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I Hate Linux

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Student Loan Solution: Brendan Grant Sex Tape?

Given the recent 'news' that former Saved by the Bell 'star' Dustin Diamond was/is going to release a sex video to help raise funds to save his house from foreclosure... I had an idea.

What if...

What if I were to film a sex tape of my own?

What if I were to hold the eyes of internet users hostage?

What if I threatened to release the video... that is of course unless… my student loans were to be paid off?

It's just so brilliant that it could work... of course I might just have to release some stills so as to give an idea of just how bad such a thing could and would be if I ever made such a thing and if it were to get out...

Yes... yes... it could just work...

Who would like to start the bidding?

Dakota State Homecomming Parade & Amendment 6

Good times had by all this morning, especially the Dosch-Man's daughter Shelby who ended up with a whole heck of a lot of candy... not that she cared, she was more interested in the mini-football, frisbee and ruler that she ended up with.

Rather the delve into the applause for the local National Guard unit that was out front, or talk about the Madison Volunteer Fire Department's brand spanking new fire truck, or even the librarians and their sadly all too common 'precision book cart squad'... a horrible little maneuver they've been doing at least since I first went to DSU back in '99.

What I found most interesting though... was the abortion debate supporters. Not 5 feet away from where I was sitting there was a man with a 'Vote Yes For Life' shirt on and it made me wonder... will we see detractors and supporters of our upcoming Referred Law 6 vote.

Interestingly enough... we did, one group from Vote Yes For Life and another from the Madison chapter of South Dakota Right To Life and even a few Republican candidates and/or their supporters who were marching on their own were wearing either stickers or shirts to show their support for 6... and yet, I did not see a single 'Vote No On 6' group... nor any visible supporters.

I am forced to wonder if I just missed them... or if they didn't come. If they chose not to come the bigger question in my mind is why?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pat Buchanan... My new hero

So I’m watching Monday night’s episode of the Daily Show and an interview with Pat Buchannan on the topic of his new book and immigration to which he said:

Look at the Indians... they had a liberal immigration, look what happend to them.

Another abortion survey

Just now I got an automated query from VoteYesForLife.com about how I will vote on South Dakota's Referred Law 6 (aka HB1215) (aka the one banning most abortions in South Dakota).

This then becomes... call #3 so far.

Can we hit 10 by November?

It's getting cold out

Every morning I take a quick moment to grab a scale and weigh myself in my entry way as it is the only place in my apartment with solid floors). Unfortunately this place is not insulated very well (ie some wood and glass) and it tends to be a little chilly standing there in my undies for a 5-10 seconds.

This morning was the first time this fall that it was truly unpleasant.

Ahh, welcome to fall!

The reason for the daily weigh-ins is to better track my progress on my weight loss campaign which some quick math indicates that since starting in May I’ve lost 12.9% of my starting body weight and have lost 28.9% of my goal.

Woot!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Weight Loss

Yesterday I had the pleasure (for the third time this summer/fall) to have a co-worker comment on my weight... which has been going down nicely for a little while now.

Quite good times... gotta love what smoking, crack and bulimia can do for ya! ... except for the whole clothes not fitting very well anymore thing and the me being too cheap to buy much more until I've got no choice.

The funny thing though is that a month ago while in Minneapolis I got a chatting with a friend's step-dad and while giving advice on this and that (at times it's hard to stop him), he got onto the subject of my weight and how great it'd be if I could lose a couple of lbs... on and on, several times I tried to jump in and said "Bill... please stop now, you are horribly insulting me and you don't know why" to which he would poo-poo it and keep going... until he finally let me get a word in and I told him that I'd already been working on it and had had some great success and quoted the number, which comes out to be a 12% reduction since I started.

One problem for me... is that being so hideously tall (6'4"), gaining or losing any amount of weight is virtually unnoticeable to anyone (including me). I include me as while I've been able to fit into some of my old (and much loved) shirts (stupid computer job, sitting on my rear for 3.25 years!!!), the pants haven't changed much... for now I just end up having to knock a hole in a belt or two and pulling it slightly tighter.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

pwn3d!

Shortly after getting out of bed this morning I hopped onto a website I do every morning (that is ad free), made a few clicks, entered a value and then was prompted by a notification from IE that a script being executed contained an error... “I didn’t know this page had any scripts... but I do trust them.”

