MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Well, that geeky 2005 wrapup is going to have to wait, because we had yet another weird incident with cars.

New Year's Eve might be a bit more interesting than you expect....
-- Rockie Gardiner, Scorpio Forecast, this week's Rockie Horoscope

Interesting. As in the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

Tomorrow is New Year's Day. We are still going to Little Tokyo to enjoy the food and serene good times. But we aren't going to be driving part of the way, because Midori-chan, our 1993 Japanese-designed, Mexican-built Ford Escort station, is now a partially crushed, non-street legal car.

We had gone to 99 Ranch Market for some last minute fixings for the noodle soup for tonight's dinner. I also went to Office Depot to get some more fliers made for Anime Los Angeles. I made 50 foldy fliers and 100 flat fliers. I figured the foldy ones would be easier to leave around at the New Otani Hotel during Oshogatsu festivities. Richie was unable to find a parking space in the little mini-mall that houses Office Depot, 99 Ranch, Sam Woo's Barbecue and 20/20 Video, so he parked the wagon on Victory Boulevard, across the street from the mall.

When we were getting ready to cross the street, we saw a huge commotion near where we parked the car. An ambulance, fire engines, and a couple of cop cars.

"Shit! That's where I parked!" shouted Richie.

We dashed across Victory and saw the disaster before us. A car was rolled over onto its roof in the street. And there was a big fucking dent across Midori-chan's roof, and an indentation on the hood. The windshield was reduced to glass powder in places, and warped in a weird way. It was as if King Kong stepped on the car. Or Gojira. Or something.

"The car, it flew, and landed on the other car. Then it fell off." -- an eye-witness account of the demise of Midori-chan.

We didn't see it happen, and I feel gypped. According to the LAPD, the culprit car, a silver Honda Accord, went out of control and leaped the curb. Somehow or another, the car -- this is weird, folks -- went up the guy wire used to keep the telephone/power pole steadied for a few feet, then fell off this high-wire directly onto Midori-chan. The car flipped over and landed upside down on Victory. It's like a car stunt from a bad '70s redneck movie, only there was no stunt director choreographing the action. Someone should have been rolling film, or tape, or something.

The Speed Racer (Go Mifune) wannabe actually seemed only shaken-up, not harmed. His Mom picked him up to take him to the hospital just in case, and she alternately yelled at him and was in tears, glad that he was alive after that bad of a crash. The police and the guy's mom assured us that they were insured, and that we wouldn't have to pay for fixing (doubtful) or replacing (likely) the car. However, we can't do anything about it until Tuesday, when everyone gets back from their day off on January 2nd.

At least this is not like what happened when Chibi-Caru, the Chevy/Toyota we had prior to Midori-chan, bit the dust. If you remember, Richie got hit by a woman who was clearly at fault, but had no license, no insurance, no ID, and spoke no English. She got away with it. At least this time the guy had a driver's license, ID, and insurance that checked out when the cops ran a check on it. And there is a police report on file about the incident. He will not likely get away with it. We might have to get "lawyered up" to get our due, but there are records about the incident now.

Damn. What a way to end the year.

Friday, December 30, 2005

With regard to opening this blog up for comment:

I have noticed that there has been no email either for or against comments. And after my experience with the previous incarnation of MsGeek.Org, I think that there is too much of a risk of becoming a target again, even with comment moderation on to shield the audience from gratuitous crapflooding horror. Because if I don't let comments through, I am likely to get targeted in other web presences I run.

So MsGeek.Org will remain my private soapbox. And it will become less political and more geeky and maintain its focus on my progress towards my Bachelors. I started a personal blog to document my return to school. The rest of the musings on this blog is, as the folk in N'awlins put it, lagniappe. A little something extra.

However, I am becoming more and more convinced that Enough Is Enough 2006, which will become the new home base for my political meanderings and the political meanderings of friends, (at least through 2006) should be opened up to moderated comment. Especially if I am able to attract more hands on deck. Beep is a dear friend and fellow progressive, and she will be making her voice known on a regular basis. A decision will be posted on Enough Is Enough 2006 when it is made, sometime in the next few weeks.

Tomorrow (If I am not too tired after imitating the Scrubbing Bubbles as I attempt to tidy up around here) I will post a "This Year In Tech" 2005 geek wrapup here, and a "That Was The Year That Was" 2005 political wrapup on Enough Is Enough.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Ominous parallels between the pre-Depression economy and the current Bush-o-nomics afraid.

Read this.

Then read this:

Economic Policy Institute: What's wrong with the economy?

In the 1920s:

  • Income was maldistributed. The richest 0.1% had a combined income greater than the lowest 45%'s income.
  • Savings rates were low. The same richest 0.1% held 34% of all savings on deposit, where 80% of all Americans had no savings at all.
  • During the Coolidge era, there was a mania for cutting taxes on the richest Americans. At the same time, a modest minimum wage law was struck down by a conservative Supreme Court.
  • The US economy in the 1920s rested on two pillars: luxury spending by the rich, and credit sales to everyone else.
  • A mere 200 corporations controlled half of all wealth in the United States.
  • Most of the prospering businesses were concentrated in two industries: Automobiles and Radio. A third industry that prospered during the 1920s was the construction industry, spurred by the prosperity of the well-to-do and the new mobility afforded those with cars.
  • A few companies had their worth inflated artificially by the Stock Market. RCA Corporation went from a value of $85/share to $420/share.

Does all this sound too familiar?

What's going on right here, right now, on the last week of 2005?

  • Income is maldistributed.
  • Savings is low.
  • Tax breaks for the rich are rampant. The tax burden rests disproportionately on the disappearing middle class and poor.
  • Debt is high and savings are nonexistant for most Americans.
  • Prospering businesses are concentrated in a small group of industries. Housing is now 50% of the current economy's growth. When Housing tanks, so will the rest of the economy.
    Google is the RCA Corp of today. Google is now valued at $426.72/share, up from its value of $85 in its IPO. Other stocks are similarly inflated beyond their worth, although not in as wild of a range as they were during the "dot-com boom" of the late 1990s.

There are, of course, big differences between the situation now and the situation then. Our economy is thoroughly globalized. We do not practice the kind of protectionism that exacerbated the weaknesses in breadth of the economy. Globalization carries its own market basket of maladies that may be more or less damaging than the protectionism of the '20s.

