October 2005 Archives
nano starts tomorrow, so what better to post about than books?
When a book makes the Time 100 Best novels from 1923 to the present, it’s pretty much made it. Obviously some people disagree, and Matthew Baldwin at the morning news compiled a list of reviews from amazon that gave those books only ONE out of FIVE stars. Makes me wonder if I was reading the same book as these reviewers.
Author: John Steinbeck
“While the story did have a great moral to go along with it, it was about dirt! Dirt and migrating. Dirt and migrating and more dirt.”
Lord of the Flies (1955)
Author: William Golding
“I am obsessed with Survivor, so I thought it would be fun. WRONG!!! It is incredibly boring and disgusting. I was very much disturbed when I found young children killing each other. I think that anyone with a conscience would agree with me.”
The Sun Also Rises (1926)
Author: Ernest Hemingway
“Here’s the first half of the book: We had dinner and a few drinks. We went to a cafe and talked and had some drinks. We ate dinner and had a few drinks. Dinner. Drinks. More dinner. More drinks. We took a cab here (or there) in Paris and had some drinks, and maybe we danced and flirted and talked sh*t about somebody. More dinner. More drinks. I love you, I hate you, maybe you should come up to my room, no you can’t. “I flipped through the second half of the book a day or two later and saw the words dinner and drinks on nearly every page and figured it wasn’t worth the risk.”
Clocks in many countries change today. In the Northern Hemisphere the clocks turn back an hour — it’s 02.59.59 then it becomes 02.00.00. In the Southern Hemisphere the clocks advance an hour.
No change here. But it means I’m even further away from people at the other side of the world, makes me feel even more isolated.
Woke up before lunch, both of us, that’s pretty unusual. I was online and watching Discovery Travel & Living, she was watching her Korean drama. She made toast which made us kinda full, so we decided to stay home till later. Went for tea buffet at the excelsior — salad, sushi, canapes, plenty of hot dishes, dim sum, fruit, waffles, ice cream, muffins, bead pudding, red bean soup, sweet tofu. My credit card had 20% off too, we were stuffed.
Walked around the nearby malls. Went to the computer place to look for an iPod FM transmitter, so we can take one iPod to NZ and not have to worry about what’s on their radio, or spend time burning CDs. There are ways to link iPods to car radios, but for rentals the best options are the FM transmitter or the cassette adaptor.
We’ve narrowed it down to the Belkin Tunecast II or Griffin iTrip. Since our trip isn’t till December, we’re waiting a few weeks in case something new comes on the market for Christmas. Same for my new camera purchase too, I’m waiting till I come back from India.
Strolled around HMV, saw some new dvd sets I want to buy, but didn’t want to carry around. I’ll go back later.
The main activity tonight was going to see Corpse Bride. She saw the poster last week, and thought it’d be interesting. It was surprisingly good. It was definitely better than I expected — the story, the animation and the songs! I didn’t know they’d break into occasion songs and it was wonderful. I told her the rating is PG and at first she thought it can’t be, but it is. None of the dead people are remotely scary, heehee. I didn’t notice though, too busy having fun with the music.
Last Thursday my boss said to me, “ooops, we have to organize the month end drinks, it’s our turn.” Oh great, us again. First, talk to the people at corporate services, they were helpful but constantly wanting to shift the decision-making elsewhere. Man, they do this every month, why do they need to ask every time?
Decide on a theme. Get in touch with caterers. Agree on menu. Get decorations. Talk to Communications. Keep within the $2,500 budget.
And then the smaller things like “do you need warmers?” “just want to know we’re not ordering ice because the beer already comes to us chilled, but towards the end of the event, they’ll get cold.” “how would you want us to set the food up on the table?” “do the caterers have large serving spoons?” And then everyone asks “what is the menu like?”, worse, they all have an opinion. I got seriously pissed off, cos 1) people who aren’t helping should shut up cos their suggestions are not helpful; 2) use common sense and don’t expect me to give minute instructions because 3) this is not my full time job.
I even designed the artwork that goes out with the email communication. Theme is Halloween, but I didn’t want to use the traditional ghosts and pumpkin look, want something sleeker. So I nicked the Wicked poster. The font is Dracula from dafont.
Top 100 Toys, as remembered by the people at TV Cream. Decidedly British focus, and I remember them soooo well.
Among the entries:
#93. Rubik's cube -- I have a cheat sheet which I followed, but I never got to solving it on my own. And I thought I was good at puzzles.
#90. Mastermind -- no, not the Magnus Magnusson show, which was damned hard. A deceptively simple guessing game that can be played in silence. It's great.
