

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu!

Today I got to spend my New Year's Day the way I wanted to last year: enjoying the very different and very satisfying way the New Year is ushered in by Japanese expats, Japanese-Americans and interested wannabes like me in Little Tokyo.

There is a spiritual dimension to Oshogatsu that doesn't exist in most Western commemorations of the New Year. I've spoken of it before in these pages...the closest thing to it I can think of is the Jewish commemoration of Rosh ha'Shana, the Persian festival of Norooz at the time of the Spring Equinox, and the Neo-Pagan observance of either Halloween or the Spring Equinox as New Year depending on the circle's preference.

Oshogatsu is about examining your actions on the previous year, and thinking about how to improve yourself in the current year. Those who are adherents to Shinto visit a Shinto shrine on New Year's Day; those who are Buddhist visit a Buddhist temple; those who are Christian go to church.(there aren't a lot of Christians in Japan but there are some.) And I'm sure a few aren't especially religious at all who just go to visit the local shrine for tradition's sake...I actually visited a Buddhist temple in Little Tokyo to observe the goings-on and to purchase a talisman. The one I bought was for "Success in Scholarship." Not too different from the other little talismans and whatnot hanging off of my school backpack. Whether this means just "success in tests" or whether it also means "success in obtaining Scholarships" is something that might require some translation. Either one or both would be helpful, neh?

It's not all solemnity and serenity...there's a lot of fun involved. Music; dance; both participatory and staged demonstrations of art like Origami, papermaking, calligraphy and sugar sculpture; food and drink. The latter isn't just tea, by any stretch...both in Weller Court and at the New Otani today there was quite liberal sampling of sake, including tasting of some pretty expensive and elite stuff. Unfortunately thanks to some medication I take I couldn't indulge, but Richie got a few good tastes in. I stuck to O-cha iced latte and a bottle of the good brewed green tea that comes in plastic bottles.

I could have gone for something hot today, actually, it was quite cold. It didn't rain, much to the delight of the organizers of the Tournament Of Roses and the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. Make that 51 rain-free parade days...the streak is alive. You can bet that next year, on the 2nd rather than the 1st, it won't rain. Wash your car, plan a picnic.

According to Bob Eubanks, they've got a special deal with Gawd Awlmightay: don't hold the parade on Sunday, and He'll keep things nice and sunny. What nonsense.

I suppose it's as nonsensical as visiting a Buddhist temple and purchasing a lucky charm, or being a Neo-Pagan, or whatever. When one gets to the bottom of where I'm at regarding beliefs, I'm ultimately an open-minded skeptic. I like certain metaphors of Neo-Paganism and Zen and Daoism and Thelema but ultimately I don't swallow it like a person of faith does. I think that there's some sort of Different Intelligence out there, but whether it's "higher" than us is an open question.

It's not trendy, but that's where I'm at right now. I also know where I am not: I had my brush with Christianity and I just can't buy it. Especially the Christianity of people like George W. Bush and his...ummm..."brain trust." Maybe it works for some people: Albert Schweitzer, Bono, Jimmy Carter, a large chunk of those active during the Civil Rights campaign of the '50s and '60s, etc. etc. But as for You're welcome to your beliefs...just don't cram them down my throat. Or legislate them down my throat. Whatever.