Let me leave you with a newly coined phrase, something I thought of when I started working on this post: "A rising tide that only lifts yachts will eventually drown us all." Think of that a little as we slouch into 2006.

BTW, one last thing: political posts like these will be moving into I will be crossposting this post there. My friend Beep will also be posting there, as will perhaps a few other selected editors. Enough Is Enough 2006 will concentrate on the quest to flip the House and Senate in the coming year. A Democratic House and a Democratic Senate is the necessary step to do things like impeaching Bush and his cronies. It is JOB ONE next year. I urge you to keep an eye on Enough Is Enough 2006.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The day after the family party...whew, that was fun. Not.

I don't think certain members of my family mean to be unhelpful or patronizing or anything else they sometimes seem to be. I think it's a class thing. There are quite a few of my family members on my mom's side of the family (I really have no contact with my father's side of the family and haven't since my father died in 1975) who are wealthy. Or at least well enough to do to where they can comfortably live on the Westside. There aren't any left who are struggling enough to where they have to live on the Valley side of the Santa Monica Mountains. My aunt Karen was the last to move from a Valley address, albeit one South of Ventura Blvd., to a Westside address. I'm the only one left on the Valley side. And I live in a...well...let's call it a "working class" neighborhood and leave it at that.

It's like there's this huge disconnect between my world and theirs. The hardest thing they have to deal with is the tight real estate market and how the stocks they are holding have been tanking since Dubya came into office. The hardest thing I have to deal with is survival and paying bills and making sure I get good grades in College. If someone's BMW or Prius or Mercedes or Lexus has a little case of indigestion it's no sweat to get it fixed, and the place they take it to will have a loaner or limo service until the car is ready. If our station wagon has trouble, we are fucked.

Some understand that we are the "poor relations." In a way, that's even worse. "Oh no, you didn't have to get gifts for the girls..." one cousin said. Aside from the gifts for the gift exchange, I had only brought gifts for these two little cousins of mine. They were inexpensive and it did my heart good to give 'em. "They have so much..." she finished, trailing off with a frown. She didn't say "you probably couldn't afford it in your state of affairs" but that was the unsaid context. Man, she didn't know how bad that comment was, and how much she made me feel like shit when she said it.

I always come away from these events with an inferiority complex. I'm the loser of the family. I'm the poor relation. I don't fucking play tennis at a country club or hold down a six-figure salary. I don't think they mean to make me feel like shit. But they do.

The holidays suck when you are broke.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A genuine Xmas Miracle (tm) to report.

1.) The "Our New Orleans" CDs arrived about a half-hour ago from Amazon.Com. I never knew that UPS delivered on Saturday. Apparently they do.

2.) The "Our New Orleans" CD is genuine Red Book audio. No DRM funny stuff. Thank you, Nonesuch Records. OK, this is not a license for all you Warez-heads to rip this CD and put it up on Limewire or Kazaa or Bittorrent or whatever. This is a heads-up so that all of you who want to do something good for yourself and for the survivors of Katrina to GO AND BUY THIS CD. The music is awesome and the cause is a good one. It just means you can put this on your MP3 player without paying twice for it.

3.) Remember my hassles with my web host, VizaWeb? Well, they have offered me a 25% discount to stick around for another year, and promised better service. So far since they expanded to a larger server farm in October things have been better there. And moving your stuff from one web host to another is a royal PITA. So I'm staying put.

All in all, a good Xmas. And I don't even celebrate it! Could it be a Festivus Miracle? An Oshogatsu Miracle? Just people being decent to each other for a change instead of being jerks? Yeah, that's the ticket. Happy whatever you celebrate, folks. ^_^

Friday, December 23, 2005

I am MAD at Amazon.Com. Big time mad. Sunday is not only Christmas Day, but Sunday Night is the first night of Chanukah. Perfect time to get the family together for latkes, conversation, candle-lighting and the classic Good family gift exchange. I had a bright idea for our gifts for the family gift exchange: the CD "Our New Orleans" which features new performances by several of the region's best musicians, from Buckwheat Zydeco to The Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Dr. John to even Randy Newman, not necessarily a New Orleans cat but an admirer and student of the region and the music. Newman's album "Good Old Boys" was a semi-concept album about the rise and fall of Louisiana Governor Huey Long, and included "Louisiana 1927," a song that became irrevocably associated with Hurricane Dubya...whoops...Hurricane Katrina...and its aftermath.

Yes, it meant breaking my RIAA boycott. Hopefully the damn thing doesn't have DRM up the ying-yang...Fat Chuck is no longer publishing his list of DRM encumbered CDs, and in fact his URL is now held by a squatter, so I have no way of finding out. But all the profits for the album are being directed towards Habitat For Humanity's rebuilding efforts in the Mississippi Delta. The usually avaricious Warner Music Group, one of the four remaining Families of the Recording Industry, has actually matched the cost of recording the album in donations to this very good cause, so that all profits actually *will* go to the rebuilding effort.

Anyway, I bought THREE copies on Amazon.Com. Two for Richie and I to add them to the gift exchange, one for our own library. Or so I thought I did, anyway. I bought them on the 19th, one day before the "receive in time for Xmas" deadline. The website showed that there was sufficient stock of the CD. I played completely by the rules. Long story short, we got screwed. The CDs were supposed to be delivered today. They weren't. And I got a lengthy tapdance instead of a pledge to make good on the offer. At least they haven't charged our debit card yet. So we went to Borders and got two copies there. Someone was giftwrapping that day so we had that taken care of there as well.

As a result of this adventure, Amazon gets my business again exactly when Hell freezes over. I have spent lots and lots of money there since 1999, or perhaps even earlier. I have lots of books to get for school, and traditionally I go there for my book buying. No more. If I get the CDs late, I will probably take them. We didn't get a copy for ourselves at Borders, and we want one. Maybe we'll share the other copies with other people, maybe I'll just sell them on Half.Com. Which, incidentally, is the place I will be looking for my textbooks from now on. Bite me, Bezos.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Final scoreboard...