#69. Twister -- amazing that it's still played. Yay.
#66. Downfall -- yes, I can see that box, still in my parent's house.
#47. Operation -- teehee, who can forget "butterflies in stomach", snerk.
#43. Slime -- if ever there was a definition of my childhood, it's this viscous mixture of latex, wallpaper paste and food colouring. Man it was fun, it crackled, there were bubbles. But who can forget when it got filthy and dried out eventually.
#40. Game & watch -- before Gameboys, before PSPs, there were the donkey kongs on these credit sized tiny devices. Had loads of them, I wonder where they are now?
#32. Tiny tears -- hate it, my question is, what is her left hand doing? Hmm.
And finally, the top three, and how boring:
#3. Action Man
#2. A computer
#1. A bike
Now wait a minute, where is the Lego? Where is Monopoly?
I keep feeling “trapped” today. From the moment I got on the bus this morning, to even now, as I’m writing this. I don’t know what by — location, job, home, boredom — it’s more of a general feeling that I need to get out of …. somewhere and something. It’s probaby temporary, although it may be the manifestation of accumulated resentment. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll be feeling “floaty”, how do I know.
This is an entry into a teenage furniture competition, called MyRoom, which its Belgian designer says “integrates an inflatable lightweight nylon-fabric room, a PE air mattress and a polyester storage bag into a mobile privacy cocoon.” The combination weighs only 2.6kg and inflates from bag to full size in 3 minutes. There is room for small personal, but indespensable, items like iPod, flash drive and, um, toys-that-need-to-be-hidden-away — these just stay inside the package when deflated. Perfect for sleepovers and to create a private space anywhere you want. It’s like camping in luxury, indoors. I think adults can benefit from it too, I’d love to escape into it and not get bothered by the outside world.
From salon. You may need to click through a few screens of ads to get to the main page but right now it's two pages of an absolutely stunning Audi TT, so it's tolerable, even for me. Heh.
Michelle Duggar has been pregnant for 10 and a half years in her life, and she's only 39. On October 11, she gave birth to her 16th child, Johanna, to add to the big family (children aged 1-17, including two sets of twins). All children have names beginning with J, and even dad Jim Bob Duggar, who is a politician in Arkansas considering running for the Senate for the second time. Poor Mrs Duggar, the only non-J in the family.
The family website gives a clue to their daily life and their way of life. They run the family unit with a sort of group cooperative system -- older children are buddies to the younger ones and lead their "team" in household chores in their "jurisdiction". Individuals are assigned for cooking the big meals needed every day. Clothes are kept in one central family closet and doing laundry is an operation by itself. They also wear matching colors to make laundry easier and accessories are simple -- girls wear white socks and boys black. [**I resent that, cos I like black socks.**]
The current family home is 2,400 sq ft with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 washers and 3 dryers. They are building a new 7,000 sq ft home with a 2,000 sq ft living room and dorm rooms for the children. They will have a restaurant quality kitchen, activity rooms, and wait for this ... 10 bathrooms, 4 washers and 8 dryers.
All the children are home schooled, with Bible lessons taking up a larger portion of the curriculum in an ordinary school. Their day starts and ends with Bible reading. One of the links on their website is for quiverfull.com, an organization for families "who eagerly accept their children as blessings from God, and eschew birth control, natural family planning and sterilization."
That? Or the parental Duggars are two very horny people. Oh I'm bad.
A surprisingly addictive hangman game for Halloween. It’s pretty easy and another good excuse to not go to bed. The smartass comments get on my nerves after a while, finally it was the non stop music that bored me. Fun ending though, I went “good riddance!” when the skeleton got hanged.
Last week it was ultra modern shelves with pull out chair and table. This week I came across some shelves that give haphazard new meaning. The piece is called Broken Shelf and it’s even weirder than the other ones. According to the designer it’s “a more natural way of shelving books.”
The broken shelves actually provide support for taller books and nothing falls out. There’s even space to put a human inside. What is it with providing seating with shelves nowadays? Must admit, will filled with books, doesn’t look so odd, though I think a more traditional shelf can hold more.
I hardly ever write about people in the media or gossip or stuff like that, mainly cos I’m always behind, and I’m not that interested in these people at all. I mean, I’m not even that interested in my own friends colleagues.
That said, I have to report on this article in reuters.
Jodie Foster opened Flightplan, which has grossed $72.5m in the US alone since it opened there on 23 Sept. Nowadays, Jodie Foster and Julia Roberts seem to be the only women actors who can open a film consistently. The article says,
She has built her stardom not on her looks but on her brand identity. Audiences actually believe that when she’s in a movie, it will be good. That’s because she rarely lets them down.