Of course a moment later I realized my mistake as things such as System Doctor 2006 were forced onto my system.

Lucky for me though and my l33t skills... all was cleaned off (most by hand) in about 45 minutes... but not so l33t as to have prevented this in the first place

Sure... if I was running FireFox or Opera it may have been less likely to happen. This will however give me the last incentive I need to throw on IE7 RC1 at home, something I had been avoiding as my bank only recently started supporting it.

Unfortunate for me... this was the second time in 3 months that this spyware package had hit my system. How do I know this? Because this one, just like the last one left the same collection of VB6 applications in the root of my C: drive.

This experience does remind me though... I think am in the wrong industry. Sure digital television is fun and interesting... there has got to be oodles of money to be made in this illegitimate industry.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A call from South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families

So not minutes ago I got a phone call from a rather chipper sounding woman by the name of Kristine who was part of the Campaign for Healthy Families and after spending a quick moment listing off the reason that the South Dakota abortion ban is bad... and asked if they had my support to help overturn it in November.

My answer... "um... no" and without pausing to hear her reaction I continued...

Call me crazy... but I'm not too keen on a number of the... misrepresentations your side has been putting forth regarding this issue... granted I have no strong feelings either way, in fact I am of the opinion that both sides are fundamentally wrong... but that's neither here nor there. Worst case... the SD ban ends up before the Supreme Court, they say it can stay and turn abortion into a decision left to the states... as it should be. Not days later we would see a Planned Parenthood office in Levurne Minnesota, which frankly... really doesn't affect anyone in this state all that much as it's just 30 minute longer drive.


Through this... rant I heard a few 'OK's coming out of Kristine but never gave her an opportunity to end the convo... when I had finally finished my short speech she said in a rather tired voice, "well, thank you for your time."

A few months ago I had another call on this issue from an 'independent' polling company that asked some rather cleverly worded questions about ones views on the ban and how they *might* vote if such a ban were ever to be legislated or put up on a ballot.

This being my second call I'm forced to wonder how many more I might end up with by the November. I will say though that if I don't hear from the pro-ban side... I'll be kinda let down.

Friday, September 15, 2006

YANS: constancevera02

I really should think about joining them in their scam... if nothing else, I could pay off my student loans a little faster.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

20/20 Baby!

Coming from a family where most wear glasses or contacts I have been fortunate over the years that I never saw the need to go into see an optometrist with a any concerns over my ability to see properly and because of that havent had my eyes properly checked in at least 15 years aside from the basic check as part of renewing ones drivers license.

At long last though yesterday I went into see one as I figured I was well past due and wanted to make sure that I could still see as well as I thought I could.

Sure enough, I got a clean bill of health with 20/20 vision and only a very slight stigmatism in the left eye... oh well.

Heres hoping I can make it another 15 years without the need for another visit or glasses of some sort... however I figure that Ill wont wait as long to see one again.

Last fall we had a health screening as part of the new insurance plan that my company went to and I was surprised that they didnt have any vision or hearing tests similar to what many of us remember from elementary school.

Granted not all I suggested it to thought it important, I figured that itd be useful to know if I can see and hear well so that when I dont do what my manager asks of me we can know if Im just lazy, ignoring him or just cant hear him.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Gotta love a disgruntled seller

A month back after purchasing a port replicator for my Gateway M275 laptop and finding it to be defective I contacted the seller and never got a response.

After seeing that the seller had taken their feedback private I filed a dispute with PayPal over the 20 some dollars I was out and once again... never heard a word back from the seller. After waiting a week I escalated the dispute to PayPal to decide as the seller had in my eyes refused to try to handle the issue amicably.

Another week went by and again he never responded and as a result PayPal ruled in my favor and refunded the money to me from him.

Youd think thatd be it... oh no. Not six hours later the seller filed an unpaid item dispute through eBay claiming that I had not yet paid for the item... a laughable charge considering the auction ended nearly a monthago and I received the item in question a week later.

A quick set of transaction and case numbers later and the seller dropped the issue. Here is hoping though that he doesnt give me negative feedback for his refusal to communicate.

Vacation over

And today marks the worst part of any vacation... it ending and returning to what it was a vacation from. Grrr.