...and the first semester at Woodbury goes into the record books. I'm surprised, I'm relieved, and I am damn glad I'm done with Algebra. Stats this Fall. 15 more units this Spring, but none of it is Math. Whew! ^_^;

Woodbury University Fall 2005 final
Course Cred Gr GP
Abnormal Psych 3 A 12.00
Psych of Aging 3 A- 11.01
Cross Cultural Psych 3 A- 11.01
Family Systems 3 A 12.00
Math 149 3 B 09.00
Totals 15 55.02
GPA 3.66

Hopefully this will mean some more scholarship money. Goddess knows I need it.

/me exhales...

Yesterday was a very busy day.

FreeHead played a noon hour gig at House Of Secrets Comics in Burbank. Wednesday is New Comic Day so there was a built-in audience for the band. My Fangirl Sense was all a-tingle because one of the people who was there for the gig was Bruce Timm, the guy who created the best conception of Batman ever: Batman: The Animated Series. I was very proud of myself because I kept calm and did not grovel in the man's presence.

Then yesterday evening there was also a Saccharine Trust gig. Two Richie gigs in one day. And this time, ST played in Little Tokyo. So I was able to do some shopping between gigs.

I have always loved Little Tokyo, and I got a chance to get Oshogatsu decorations and shop for my nieces. Unfortunately since one of my nieces is only a year old I might not be able to give her the Kitty-chan (Hello Kitty to us 'Muricans) as a Japanese Bride doll that I will be giving to my four-year-old niece. I got two of them. The dolls are gorgeous, dressed in brocade satin kimonos complete with a little satin headdress on top ala the horn-hiding headdress Shinto brides wear.

Here's a picture of what I'm talking about:

And here's what the Kitty-chan doll looks like...well, sort of anyway:

Kitty-chan bride

For one thing, this doll is certainly bigger than 25cm. This one is a full foot tall. And also the brocade used for the kimono is not pale pink. One doll has a vivid red brocade Kimono on with a gold brocade Obi, the other one has a gold brocade Kimono on with a red Obi. I'm giving the gold brocade Kimono one to my niece Olivia. My concern about giving the other one to Ella is that it has eyes and a nose that could conceivably come off and choke her if she put them in her mouth. So I get to keep one. Sugoi, neh.

It's also kind of nice that Nijiya Market has taken over for Enbun Market in the Japanese Village Plaza. Nijiya is sort of like the "Trader Joe's" of Japanese grocery stores. They have reasonable prices and high-quality, often organic foods under their own labels, as well as recognizable labels you'd normally see in a Mitsuwa, Marukai or 99 Ranch market. It's ironic but going to Little Tokyo is easier than going to the Westside to the Sawtelle District to go to a Nijiya. The Red Line train makes Little Tokyo incredibly easy to get to. For the westside, you have to go over the Sepulveda Pass via the 405. A formidable task however you look at it, even on a weekend. I will miss Enbun Market because it was a local market with roots in Little Tokyo dating back to well before the Internment Camps of the 1940s. I think they started in 1902 or something. But Nijiya simply has the best stuff. I had one of their cold Bentos for dinner... Oishi, oishi.

The Saccharine gig went well too. The club that ST played at was unfortunately called "Club Cocaine" so when I couldn't find the place I couldn't necessarily ask the locals about where it was. So I hung out at the new Starbucks at 2nd and Central waiting for Richie to get into the area. Turns out the venue was right around the corner from Starbucks. Kewl.

I could see myself living in Little Tokyo. A lot of Downtown LA is scummy and gross but Little Tokyo is an oasis, by and large. Yes, there are people sparechanging you on the street. In fact I offered a particularly forward one dinner, and he refused. When the guy rejected an offer of a meal, I knew that he was probably looking for funds for either alcohol or crack. Sorry, dude. I don't enable addicts. Call me cold, but that's just me. I don't want to be some addict's enabler.

Still no word on the Math 149 grade. Eep...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

More scoreboard stuff...

Abnormal Psych A
Psych of Aging
Cross Cultural Psych A-
Family Systems A
Math 149

My GPA is at 3.89, up from 3.85. Not as good as a 4.00 but I'll take it. I spoke to a friend of mine who went to UC Berkeley where they have fractional grading just like Woodbury and she said that a lot of professors will give people A- instead of an A because the want to reserve the A for people who really excel in a class. She said that I shouldn't stress about getting the A- instead because I'll still wind up with a decent GPA.

Still, I worry about Math 149. I wasn't expecting my Math prof to come in early with his grades, but today is the deadline. I should know about the rest of everything come tomorrow or Thursday.

Update 10:43pm:
Scoreboard, kudasai!

Abnormal Psych A
Psych of Aging A-
Cross Cultural Psych A-
Family Systems A
Math 149 ??

OK, so I got two As and two A-s. I was actually expecting a B out of Dr. Spradling in Psych of Aging, so an A- is nice. This means that even if I get a big fat F on Math 149 I am still in the B-average ballpark. If by some miracle I get a C in Math 149 it will mean a 3.46 GPA. That is pretty damn good for someone adjusting to her first semester in a University-level environment. I can live with this.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I'm mad. Really steaming frothing hopping mad.

This whole weekend has been one of stewing over the latest example of George W. Bush's arrogance and total disregard for the rule of law. He shouldn't have been re-elected. But he was. By the narrowest, razor-thinnest, most tweakable of margins.

Really, the whole wiretapping thing is just one last insult on top of many. He's done worse. Much worse. From the questionable tactics in the 2000 election to the false pretenses he used to send us to war in Iraq to Quaker meeting halls being infiltrated in "Return Of The Son Of COINTELPRO" to not attending a single funeral of a single dead soldier, sailor, pilot or Marine since the start of this fool's errand in Iraq. And don't forget Valerie Plame and the damage that was done to agents still in the field by a childish swipe at a perceived enemy.

I have an unfinished novel in my desk called "Black Decade," about a Christian Theocracy and its rule in a "New America" where girls are only educated until age 16 and in a curriculum of home economics, baby care and barely basic literacy, where "guaranteed employment for men" is the new euphemism for a draft, and the prestige universities cease to be Harvard and Yale and become Bob Jones and Oral Roberts. It is a novel that focuses as much on the resistance that springs up in the ruined cities and untrammeled rural communities of America as it does the nightmare structure of this Orange County that metastasizes and swallows up a whole nation. I shelved it because it was too comparable to a cyberpunked-out take on "The Handmaid's Tale" for my tastes. Now I think I'm going to keep it shelved because it seems almost to be too close to reality for comfort.