She is smart, flies under the radar and her name means quality, because you feel that she has given a lot of thought into the roles she accepts. It’s interesting to note that the role in Flightplan was originally intended for Denzel Washington or Sean Penn, another two actors with the same depth and thoughtfulness as Foster. But a true testament of her ability that she can carry an action film the same way as two male stars.
We went to see it tonight. The atmosphere builds up, and it makes itself out to be scarier than it actually is. I kept having to remind myself it’s PG-13 so I didn’t get too tense. It’s basically a good thriller with a simple plot but intense acting. The plane setting is claustrophobic and you can’t help believing what the captain and crew thinks — how can a little girl be lost in an enclosed space? Their suspicion that they have a hysterical delusional woman is very realistic.
The cabin interior is the most realistic I’ve seen in a film, even though it’s still too glamorous. I love the “underside” of the plane, the small shiny spaces accessible via hidden panels in the ceiling or behind the food cart. A little unbelievable, there’s simply too much space. The computer room looks a little like 2001, I don’t think the servers are arranged in a circular pattern, I expect them to be just lined up in a boring way.
But no one goes to see the massive double-decker plane, the sleek underparts, the plot or even the dashing captain (good stuff by Sean Bean btw). The sole purpose, at least for me, of getting out of the house and facing off crowds of people, is Jodie Foster. She carries the film, and looks sooo good. Her acting is understated, teetering on the edge of despair without being overly dramatic; smart without being Mary Sue about it; brave but flawed. Attention inevitably turns to her every time she’s on screen. Can I say she’s hot too? Like I really want her to give me attention type of hot. Her face, her eyes, the turn of the mouth, the fitness level … just right.
The ending was a little clichéd and rushed, but there are some nice touches too. Can’t complain, I sat through an hour and a half of a very satisfying film. For a change, I wasn’t spoiled and I’m glad.
From washington post.
I hope that within my lifetime the idea of free, accessible wifi anywhere I go in the world will become reality. The technology is, or will shortly be, here. It’s businesses and governments (profits and politics) that are the real stumbling blocks.
So it’s interesting to read about a 700 square mile hotspot in the middle of nowhere, aka Hermiston, Oregon. Never heard of it? Nope, me neither. Looking at the satellite map on google, I’m thinking to myself “are there even buildings there?” A little digging reveals some more info:
- Hermiston is located in the northwest corner of Umatilla County in Northwest Oregon. It is centrally located between the major cities of the Pacific Northwest. The city is 185 miles east of Portland, 183 miles southwest of Spokane, and 260 miles northwest of Boise. Hermiston is easily accessed by Interstate I-84, east and west, and I-82, north and south.
- Population - 14,540
- Major industries - Agriculture, food processing, wood products
- Precipitation - 9.060 inches
So, desert country, not much going for it apart from cows and processed cows. But this entrepreneur Fred Ziari spent $5m and built a wifi cloud. The initial purpose is for the local officials to pass information quickly amongst themselves. The desert area around the town happens to be the home of one of the nation’s largest stockpiles of Cold War-era chemical weapons and officials needed to devise an emergency evacuation plan for the accidental release of nerve and mustard agents.
Now, officials in the three counties surrounding the depot are equipped with laptop computers that are wifi ready and set up to detail the size and direction of a potential chemical leak, enabling them to initiate an evacuation quickly. Traffic lights and billboards can also be controlled remotely over the wireless network.
A side benefit is that the service is free to the public, since the local government and companies foot the bill. Apart from emergency evacuation plans, the local officials also use the network for more daily tasks.
“Internet service is only a small part of it. The same wireless system is used for surveillance, for intelligent traffic system, for intelligent transportation, for telemedicine and for distance education,” said Ziari.
With local backing, and location remote enough to fly under the radar of the big telcos, sounds like the idea has worked very well.
Well, my friend Mary moved to Oregon and she said it’s beautiful. And with free wifi, what more do I need? Now, how do I set about moving there again?
(I know it’s a large state and Eugene is nowhere near Hermiston. May be the cloud will migrate or expand? You never know.)
If you are one of the, like, three people reading this website, you may have noticed that I've been posting every day this month. No, it's not national weblog posting month or anything like that, I just thought it'd be something different. This coincides with a article I came across, about good weblog design. Most I agree, others not so much, mainly because I don't have the readership that the article assumes. This is similar to the exercise of comparing my design against those of big name web designers. Overall, I think I'm okay.
- No author biographies
So people want to know who writes this stuff. Really? I have an about section and an faq, but neither will tell you too much about me. The most you'll get is the 25 squares of random tidbits. And that's about it.