On the plus side though my diet can better resume, it sort had some issues over the last week when Id be always on the run and having many meals out. I am happy to say that I did not lose any of my losses... errr... suffer any gains during that time but instead maintained... overall.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mixed feelings on Minnesota smoking prohibition

I'm struggling a bit here in Minnesota where there is a relatively new law that I vehemently disagree with in principal... and yet I rather enjoy one of the side effects.

What is that? Smoking in restaurants.

Tuesday night while at Benigans my friend asked the waitress for a cigarette which she was more than willing to give and after a few more games of chess he asked if he could get an ash tray and a lighter to which he was told that he couldn't smoke there.

We were both a little shocked and not sure of the extent of the prohibition.

Back in South Dakota we've got a ban that prohibits in most public places that do not have a liquor license... here, the socialists went one better.

A few days ago my buddy and an old schoolmate of his went to a bar in uptown and played some pool there for a few hours and an hour in I realized something... the place didn't stink, there wasn't the reek of smoke and the cloud of haze above from countless smokers.

Don't get me wrong... I think smokers are god damn idiots and despise the smell of their dirty deeds... at the same time though I support their right to do it and to do it where they choose and if I do not like it... I too am free to choose not to go to places where they are.

This creates a momentary quandary for me... on one hand I like the effects of the law while on the other I am against such government intrusions into the lives of people and businesses.

I say that this is only a momentary quandary as I am firmly on the side of the businesses and dare I say it... the smokers to. Once again the Minnesota socialists have gone too far and dared to interfere with the daily lives and businesses of otherwise law abiding citizens.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Compulsory Kindness

Minnesota is known for its socialist leanings and as such many of the people I grew up knowing have similar beliefs.

Tuesday night I had dinner with a friend and his mom at the Tea House, a wonderful Chinese restaurant with Sesame Beef that is to die for (should I ever end up on death row (here’s hoping I made it worth it) I want Sesame Beef for my last meal) and while there we got into some political discussions and had my friends mom on the side that we should all try to be nice... which I agreed with for the most part however did push my opinion that compulsory kindness is neither kind or appropriate.

Being the nutty Libertarian I am I’ll argue that the government has little business in propping up people who are unwilling or unable to provide for themselves and instead leave such welfare to the private sector and private donations... instead of using compulsory taxes in order to pay for such social programs.

My friends posed a rather pointed question... which world would I prefer to live in... mine where people do for themselves or hers where people help each other out.

While I’m all for voluntarily helping other people out I felt that her wording of her world was too vague and instead picked mine... at which point she said “Fine... then you can pay for your own dinner,” going back on her earlier comment to pick up the tab for the three of us.
I didn’t mind in the slightest as I had gone in expecting to pay for myself and replied, “That’s just fine, no one is forcing you to do such a thing... but I out of the kindness of my heart will take care of the tip (something I am generally against) and not charge you cab fare for the ride back to your house (I was driving).”

All in all I would say that I did drive my point home and eventually proved them... even though they did not quite agree with me.

That’s ok though... here’s hoping they eventually see the light on issues such as these.

Even if that takes a while, I was thrilled to see that my pitch for the FairTax went over quite well and both seemed to love the idea.

Sirens at the Zoo

Today marked an interesting day as a buddy of mine, his mom and I all went to the Minnesota zoo to see the sights and see things that none of us had seen there in well over 10 years.

While out and about on one of the outdoor paths we heard this strange noise, almost a siren but also sounding something like an engine whine that is oscillating in a very bad sounding way... we looked into the sky and there was a commercial jet aircraft flying over head on it’s way to Twin Cities International Airport and we all agreed that the noise seemed to be coming from that general direction... so we stopped and watched and hoped that we didn’t see the plane explode in mid-air due to engine problems.

After waiting a couple of minutes it left our field of view behind some trees (while still at a decent altitude) and we walked on.

About 5 minutes later we came across a zoo volunteer and we asked her about the noise and were told that it was the emergency sirens that are tested on the first Wednesday of the month.

Ooooooh!

All three of us grew up around these parts and now with me living in South Dakota and hearing such things at the end of the month and my buddy living in Arizona, we’ve both become quite de-acclimated to the strange socialist world that is Minnesota.

Monday Brendan... you’ll be going home on Monday... you can make it that long.