Someone gave me a mantra today to repeat when my stomach gets too clenchy and my anger begins to well up to the point where I want to punch something or someone.

That mantra is this: They re-elected Nixon too.

True 'dat. I was acutely aware that Nixon won and McGovern lost in 1972. I was a precocious kid who was developing into a news junkie at a tender age. I was bummed, as was my mom. My dad, on the other hand, was very smirkily happy. Who could have predicted that two years later his heart would have been broken by the revelations of Watergate?

Anyway, when that mantra doesn't work, I think I have a little visualization to think about.

Virginia isn't too far from DC, Dubya. Karma always bats last.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

OK, this is post #618 on the second anniversary of MsGeek.Org moving to Blogspot. Happy Anniversary to me.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there. The blockage of renewal of USA-PATRIOT is a victory, but that's just one battle, one skirmish. The war for the continued survival of the Republic can still be lost.

Let me quote Senator Frank Church, speaking in 1975 when the National Security Agency was in its infancy:

If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know.

"I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [NSA] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.

Dubya's overwhelming arrogance and tinhorn dictator style needs to be answered with Impeachment and Removal. "Sure, I spied on American Citizens. And I'd do it again."

Everything Sen. Church predicted has come to pass. We are in the antechamber of total tyranny in America. We need to turn back, NOW, and punish the Violator in Chief. He broke the law of the land when he broke FISA by sending NSA to spy on American citizens.

This is it, folks. A government of laws or a government of men? This is the question.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Yesterday was a day of no mean importance in the current political situation. The Senate Dems and a few Senate Republicans basically blocked the reauthorization of the ill-named USA PATRIOT Act. And quite possibly a new hero has risen with the potential of becoming a rallying point against anti-Bush sentiment: Senator Russ Feingold.

Feingold was the only Senator to vote "no" on the so-called USA PATRIOT Act when it was first proposed. And yesterday Feingold took the lead on the Senate floor and led a fight to block the reauthorization of the criminal act. And what do you know? It succeeded. A vote to invoke "cloture" on the filibuster against reauthorization failed. So basically the momentum for reauthorizing and even strengthening this horrible bill has slammed right into a brick wall.

Here is an honor roll of the people who voted against cloture yesterday.
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-MBNA)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-Microsoft)
Carper (D-DE)
Clinton (D-NY)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Craig (R-ID)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-RIAA/MPAA)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Sununu (R-NH)
Wyden (D-OR)

Voted against only on parliamentary grounds:
Frist (R-TN)

Hopefully this is the hoped for "light at the end of the tunnel." Without an oncoming train, please...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Getting ready for the New Year means a lot of things. One is finally doing a stem-to-stern cleanup of the house, something I didn't get to last year and it shows. Another is going out to Little Tokyo to get stuff for decorations and so on. Whatever Oshogatsu decor stuff I get this time will be recycled at the Anime LA Con Suite. I think I should have representative stuff from both the Japanese commemoration, which will be over by Anime LA, and from the Chinese commemoration of New Year, which will be starting up the last day of the con, January 29th. I'll probably have to hit Chinatown and 99 Ranch Market just before Anime LA to get the Chinese stuff.

Of course I will be going to Oshogatsu festivites in Little Tokyo on New Year's Day. It's always a lot of fun down there. I suggest if you are an Otaku, a Japanese culture buff and/or both, to consider going there for New Year's Day. There's also a second celebration going on at the Japanese American National Museum for Oshogatsu a week later.

New Year in Little Tokyo 2006
JANM Oshogatsu family fun day 2006

It's funny...I don't have a drop of Japanese blood in me but ever since Mrs. Ryan's 2nd Grade class where she took advantage of her travels in Asia to do an entire unit about cultures there, I have felt like I have something of Japan in me. It's not just my fondness for was the other way around. Japan is a complex place, not the "land of kawaii and sugoi" that some of my fellow Otaku see it as. Japan is both amazing and amazingly dysfunctional at the same time. I've never been, but one day I want to go.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


The scoreboard gets weird, as I get something less than an "A" from Dr. Yacoubian in Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Abnormal Psych
Psych of Aging
Cross Cultural Psych A-
Family Systems A
Math 149

Another thing about Woodbury I don't understand. Los Angeles Valley College and West Los Angeles College used whole grades. This is very new.

I suppose I should consider myself lucky: perhaps if I had Dr. Yacoubian at Valley or West I might have gotten a B out of him. Still...this is a new one for me.

I am considering opening this blog to comments, with a caveat: I will "Moderate" comments and only post the ones I consider germane to the post. This way I will get the best of both worlds: the ability to allow people to comment while at the same time making damn sure the crapflooders and the trolls are kept at bay.

If you want to comment with regard to this blog being opened to moderated comments, email me at my Gmail box.

If I decide on opening this up to comments they will be opened on Oshogatsu, January 1st, 2006.

I reserve the right to post another entry here tonight. There are some news things going on that I am keeping an eye on.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I'm hit! I'm hit! WAAAAAUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! (Boom.)

This is precisely how I felt when I took my math test today. Like I got picked off by a TIE Fighter. I didn't feel prepared to take the test, and you know what? I was right.

Well, even if I wind up with three As and a B and outright fail Math 149 this time, I will still have a 3.0 GPA. And I already have a game plan for Spring if the worst does happen. I'll just drop two of my least-needed courses -- and I already know which ones they are -- and make sure this time I take my class with someone better equipped and less overscheduled. Actually not getting to take Stats this next semester is a gift. I have the ability to make up for this.

And now the grade waiting game begins. One's already in. Scoreboard, kudasai...

Abnormal Psych
Psych of Aging
Cross Cultural Psych
Family Systems A
Math 149

As always, you'll get updates.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

This morning, Tookie Williams was sent to whatever fate awaits us when our time on the planet ends.

I have been torn about this whole situation and that's why I have remained silent when usually you can't shut me up about anything.