- No author photo
So that people have "a more personable impression of the author". Um, the answer is no.
- Nondescript posting titles
- Links don't say where they go
Many authors seem to think it's cool to write links like "there's more here and here." I agree that this is bad, at least tell the readers where the link is going. And I learnt to use titles from day one.
- Classic hits are buried
I don't have a "fan base" or posts that are especially outstanding. I will link to an old post if I'm writing about something related. Oh wait, I did that this post too.
- The calendar is the only navigation
I have archives and categories. Yay MT. When I get round to the redesign, I'm doing tagclouds, even though by then they may have fallen out of favor, heehee.
- Irregular publishing frequency
This is not a magazine and I'm not writing about anything important, I do try to post whenever I can. It is annoying to click on a random link on the ringsurfs and hit a website that hasn't been updated for 2 years, may be they should be taken off the ring.
- Mixing topics
Don't know about this. I think part of the fun about weblogs is I can write whatever I want in whichever format I want. I'm a control freak so I'll put different topics in different posts and categories, but I don't have to.
- Forgetting that you write for your future boss
If my future boss (hi!) finds what I write here intolerable or controversial, perhaps they're not the right people for me to be working with.
- Having a domain name owned by a weblog service
The bloggers and typepads of this world offer convenience, especially to beginners or personal users. No need to worry about html, css, templates, web design. Just focus on the content. If it weren't for these, we won't have the blog explosion and the world will be a poorer place. There will always be a market for the users who want something simple and free.
I should have posted this in the technical section. Oh well.
Over the last 18 months I travelled a lot, I think Sept and Oct are the first time that I've been home for two consecutive months without needing to pack my bag. It starts again in Nov though.
Whether I'm gone for 3 days or 3 weeks, no matter what flight class I'm travelling in, I take the same bags -- my big wheelie bag, a bit like this one, except mine's blue canvas and $30 from Costco.
I only take my backpack as carry-on, I can put it under the seat in front and it doesn't fight for overhead space with those bulky boring trolley bags that proliferate everywhere. Talking about cabin bags, I read about the fidobag, which are a humorous take on cabin luggage. It's shaped like a dog, with a detachable "head" for small items and is made from soft leather. Comes in blue, black, brown or white, all with retro piping finish.
Of course the reason they caught my eye is the second picture, aptly titled breeding.html. Snicker. However cute, I don't think I want so spend $180 on it though.
I did a google search on fidobag and came across something amusing. Apparently last year gizmodo broke a story about a furry suitcase manufactured by samsung-italia that will respond to the voice of its owner and come at their command, even wagging its tail in the process. Also, if someone tries to steal the bag, it will bark at an intensity of 197.5 decibels, thereby drawing attention to the thief.
This was exposed as a hoax or joke. First, Samsung makes electronics, not luggage. Second, it needs to pack a hell of a voice recognition system to pick out the voice of its owner in a busy airport. Third, 197.5db? That's louder than standing next to the Shuttle when it launches -- human eardrums break at 150db. Fourth, even if it was above board, who wants to be seen traipsing around airports dragging a furry, tail-wagging suitcase?
As an aside, doing a google image search for fidobag also gets the Fido Dido backpack. Actually, out of the three, I prefer that one, dude.
Here's a poll. Pick your favorite.
- The retro breeding doggie fidobag
- The furry tailwagging eardrum splitting fidobag
- The cool dude sk8er fidobag
When I get round to it, I'll install a polling script so next time it'll be a proper poll with radio buttons and graphical results. But this time, just put your vote in the Comments. It'll be fun to see if anyone responds.
From the guardian.
For an organisation that didn’t officially exist until 1994, it has come a long way. Last week, MI6 launched its own website. It even has a Careers section and says it’s looking to recruit staff at all grades. In today’s international arena, the website is also available in French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese.
MI6, or the Secret Intelligent Service (SIS) as they prefer to be known, is the counterpart of MI5 (domestic security) and GCHQ (communications). It has been in existence since 1909 and its main tasks is to gather intelligence abroad to protect British interest. In other words, spying.
Glamorised by books and films (James Bond, anyone?), recruitment into MI6 has always been thought of as very cloak and dagger affairs, involving secret winks and taps on shoulders for the “right” recruit while up at Oxbridge. Now they’re telling wannabe spies “if you think you have the qualities described on the Web site please apply, don’t wait for us to get in touch.”
The application procedure itself is simple, just send in your CV. But there are nationality rules and candidates go through extensive security clearance during the interview stage. They’re also told that they can’t tell anyone other than a spouse or partner that they’re applying. They emphasize the family atmosphere at their HQ and the sense of adventure of working there.