That reminds me... I still need to blog about my (declared) victory in an argument on compulsory kindness that I had Tuesday night and because of which I ended up 'having' to buy my own dinner.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Slightly Smarter Minnesota Law Enforcement

Following up on my gripe about Minnesota cops from a month ago, today while driving down Highway 100 here in the twin cities (where I am on ‘vacation’ for a week) I passed by a Robbinsdale police car off to the side of the road with its lights on and a car in front of it... something I did not give much of a thought to as it is not an uncommon sight here.

Not a mile later I saw another two cars pulled off to the side of the road (this time on the middle side) and the car in the rear was obviously the same sort of police car as I had seen previously.

Upon getting closer though much to my amazement I saw both cars with in fact police cars with two officers standing off to the side of the rear one clocking cars.

Freaking Brilliant!

What better way to surreptitiously clock motorists driving by than to hide in plane sight and in a manor many drivers are accustomed to seeing... the look of some poor bastard who got caught doing something he shouldn’t have.

As cool as this was though, I still think one of the best moves I’ve seen is from the South Dakota Highway Patrol where you would find two of them standing on an overpass (one for each lane) clocking cars as they’d come back and then radio to the line of waiting cars on the onramp which car to go after and how fast they were going.

They do this from time to time and it’s kind of entertaining to see because the cars do not wait in line long before heading back out to the road... shame Janklow doesn’t drive much these days.

Cooper High School: 6 years since graduation

While in the twin cities this week I decided to stop by Cooper High School in New Hope Minnesota where I had the displeasure to spend much of my HS career. My intent was to see an old teacher who I had always thought highly of and eventually did so... but this post isn’t about that... the next one is.

I did not exactly have a good time while at Cooper... in fact I hated it, miserably so and nearly every day getting out of bed I dreaded the day ahead... and while there today I remembered some of those reasons.

While waiting in the main entrance area for the day to end so that I could enter I stood behind a series of security doors and listened to and watch some of the kids (despite being in their teens, ‘infants’ might be a better term) and see what those sorts of kids are like today.

Oh My God! I’m sooooo hungry... I want some mac and cheese... I’m sooooo hungry, oh my god... ooooooooh, I want some mac and cheese.

That phrase line was repeated several times from a girl who looked 15, all the while clutching her stomach.

Also while waiting I saw numerious kids walk buy, each with an attempted swagger and their shorts hanging down quite far.

I thought I remember sagging going away in the late 90’s... I guess it has come back.

It was also entertaining to see how many guys both big and small thought they were real bad asses and tough when coming across people bigger or more intimidating than them... which is odd because not one of those kids ever looked at me and I look like some crazy mountain man who’d kill ya if you even think about cutting across my lawn.

After getting past the security doors things got even worse because just as I reached the middle of the lobby area a huge rush of kids came flooding out... and rather than being somewhat intelligent in terms of their directions they were constantly zigzagging back and forth (while still headed in the same general direction) which forced me to start dancing all around to not run over anyone and still make forward progress.

Finally after making my way past the throngs of poorly behaved and quite loud children I made it to the third floor where I saw what appeared to be a hall monitor not even give me a second look while walking to one of the wings.

Given the sort of security they’ve installed at the front door (magnetically sealed inner doors, attendant behind glass with two LCD monitors with ~24 video feeds each, name badges, sign in paper, etc)... I was surprised how lax things were just 5 minutes after the final bell.

It was interesting to be walking those halls again after so long. The last time I spent any time there was in the spring of 1999 while I was a ‘senior’ there and didn’t care a wet-slap about high school any more and due to not caring since ‘junior’ year I did not graduate. Instead a week after my class graduated I went in and took the GED test and even ended up arguing with the proctor over the accuracy of a question (which I have verified since that I was right on).

While there I had the traditional interest in the changes to the building, a more open lobby area, banners hanging down, new and freshly painted lockers, new walkways outside... and still so many things were the same. The same tacky floor that is nearly indestructible (and still looking quite good), the same tiles and railings in the different stairwells, the same poorly maintained classrooms while the administrative offices looked better than those of the owners of the company I work for.

While there I even passed a few teacher who I had remembered and that added to the experience of reminding me why I hated the place so and why I was so glad to be rid of it, but then I was only there for once reason... to see Mr. Stewart, something I’ll post about a little later.