There are times when the death penalty fits, and although rough justice, it's justice. Certainly when someone literally put a stake through Jeffrey Dahmer's heart it felt like justice, even though it was not the State doing the killing but one of Dahmer's fellow prisoners and fellow-sufferers of mental illness. Certainly Charles Manson and his hitmen/women should have paid with their lives for what they did at the Tate house and the LaBianca house. The brief end of the Death Penalty put the kibosh on that, and they will remain behind bars forever, and continue to fire the imaginations of sick people who actually think Charlie's racist, nihilist dream of Helter Skelter is a good idea.

There are times when death is just too good for some folks. Tookie Williams' end was like someone being put under anaesthesia, only he will never be awakened. That's an easy death. That's not like the old barbaric methods like electrocution and hanging and worst of all, the gas chamber, which California used up until about a decade ago and which was considered a "humane" way to die. A firing squad's more humane than any of those, and lethal injection more humane than all of them combined.

Some people should be locked up until they die. They should never see the sun or breathe the air. They should be kept away from humanity but never given the dignity of an execution until the end of their natural lives. This will afford them the time to reflect on their deeds. This of course does not work in the cases of what the DSM-IV TR calls Antisocial Personality Disorder, and what we colloquially call a "Psychopath" or a "Sociopath." Those folks don't have a conscience to bug them about the wrongs they have committed against their fellow humans. Ted Bundy was a classic case of this sort of person: charming, witty, calculating and utterly cold on the inside. He had no remorse about what he did, and only feigned his religious "awakening" in hopes of perhaps getting away with his crimes or at least not dying for his crimes.

It is people like these who should be executed when they commit heinous crimes. It is estimated that only 1% to 2% of all people are Antisocial Personality Disorder cases. One of the distinctive elements of APD is that these people simply do not learn from classical conditioning. Rewards and punishments mean nothing to them. Since many of them are charming and charismatic, not every APD case winds up as a criminal. Some wind up in business, and their ruthlessness serves them well climbing the ladder. Some of them wind up in the military, a classic place for their kind. Evolutionary Psychologists have made the suggestion that APD survived in the human race because those who had the disorder often became brilliant and highly successful chieftains and warlords. And some of them wind up in politics. The psychologist and Anarchist theorist Alex Comfort suggested that power attracts "delinquents," and "delinquent" is yet another colloquialism for an APD case.

However, most of us are not conscienceless monsters. Most of us feel guilty after doing something wrong. For most of us, one's conscience is completely operational, probably even hyperactive. For the average person, imprisonment, exile, shunning, and other punishments of isolation are enough.

In California, capital punishment is rare and the wheels grind slowly. It is a pace that gives me more comfort about how the death penalty is carried out here than in other places. Some people hate this, and long for us to be another Texas which has a system more akin to a meat grinder, through which mostly people of color move through rapidly and with an efficiency more like Soviet Russia, the People's Republic of China and (Godwin be damned!) Nazi Germany. George W. Bush proved a big fan of capital punishment and seemed to relish the task of signing death warrants. One can almost see the roots of what his Presidency would become from his mockery of Karla Faye Tucker. "Please don't kill me! Waaaah!" he said with a big grin in a high-pitched falsetto voice.

It is distressing that people tend to get on California's Death Row by killing White people. However, it is interesting to note that of the 12 people executed since 1977 and the reinstatement of the Death Penalty in California most have also been White. However, those sociological dynamics will change if California steps up the pace of administering capital punishment. Most people on Death Row here are Latino. The next highest concentration is Black. Non-Hispanic Whites come next, then Asians. As in other states, California metes out the ultimate punishment more to non-Whites than Whites. And also it condemns people more for the killing of Whites than the killing of non-Whites.

The choice made in Illinois to declare a moratorium on the carrying out of executions to allow for a thorough investigation of all capital cases, including the use of DNA tests and other ways of ferreting out potentially exculpatory information. There have been enough people who have been sprung from Death Row thanks to DNA testing that one should call into question how many people waiting to die actually deserve to die. California should take the opportunity of the slowness of the system here to make absolutely, positively sure that there aren't any innocent or at least non-guilty folks among the numbers in San Quentin's condemned house.

I also think a new, super-standard for guilt in death penalty cases should be instituted. In cases where a person's life is on the line, you had better be positive that you have the person who committed the murder or solicited the commission of the murder. (I don't think any other crime except for Treason in time of War has a death penalty.) "Beyond a reasonable doubt" doesn't cut it. We have technology now which can narrow things down considerably, although it is not 100% foolproof. There are enough fools working in the LAPD crime labs that even something as reliable in competent hands as DNA can be botched from time to time.

I can't say I am against the death penalty. But in some parts of this country it's applied far too lightly. Particularly if you are a person of Color or if you are poor. Was Tookie Williams guilty or did we kill an innocent, or at least a changed, human being? We will never know. We will also never know about the others who have died. It is time to make sure only 100% proven multiple murderers are executed in this country. We can do this. And we should do this.

Monday, December 12, 2005

What am I doing buying yet another computer? Am I certifiable? Well, maybe yeah, but $30 wasn't too much to blow on something to celebrate another semester wrapping up. I am now the proud owner of a lime green iMac G3 333 Rev. D, model number M7444LL/A.

Right now it has a 6GB hard drive, 64MB of RAM, and Mac OS 9.2.2. The HD is going to be wiped Real Soon Now and given either Debian GNU/Linux PPC 3.1 "Sarge" (Stable) or NetBSD 2.1. This is going to be the experimental server I have been talking about for the long has it been? least a couple of years now. DSL Extreme has given me 5 IP addresses now when I originally only had 2, one of which I had to pay extra for. They're going to waste now. I need to fix that.

I am debating whether to add more RAM or not. Apache really isn't very taxing, nor is sftp. But it would be nice to have more. More headroom for serving pages up fast. The picture up top is in a colocation farm and shows two Bondi iMacs (revs A-B) running as servers. They both look like they're still running Mac OS 9.

I am impressed by the good condition this little wonder is in. There are a few pen marks on the front (Trying to pry a CD out? Not a good move...) and the markings on the keys on the keyboard are a little worn. However, aside from that, it's teh roxor. I put it through its paces...booted it from a CD, checked the keyboard to make sure it was ok, checked the HD with Disk First Aid. Everything seemed kosher.