Seems fun and worthwhile, and why not?
I seem to have spent most of the last 24 hours sleeping. We were watching a film in bed last night but I barely had the energy to stay awake and I gave up halfway through.
Woke up today at almost 1pm, had lunch then we went back to the bedroom to watch more tv. Well, she watched tv and I slept. I know I woke up a few times but never more than a few seconds a time. When I really woke up again it was 6.30pm. So yeah, I spent most of today asleep. Poor mm, we don’t spend enough time together and I ignore her on a sunday. Sigh.
How much sleep do I need? When I was young, I slept a lot. Weekends until noon is not uncommon — the most was until 4pm, and I went to bed at normal hours that night with no insomnia. I feel tired all the time, I stay up until ridiculous hours, I guess eventually I’ll need a day to catch up. Just like tonight, I don’t think I’ll have problems sleeping, I’m still feeling groggy.
She took me to yoga class today, she’d taken it up recently and already she is singing its praises. I’m not at first glance someone that does yoga, but I went along. It was good, the session wasn’t as tough as I thought and the instructor had a nice and relaxing voice.
Some stupid woman in the locker room pissed me off by shoving her way to the locker I was still using, that ruined all the relaxation that I gained from the session.
We went for a haircut afterwards, then sushi dinner. Relaxing. My hairdresser took half my hair off so it’s less thick and feels lighter now. Funny thing is he commented that my hair is becoming more curly. I mean, curly? Huh? I’ve always had straight hair and usually it’s not long enough to be curly. Hmm.
I washed my hair 3 times today — at the yoga place, at the hairdresser’s and then at home. It’s very clean now.
HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish scientists have invented a device to make it harder to steal mobile phones and laptops by enabling them to detect changes in their owner’s walking style and then freeze to prevent unauthorized use.
The VTT Technical Research Center of Finland said the device, which is has patented but has yet to sell, could prevent millions of portable appliances being stolen every year.
“A device is equipped with sensors that measure certain characteristics of the user’s gait. When the device is used for the first time, these measurements are saved in its memory,” VTT said in a statement.
The gadget would monitor the user’s walking style and check it against the saved information. If the values differ, the user would have to enter a password.
“Compared with passwords and traditional bio-identification, the new method is simple: confirmation of identity takes place as a background process without any need for user’s intervention,” the researchers said.
My question is … what happens if I twist my ankle and walk differently? What happens if I let someone else borrow my cellphone? What happens if I’m drunk and not walking properly, which is probably one of the times when I will need to call someone.
Scientists seem to be able to quantify everything nowadays, but this is kinda weird. It’s the right approach though, the days of using just passwords as authentication are surely numbered and the world needs biometrics.
Modern design shelfing unit / room divider. The shelves themselves are not your traditional boring grid, they’re a slanted, but books can still be kept there. There is a pull out chair and table for easy access. Even though they look nice and expensive even, I can’t imagine having these shelves at home, too … overdesigned? Show-offy? Cold? I like the slanted shelves but I’m iffy on the chair and table. Oh, the lamp is called Titanic lamp. I wonder why, may be cos it’s half submerged?
From cnet news
Yahoo, Microsoft close to IM pact
by By Ina Fried
Microsoft and Yahoo are close to a pact that would allow users of their respective instant messaging services to exchange messages with one another, a source told CNET News.com on Tuesday.
The exchange of both text and voice messages is being considered, although the source stressed that details of the pact are still being finalized. The two companies are planning to announce the deal on Wednesday, the source said.
A Microsoft representative declined to comment on the matter. A Yahoo representative was not immediately available for comment.
The three major IM providers — Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL — have talked about interoperability for some time, but there has been only limited progress.
For some months now, workers at businesses running Microsoft’s Live Communications Server have been able to exchange text messages across multiple instant messaging programs. However, consumers have had to manage multiple accounts in order to use more than one of the big three services: AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger. Third-party programs like Trillian have allowed users to connect to multiple services within a single program.
Heh. No one’s ever heard of trillian? Dopes. And instead of getting in bed with microsoft, can yahoo please work to upgrade the Mac version of YM so it has the same features as the PC version?
This animation is creepy, but in a can’t-tear-your-eyes-away-from-it sort of way. I watched it a few times before I could fully absorb it and remember that it’s a combination of stop-motion nature filmography and so nifty computer animation. It’s so seemless. And the music’s cool too. Damn these people are good. There are some other robot/alien animations available at that site, it seems to be something they do.
This is one instance where I’m tempted to pay for Quicktime Pro so I can keep a copy myself. She came into the study while I’m watching it and she says she’s gonna have nightmares all night. To which my reply “then you just have to lean on me”, heehee.
Another amusing article from here is the city news.
Throwing A Sickie - Your Excuses
According to a new survey undertaken for website CareerBuilder.com, 35% of workers in the US throw a sickie when they are perfectly OK. 20% of the 1,600 polled said that they called in sick just because they didn’t feel like going in to work. 10% admitted that they bunked off work fairly regularly.
Detailed below are some of the more imaginative excuses for not rocking up:
‘My cat unplugged my alarm clock’
‘I had to be there for my husband’s grand jury trial’
‘My curlers burned my hair and I had to go to the hairdresser’
‘A hitman was looking for me’
‘I was spit on by a venomous snake’
‘I forgot to come back to work after lunch’
‘I tripped over my dog and was knocked unconscious’
‘My bus broke down and was held up by robbers’
‘I was arrested as a result of mistaken identity’
But the winner goes to - ‘I was sprayed by a skunk’.
I spent like 4 hours updating my list on 43 things. In all honesty I had the old list on twinkler and received the email in January that 43things proper had launched. It only took me what, 10 months to get back to it.
Naturally my old list is gone, so I have to create a new one. The user interface isn’t as user friendly as I want — I can’t see the most popular entries, it take too many clicks to navigate, I can’t do mass delete or update on my list items and the re-ordering should be more intuitive drag and drop.
I tried using the script they provided to import it to the sidebar, but they use an ul, and the items are indented. Just didn’t look good on the page.
Did more digging around and found some interesting tidbit about an alleged conspiracy involving robot co-op (the parent company) and amazon. Luckily the great Jason came to the rescue. Oh, all that happened way back in February. Geez, bb, catch up.
I’m a little unsure about the social network aspect. Like I find 23 other people who want to buy a new camera, do I contact them and swap notes? I mean, we probably live in different countries, have different criteria and besides I know exactly which camera I’m getting. The cheers and mutual encouragement aspect might work, but there are so many other social networks and communities out there already.
They’re doing something new, 43 places. I’m playing round with it, can’t decide if a country or city a place. Like should I put New Zealand as a place I want to visit, or drill down and use Queenstown, Franz Josef and Rotorua etc?
We met for lunch, then walked aimlessly around in the middle of the crowds. I’m less anxious today and have less of a desire to magic all the people on the street into an alternate dimension, some of them I still consider space wasters.
I’ve been looking for a new pair of sneakers, after the pair I’d been wearing since 1999 developed a hole in the right sole. I lurve that old pair, but it’s time to get a new pair. Been looking and looking. Don’t want one that’s too sporty, don’t want white or black or weird colours. Been seriously considering an Adidas Gazelle but I’ve never been an Adidas fan. Imagine how happy I was to find a pair I like today. And she bought it for me. SWOON!
We got a bit hot walking around, so we went for foot massage again. At our old place. The therapist says my feet and legs were very stiff, she’s great, though she’s the most painful.
Dinner at a Korean bbq restaurant, it’s one of those ones that has been at its location forever. It was past 9pm and it was crowded. People kept coming in after us too. We had a set dinner for two: assorted small dishes, chicken, pork, beef, fish, squid, rice, soup, orange and a stick of chewing gum. I was dehydrated so I had a diet coke. We shared a small bottle of Korean wine. Good meal, excellent food.
Problem with korean bbq is, the minute I got home I headed straight for the shower. Everything about me smelled of the food — hair, skin, nails, teeth. All the clothes I was wearing today are right now in the washing machine as well as some of hers. She normally washes her hair in the morning but tonight, she washed herself from top to toe too.
All in all, a nice lovely day.
Jay Allen closed MT-blacklist. Some stupid people taking advantage of his generosity and almost brought down his server.
The other reason is that its features are now incorporated into MT3.2, so it’s no longer necessary, according to Jay. But wait! What about those of us who aren’t on 3.2 yet? “Why aren’t you on 3.2?” Well, cos it costs $99? And cos I don’t have the time right now to tackle an upgrade project? It may be easy for some people, but since I didn’t build the website as well as I should have, it’ll be a hell of a lot of css and html work, especially for the static pages.
In any case, I’m grateful for MT-backlist and Jay. Like many others who aren’t professional, or even good amateur, developers, I would have been buried under the weight of spam a long time ago and given up.
So the message I’m getting is … upgrade to 3.2. Or perhaps it’s time to move to Wordpress. I wonder.