So now my orphanage has increased by one more foundling. I have decided to give this machine the netname motoko because it's going to be on the Internet 24/7 like Maj. Kusanagi after the original Ghost In The Shell movie. The green also reminds me of the eyes of the gynoids in Innocence: Ghost In The Shell 2. That unnatural green color.

So Motoko-chan...welcome to the Orphanage. You're going to be special. Just like all the rest of my silicon-based brood.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

In the early 1990s, there was a folk singer type who would show up at poetry readings and open mics in the San Fernando Valley and sing satirical songs. He had a good one called "It was only his proof of insurance (but it looked like a pistol to me.)" Well, maybe in this case, the song should go "It was only her Maryknoll Missal (but it looked like a pistol to me.)"

I thought this sort of crap was over in the '90s. An elderly nun, Sister Dorothy Stang, was shot by ranchers in Brazil, apparently in retaliation for her activism on behalf of indigenous peasants and against the logging of the rainforest. However, I suppose there's good news in this story: it was not too long ago that planters in Southern and Central America would be able to readily get away with torture and murder. Now that two are in the dock for the murder of Sister Stang, maybe the tide is turning.

OK, I dare you, Pope Ratzo: proceed with canonizing Sister Dorothy Stang and Archbishop Oscar Romero with the kind of speed you are devoting to the causes of Mother Teresa and Pope John-Paul II. Do it. Show the world that the Catholic Church is still somewhat committed to social justice. We know you are committed to social conservatism. Social justice, Pope Ratzo. It's kind of one of the main themes of Jesus' words as recorded in the New Testament. Then again a lot of Protestants forget that stuff too. So convenient, picking and choosing which parts of the Bible are inerrant...

Friday, December 09, 2005

One last thing...I finally got a SOBER email with the scary looking payload.


Dear Sir/Madam,

we have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites.

Please answer our questions!
The list of questions are attached.

Yours faithfully,
Steven Allison

++++ Central Intelligence Agency -CIA-
++++ Office of Public Affairs
++++ Washington, D.C. 20505

++++ phone: (703) 482-0623
++++ 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., US Eastern time

Heh, I don't visit any so-called "illegal" websites, I don't do warez, and this isn't the CIA's bailiwick either.

This would be more likely the FBI's territory. But I can see how a person who hasn't basically screwed around with computers for 18 years would get freaked out by such a letter and click the attachment. Of course, if you do that in Windows you're so screwed, but heh, I'm on Linux so even if I wanted to "dissect" the attachment I'd probably be safe.

Oh well, back to the salt mines...

The dream is over, and has been for 25 years.

Here I am, trying to get it together enough to finish this godawful writing task I have to accomplish for Family Systems, and I'm thinking about John Lennon, Dimebag Darrell and RFK.

I don't remember watching the moon landing live, but I think I might have witnessed the RFK assassination live on the local TV news. I remember the news being on, and RFK making his speech. Then a horrible noise and a tussle. My mom cried out "OH MY GOD!" and began sobbing...she was a big RFK supporter and had voted for him in the primary that day. My dad, however, was nonplussed. His dog in the fight in '68 was Nixon. And he was never huge on public or even semi-public displays of grief.

Now I'm thinking about how I heard about Jim Morrison being found dead in Paris 3 years later. I was on a summer camp schoolbus with my trusty transistor radio. They were playing "Riders On The Storm" on Boss Radio 93 KHJ. It was raining that day, so the song really affected was actually creeping me out. We were in the middle of a storm in Agoura, and Jim Morrison is singing about a storm and a killer on the road. Is that killer anywhere close by? Would the bus driver pick him up? Were we all going to die? I really allowed my mind to run away with me. What do you expect? I was 7 years old.

Anyway, after the song faded out, I think it was Machine Gun Kelly who said "We've just received word from Associated Press that Jim Morrison was found dead today in his Paris hotel room. I repeat, Jim Morrison is dead." Incredibly vivid memory. The killer on the road was nowhere near Agoura, California that day...he was in Paris to steal Jim Morrison's last beer-perfumed breath.

I think there isn't a coincidence that Reagan was President-elect when John Lennon was shot. I remember how bummed I was that Reagan beat Carter, who in spite of being a soul perhaps a bit too gentle to hold the office of President of the United States was not necessarily the worst President we had. I couldn't vote this time. I was too young. My first Presidential election would be 1984. I would reach my 18th birthday in a year.

Anyway, I was in a foul mood already that night. I was watching stupid television after a stupid fight between my mother and me over her stupid boyfriend. I was sitting there alone in the house when I channel-surfed over to the football game. Just in time to hear Howard Cosell announce the death of John Winston Ono Lennon. You made my night, Howie. Thanks for making my evening complete.

Update 10:22: Wow, that was certainly an unfinished post that makes me sound awfully petulant and blaming Howard Cosell for my misery of that night. No, I don't believe in shooting the messenger. Let me continue. Anyway, the announcement of the horrible news was the cherry atop one of the worst days of my life. I was walking around like a zombie for days after that. Why couldn't someone else other than Lennon bite it at that point?

However, what I'm saying here is that Lennon was making a big comeback at the same time Ronald Reagan was getting ready to assume control of the United States. It is not tinfoil hat territory to say that Lennon was already under FBI surveillance and there were people in our government who viewed him as a threat. It wouldn't be a very long stretch to assume Reagan would be one of those people who would think that way.

And of course George Herbert Walker Bush, former CIA chief, was his VP. I would imagine it wouldn't be a very long stretch to assume Bush The Elder would have independently regarded Lennon as a threat as well, but that's not necessary in this tinfoil encased scenario. Reagan was President-elect, Bush The Elder was Veep-elect. If Reagan said "frog" Bush would jump, that's the way stuff like that goes. get the idea. Like I said, it's pure tinfoil and conspiracy gobbledygook. However, it's also one of those "things that make you go hmmm."

Wrapping this up: Dimebag Darrell was shot on the same day as John Lennon, 24 years apart. In a way it was even more disturbing of an incident because the bastard who shot Dimebag actually shot him on stage. My husband is a musician. Being on a stage, the focus of attention, is actually a very precarious place. If someone wants to turn your performance into the finale of Phantom Of The Paradise, it would be quite easy for them once they got their weapon of choice past security. Certainly at Corporate Rock events where everyone is wanded and patted down that's not going to happen.