Been a little stressed out at work cos it’s getting towards another milestone in the global program I’m regional co-ordinator for. Deadline was today. People were expecting an extension until next week and they were bummed out that the deadline is really a deadline. Whine, whine, whine. What do they expect me to do? I have no influence! The decision was made from the top.
Anyway, it’s over now. Managed to work it through, at 6pm I ran stats and we had a 82% completion rate and I expect it to reach may by 85-90% by the time the system closes. We’ll never get 100% and considering we were at 28% on Tuesday we’ve come a long way. I’m reasonably pleased.
Reporting phase next. Oh the fun and games.
Boy am I glad I don’t live in Indiana. If this is real it’s a joke. The “lawmakers” there are drafting legislation that requires potential parents who want to become pregnant via assisted means such as IVF and sperm / egg donation to be married. Performing an unlawful artificial reproduction procedure is a criminal offense.
okay, that means unmarried people who conceive by means other than regular sex are criminals?
One of the readers commenting asks the interesting question: does that mean that the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit will be hauled up before the courts, cos the conception of Jesus was definitely “assisted” and definitely “by means other than sexual intercourse.” Mary may not have been given a choice in the matter, which bodes even worse for the
Imagine being handcuffed while still holding your turkey baster. LOL.
Here’s the original article
The Crime of “Unauthorized Reproduction
by Laura McPhee
Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant “by means other than sexual intercourse.”
According to a draft of the recommended change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother through assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation, and egg donation, must first file for a “petition for parentage” in their local county probate court.
Only women who are married will be considered for the “gestational certificate” that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the “gestational certificate” will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents.
As it the draft of the new law reads now, an intended parent “who knowingly or willingly participates in an artificial reproduction procedure” without court approval, “commits unauthorized reproduction, a Class B misdemeanor.” The criminal charges will be the same for physicians who commit “unauthorized practice of artificial reproduction.”
The change in Indiana law to require marriage as a condition for motherhood and criminalizing “unauthorized reproduction” was introduced at a summer meeting of the Indiana General Assembly’s Health Finance Commission on September 29 and a final version of the bill will come up for a vote at the next meeting at the end of this month.
Republican Senator Patricia Miller is both the Health Finance Commission Chair and the sponsor of the bill. She believes the new law will protect children in the state of Indiana and make parenting laws more explicit.
According to Sen. Miller, the laws prohibiting surrogacy in the state of Indiana are currently too vague and unenforceable, and that is the purpose of the new legislation.
“But it’s not just surrogacy,” Miller told NUVO. ” The law is vague on all types of extraordinary types of infertility treatment, and we wanted to address that as well.”
“Ordinary treatment would be the mother’s egg and the father’s sperm. But now there are a lot of extraordinary thing s that raise issues of who has legal rights as parents,” she explained when asked what she considers “extraordinary” infertility treatment.
Sen. Miller believes the requirement of marriage for parenting is for the benefit of the children that result from infertility treatments.
“We did want to address the issue of whether or not the law should allow single people to be parents. Studies have shown that a child raised by both parents - a mother and a father - do better. So, we do want to have laws that protect the children,” she explained.
When asked specifically if she believes marriage should be a requirement for motherhood, and if that is part of the bill’s intention, Sen. Miller responded, “Yes. Yes, I do.”
ETA: Looks like the proposal was dropped. Still, it’s scary that it was out there at all.
At first I thought, oookay it's another crazy exhibitionist endeavour by, well, crazy exhibitionists. Then I read the intro more carefully and from what I gather this is how it works:
- There are people submitting photos of their boobies to this site.
- The same people, and/or other people, look at these boobies. I'm sure there's ogling and drooling.
- In return for looking at these boobies, people are encouraged to make a donation towards a breast cancer charity or the Red Cross.
- Donations of $50 or more will get a password to view a page with uncovered boobies.
The main page is graphics intensive and loads slowly, I'm happy with the sampler page already. What I find confusing is how the donations work. You have to go to the respective charity's site, make the donation and make note of the url of the receipt, then email that to the people at boobiethon. I know Paypal sucks commission, but it would have been the easier way, I wonder if that's why the donations are only at $5,000-odd.
I'm still thinking about it. Of course the whole boobiethon site is MT powered, so I'm biased already.
It’s a sign of impending winter when it’s already dark by the time I leave the office. Kinda depressing to be greeted by a dark sky, neon lights and bright headlights. Seems the whole day was wasted.
Ironic, that it’s still stupidly hot outside. The stuffiness and heat and annoying air pollution that are the hallmarks of summer are still with us. I just wish it’ll get cooler soon. I feel better when the days are cooler.