But at a little hole-in-the-wall club? Dear Goddess, that's vulnerability. Ever since Dimebag bit it, when Richie has to go play an out-of-town gig I'm not comfortable at all about it. To a lesser extent, local gigs are sources of anxiety too. It was a horrible incident. Not epochal like Lennon, but horrible nonetheless. Here were my thoughts on that day. Look towards the end of the post.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Another post that is not for the kiddies...avert your eyes if you're under 18...

(Originally posted at Daily Kos, a site I might be bailing on soon. The reasons for my exodus will be made clear when you read this.)

Fatty fat fat fat!!!!

Well, my "friends" here on Daily Kos, you have shown yourself for who you are. You are bigots.

That's right. Bigots.

Bigotry against big folks is the last acceptable bigotry there is. It's not acceptable to be racist or sexist or heterosexist or classist (well, I guess that's still acceptable too) or anti-Semitic. Hell, it's not even acceptable anymore to be anti Born-Again Christian Nutjob because they'll pound you into the ground with their big black leather-bound Scofield King James Bible with extra Study Helps if you don't wish them "Merry Christmas" this time of the year!

However, it's just fine to talk about how "gross" the big person walking down the street is, and indulge in all matter of schadenfreude because THEY AREN'T YOU. It's just hunky-dory to say "Get off your ass, set down the remote, drop the Cheesy Poofs and go take a jog."

What if that person has Lupus and is taking Steroids to stave off their overactive immune system eating them alive, and they balloon up in weight because of it? What if that person has brain abnormalities? What if that person is on an anti-depressant or anti-psychotic which has as a side effect weight gain? What if they have a metabolism best suited to their starving ancestors running from the pogroms in Eastern Europe, not to this land of plenty?

My mother died of colon cancer 12 years ago almost to the day. She was a chubby teenager thanks to her slow Eastern European metabolism. To lose weight she adopted a number of unhealthy lifestyle changes. She took up smoking. She abused laxatives. She dieted like a fiend.

In fact, she spoke with a tone of great moral superiority at the fact she was eating the "diet plate" at the hospital after giving birth to me when the women around her were eating chocolate cake and Lobster Thermidor.

Every time my mother would look in the mirror, she'd not see what she really looked like. She was skinny as a freakin' model by the time I was teenage, and she would always give me shit about "letting myself go." She saw the overweight Enid she was in High School, not the glamourous but underweight Enid she was now. I saw the kind of shit she put herself through, and I made the decision to never, never, be like her.

OK, I'm above my ideal weight. Thankfully I have a husband who doesn't mind and is more interested in me as a human being than me as a clothing size. I'm fucking 42 years old. I'm over all that shit. If I don't live to 100, no big deal. I want to enjoy my life now and I don't care what the fuck any of y'all think of it.

Bulimia, Anorexia, Exercise addiction, abusing amphetamines, crank and cocaine, abusing laxatives, binging and purging, those are epidemic among our girls and young women. We are losing young women to this every day. It's bullshit. And don't tell me it's not a feminist issue, it's a health issue: the waif-like look is only appreciated in men by other men who have a thing for goth dudes. Men can be big and be sex symbols. But as far as women go: No Fat Chicks.

For those of you who have gotten past the size thing, this rant is not directed against you. But for what seems to me to be the vast majority of pie-fighting, fratboy attitude having Kossacks here on this thread: Kiss my big fat white ass. Fuck y'all. You are BIGOTS. Can you dig it?

PS: With regard to my comment that men can be big and be sex symbols: how many gay guys are looking for "Bear" men? Lots of 'em, more proportionately in gay circles than those who are "chubby chasers" in heterosexual circles. Male middle-age spread is laughed off, there is a flavor of Ben & Jerry's ice cream called "Chubby Hubby." Luther Vandross was a sex symbol, as was Barry White, and both were plus-size men.

But Goddess forbid a woman gain an ounce. Whenever a female celebrity has a baby, the big topic is "will she lose the baby fat?" Never mind there is an evolutionary reason for "baby fat"'s to allow for lactation without endangering the mother. No, she has to start working out with a trainer the day after she drops the kid, because nobody wants to end up like Kirstie Alley. Me, I shudder more at Kirstie Alley's willingness to be made a buffoon and her continued bondage to the Church of Scientology Death Cult than her weight. She didn't look half bad big.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pop! goes the housing bubble...

The Anderson Forecast, an economic report generated at UCLA, says that the economy could hemmorhage 800,000 jobs and send us into a recession next year, just in time for the Midterm Elections. That housing bubble that everyone's afraid will pop seems to actually be starting to pop according to the current quarterly Anderson Forecast.

Predigested version available at Yahoo, thanks to Associated Press.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

OK, I got my licks in on my Math Prof. Thankfully every Prof here at Woodbury has to submit to student evaluations. Whether you have Tenure or not, you are accountable. So I let him have it. Hopefully he'll be taken aside and told that "maybe working at three other Colleges is acceptable at Valley, Pierce or CSUN, but not here at Woodbury." He's shortchanging everyone, at every school he teaches at.

Other than that, things are winding down nicely. Hopefully I'll get out of here tonight on the early side. I have three more papers and a Final Exam, all for one class, Family Systems. Then there's the stuff I have to do for Math 149. shudder...

I also ironed out a wrinkle in my schedule. It will mean I have a class on Sundays 1-5, but that's OK. It means my nights are free for SFVLUG and the Panorama City Neighborhood Council (Forming.) And I can tell people I'm now regularly attending Sunday School. ;-)

Monday, December 05, 2005


And I mean that in the Yiddishe sense, not the British or Aussie sense.

1.) Blogspot went down in flames today and nobody's made any official comment as to why it happened. Blogger's own servers were still up, but the cluster devoted to Blogspot became a cluster...well, you know the rest. I'm kind of burnt out on dropping f-bombs right now after the last outburst here below.

2.) Jackie Mason should know better, but he appeared on O'Reilly bellyaching about the "War on Christmas." As a Jew he should be more interested in the covert anti-Semitism under the "We love Israel, we love the Jews" rhetoric of the Christian Right. Let's get real, landsmon. They love Israel and the Jews only because Israel and the Jews fit in the pre-Millenialist interpretation of the Book of Revelation. There has to be 144,000 Jews who convert and become evangelists for Christianity for their whole "Tribulation" scenario to work. No Jews, no Second Coming, according to their logic. Of course after this all happens it's back to "Convert or burn in Hell!" the same message the Crusaders gave the Middle Eastern remnant of Jewry, and the same message the Cossacks gave to my ancestors in Ukraine. Just like George Bush doesn't care about Black people, he really doesn't care about Jews either.

I think I understand now why my dad decided, on my 8th December, to get rid of the Chanukah Bush. Chanukah actually is a very minor Jewish holiday. The "great miracle" of Chanukah doesn't even merit a mention in the TaNaCh, the Hebrew Scriptures. I and II Maccabees is only found in Catholic versions of the Christian Bible, because neither the Jews who put together the Septuagint translation of the TaNaCh from Hebrew to Greek nor the people who put together the English Bible for King James I of England considered it a canonical book. The book is in the odd nether-region of "Apocrypha" for Catholics as well, considered interesting but questionable. However, Jews in the US inflated Chanukah into a major gift-giving holiday (something traditional Judaism never had, btw) to compete with the blitz that is Secular Christmas here. Since the rest of the world, except for Israel, ironically, has followed the US lead and celebrated the "Gimme Gimme" Season, the inflated Chanukah has also followed in places where there is a sizeable Jewish minority, like, for example, the UK.

3.) To put a cherry atop this whole sundae of "things that make you go Oy," I know it's been blogged to death by now but the Kansas University Prof who had the temerity to attempt to teach a course in "Intelligent Design as Mythology" (the course was cancelled) was beat up early this morning by two thugs. This makes me want to freakin' scream and break things. I hope these thugs are found and pay dearly for this.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Note: this rant has been stickered with an "Parental Warning: Explicit lyrics" label. Cover little Johnny and Missy's eyes and hit the back button, this ain't for the kiddies...

Sing along with me folks...Wal*Mart don't like Black people...Wal*Mart don't like Black people...

Click the first link to find out about the latest Wal*Mart atrocity. Then click the other link to download some mood music from The Legendary KO to listen to while you read this piece.

Anyway, this is the reason why I fucking hate fucking Wally*World. I haven't seen this happen at the Paranoia City Wally*World...yet. However, I have been keeping away from the place and don't go in unless it's an emergency. Wally*World is ironically the only place of its kind, what they used to call "department stores," within a few blocks of home. I don't have a KMart nearby. I don't have a Target nearby. I don't have a Costco nearby. There's a Rite Aid Drugs but it's a fucking ripoff for most stuff, although it sure was nice getting three 32MB Compact Flash cards for my ancient digital camera for $10 on Thanksgiving Weekend. (Not Friday, I actually did Buy Nothing that day.)

I mean, yeah, this happened in fucking Florida, one of the reddest red states of all. A state where, if you are Black and you get stopped by fucking cops you'd better say yessuh, nossuh or you get a billy club up your ass. (Then again that happens here in LA too.) But dig it: You have a well dressed, clean cut guy who just happens to be Black, guy wearing a polo shirt and chinos, you could not mistake the guy for a gangbanger, coming in with GAF company ID and a GAF company check to buy Wal*Mart GIFT CARDS for gifts. I am so sure someone's going to buy a whole mess of GIFT CARDS with a forged check. Gift cards have to be authorized and activated at the register, the serial number on the mag stripe is registered...christ WHAT IDIOT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS SHIT??? If this had been someone who was truly boosting merchandise, wouldn't they buy LAPTOPS??? (That was supposed to be a current events reference, folks)

I mean, this is beyond just being racist, this is anencephaly in action. Wal*Mart sucks. Deh deh DEFINITELY sucks.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Daily Kos did not get DOSed. Their server move which was supposed to be a breeze turned out to be a little bit more of a problem than their techie guys anticipated.

In other news, it looks like USC is blowing out, but at least not blanking UCLA. I am not watching the game but USC is up now at 59, UCLA 6. Not even a Point After, Bruins? Sheesh. I think I understand why the Blue and Gold are rolling over and showing their bellies: if they actually had the temerity to *beat* USC this time they would be the spoilers, the killjoys, the guys who kept USC out of the Rose Bowl and insured they wouldn't repeat as BCS champs.

Still, I hope there isn't a goddamn riot in University Park after the game. I remember the times the Lakers won the championship and people went from partying in the streets to rioting in the streets. That shit is OLD. But it happens all the time, and not just here in LA. :P

Friday, December 02, 2005

Is Daily Kos under a Denial of Service attack? I can't get in to save my bloody life. The hosting provider for Kos seems still to be up and running, but Kos itself is completely down. Is this an innocent problem or is this a deliberate winger assault? Time will tell, I guess.

Post #601 on the air. Well, on the blog at least.

Anyway, I'm just hanging out. I have a few papers to do, but I'm not feeling up to it just now. I just got finished doing a couple of encodes for Saccharine Trust, and burning a CDDA CD using the original .WAV files that I captured on my "daily drive" Linux box. I am totally in love with Audacity. It's easily equal to Sound Forge under Windows. I haven't used it for multitracking yet, but as a 2-channel mastering proggie it rocks. Now if only someone would write an ACID/Ableton Live kind of program for Linux my life would be complete.

Podcast stuffs: Wil Wheaton's podcast isn't half bad. Yeah, he's talking about himself. But it's good. We start The Cartoon Geeks next month, and I hope I can do as well with my segments as he does. Then again, he's a pro actor, and has been since his childhood. Me? I hate the sound of my own voice.

I think that Radio Free Burrito will probably be the only podcast other than This Week in Tech that I will be listening to regularly. The most recent Toonzone podcast is worth picking up because Jerry Freakin' Beck is on it, but other than that it kind of is...well...meh. Hopefully TCG will do a lot better than what they do. Maybe I could be accused of being catty, but seriously, it is about as exciting as watching the characters who haunt the comic book store in "MTV's Downtown" arguing about whether Yoda or Wolverine would win in a fight. Hopefully we'll do better. Hey, they *did* name-check Dr. Toon, one of my TCG buddies. Maybe I should go easy on them. Maybe. ;-)