From Here is the City News, which I get at work. It's usually full of serious financial news, but occasionally its tongue is firmly in its cheek.
Memo To All Firm Employees
It has been brought to our attention that some individuals throughout the firm have been using foul language during the course of normal business conversations with their co-workers.
Due to the high number of complaints from our more sensitive employees, this type of language will no longer be tolerated in the office.
We do, however, appreciate the critical importance for staff to accurately express their feelings in discussions with fellow employees. With this in mind, we have come up with a 'Try Saying' list of phrases, in order that staff can exchange their ideas in an effective manner without offending their colleagues.
Try Saying - 'Perhaps I can work late'
Instead of - 'And when the f... do you expect me to do this ?'
Try Saying - 'I'm certain it isn't feasible'
Instead of - 'No f...in' way'
Try Saying - 'Perhaps you should check with....'
Instead of - 'Try telling someone who could give a sh.t'
Try Saying - 'I wasn't involved in this project'
Instead of - 'It's not my f...in' problem'
Try Saying - 'He's not familiar with the issues'
Instead of - 'He's got his head up his ar.e'
Try Saying - 'I'm a bit overloaded at the moment'
Instead of - 'F... it, my bonus will be cr.p this year anyway'
Try Saying - 'You want me to take care of that ?'
Instead of - 'Who the Hell died and made you boss ?'
Try Saying - 'He's somewhat insensitive'
Instead of - 'He's a pr.ck'
Try Saying - 'Perhaps you need a coach'
Instead of - 'You don't know what the f... you're doing'
Please note that staff who do not adhere to these guidelines will be told to clear their desks and f... off.
It has come to our attention that some members of staff are making politically incorrect comments to fellow employees, and even business contacts. Detailed below are some general guidelines in this matter, together with a short-form 'dictionary' of politically correct sayings.
Staff are asked to assess the group of people you're speaking with and at least make some effort to gauge who might be offended by what.
If employees insist on cracking jokes, please select jokes which seem appropriate for the group at hand. Avoid racial, ethnic, se.ual or any other types of humour that may make certain audience members feel uncomfortable. The firm will no longer accept the often used excuse that your immediate line manager was the one who told you the joke in the first place.
Staff are asked to make an extra effort to be politically correct around people you have not met before, especially potential new clients and future employees of the company.
Politically Correct Dictionary
Please note that you should not describe an employee as 'lazy'. The person concerned should be referred to as 'motivationally deficient'.
Someone does not 'fail' - they 'acheive a deficiency'.
A colleague is not 'dishonest' - he or she is 'ethically disoriented'.
Please do not use the word 'wrong' - try 'differently logical'.
Instead of 'ugly', try saying 'cosmetically different'.
For 'unemployed, say 'involuntarily leisured'.
Other examples are:
'Dead' - 'living impaired'.
'Spendthrift' - 'negative saver'.
'Ignorant' - 'knowledge-based non-possessor'.
'Unsophisticated' - 'socially malformed'.
Some of our male colleagues have complained of being referred to in a politically incorrect manner, and staff are asked to adhere to the following:
A male member of staff does not have 'a fat beer gut'. He has developed a 'liquid grain storage facility'.
He does not 'sleep around', he is merely 'horizontally over-generous'.
He is not a 'cradle snatcher', but simply prefers 'generationally differential relationships'.
He does not 'stink', he suffers from 'hygiene aversion syndrome'.
He is not a 'groping perv.rt', but merely suffers from 'compulsive hand movement disorder'.
He does not tell 'endless, boring, unfunny jokes', but is simply 'humourly over-confident'.
He doesn't 'eat like a pig', but has 'reverse bulimia'.
And finally, staff should be respectful when speaking to female colleagues too.
Please note that a female staffer is not a 'moaner', she is merely vocally appreciative'.
She does not have 'brea.t implants', but is 'medically enhanced'.
She is not a 'nag', she simply becomes 'orally repetitive'.
Thank you for your co-operation.
nanowrimo 2005 launched today. Well, it was more like they added a new announcement on the main page. What’s so funny is they have to disable registration temporarily because of one of their servers exploded. Hmm.
Am I doing it again this year? I doubt it. I had time and energy and inspiration to write last year, this year I’m so distracted with other projects I won’t have the focus to sit down and ignore all my friends and churn out another 50,000 words.
As if storing sandwiches and frozen food isn’t enough, you can now get giant ziploc bags that are 2 feet wide. Supposingly you can store clothing and stuff, but I can’t get the image of self duplicating food items out of my mind. Like the soap suds spilling uncontrollably out of a washing machine, or brussel spouts that breed, eeeeep!