Nov. 25th, 2005 11:31 pm
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Jimmy Stewart
You scored 26% Tough, 9% Roguish, 42% Friendly, and 23% Charming!
You are the fun and friendly boy next door, the classic nice guy who still manages to get the girl most of the time. You're every nice girl's dreamboat, open and kind, nutty and charming, even a little mischievous at times, but always a real stand up guy. You're dependable and forthright, and women are drawn to your reliability, even as they're dazzled by your sense of adventure and fun. You try to be tough when you need to be, and will gladly stand up for any damsel in distress, but you'd rather catch a girl with a little bit of flair. Your leading ladies include Jean Arthur and Donna Reed, those sweet girl-next-door types.

Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the
Classic Dames Test.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 47% on Tough
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 23% on Roguish
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 74% on Friendly
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 36% on Charming
Link: The Classic Leading Man Test written by gidgetgoes on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test
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First Robin Cook dies, and now Mo Mowlam. Both pretty young, and both among the UK leaders of the opposition to the war in Iraq.
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What a year this has been for mysteries being solved. First we get to find out who Deep Throat is, and now, there's a solution to the disappearance of Judge Crater.
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Hufu is people?
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Governator creates pothole so he can fill it.
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he actually said this:

"[I]n my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. (Applause.)" -GWB, Tuesday.


May. 25th, 2005 01:22 pm
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You scored as Existentialist. Existentialism emphasizes human capability. There is no greater power interfering with life and thus it is up to us to make things happen. Sometimes considered a negative and depressing world view, your optimism towards human accomplishment is immense. Mankind is condemned to be free and must accept the responsibility.












Cultural Creative






What is Your World View? (updated)
created with
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My old Technics headphones, which I think I got in 1994, bit the dust the other day-- the wire that ran to the right can frayed to the point where I would have had to do some extremely fine splicing to keep it going. Seems to me I spent about a hundred bucks on them, so I guess I came out ahead. Sennheiser has a low-end closed ear set that should be sufficient for work. I'm currently waiting for them to arrive.

As a result, I've been "forced" into bringing my good headphones into work. While they aren't closed headphones like the old Technics, which means that I hear outside noises (and I'm told, people can vaguely hear what I'm playing), they do sound absolutely beautiful. Even plugged into (audiophile horror of horrors) an iPod.

A critic whose name I've forgotten once described The Stooges' album Fun House as the "greatest album ever recorded by white people." Some days, I think he's absolutely right.
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This memo, dated July of 2002, was leaked a week ago to the British press, showing what the left was ridiculed for saying at that time-- that Bush was willing to use any excuse to invade Iraq, whether or not the facts supported it.

The US media is currently concerned more with the Runaway Bride and a possible American Idol scandal to even report on it.

Nearly sixteen hundred Americans, nearly a hundred Brits, dozens of Italians, Ukranians, and Spanish killed, and up to a hundred thousand Iraqis dead.

Don't know how many people actually read this blog, but please, if you do, pass the above link around. More Americans need to see this "Administration" exposed for the liars, murderers, and thieves they are.

(Incidentally, the Sunday Times of London is owned by Rupert Murdoch, of all people.)
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Being able to listen to free jazz at work at the appropriate volume without anyone complaining is strangely satisfying.
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Upon arrival in Italy, I discovered, much to my horror, that I had forgotten to pack one of the extremely large bottles of the medicine I take for my Crohn's disease. The drug that I'm supposed to take 4 pills of, 4 times a day (and generally find that 4 pills twice a day does exactly the same). This had the potential to be rather expensive-- the last time I bought this stuff outside of a prescription plan was about 10 years ago, and even back then, a month's worth of the stuff was about $150.00. So I figured that this little lapse of memory was going to cost me at least $75.

My ever-patient and helpful Great Aunt took me to her local pharmacy. Italian pharmacists are much more lenient when it comes to niceties like prescriptions-- this stuff isn't narcotic by a long stretch (in fact, it's basically an aspirin molecule with an amino group bonded on-- and a patent to make it more expensive)-- and the pharmacist was willing to sell to me without a prescription, since this wasn't anything anyone would want to take for fun. I asked the pharmacist how much it would cost, wincing at the possibility, and assuming that [ profile] ratphooey would be furious at me. (The pharmacist had to special order it from another pharmacy, as Crohn's is much less common over here, but said if I came back after 4:30, she'd have it. She did.)

A two weeks supply of Pentasa, from a farmacia on the Via Barberini, one of the most expensive stretches of real estate in the world? €24.50. Around $30 at today's inflated exchange rates.

I just checked one of those dubious online pharmacies to see how much the stuff currently goes for in the States. I was stunned to see that the same amount of exactly the same drug, in the same dosages and quantity, would be $140.

We're being gouged, people. Forget the Medicare drug plan. Forget Canada. Forget the exorbitantly high cost of treatment for chronic conditions. The big drug companies are just making up a number, and we have no choice but to pay it because nobody's fighting for us.

Medical care, incidentally, is the single biggest cause of personal (chapter 7) bankruptcy in the US. Not credit cards. Not usurious interest. Not bigger and more expensive cars or houses. Medical care.

Yet another reason why socialized medicine is superior-- in a socialized system, governments hold all the power in setting the price of prescription medicine. That's why the VA can charge a $7 copay and not lose money like crazy. And you know what? As long as the VA keeps a drug on its formulary, the drug companies are happy-- because they're guaranteed to make a hefty profit even at the VA's deeply discounted price.

Me, I'm feeling a bit more radical than usual today. Patients of the world, unite-- you have nothing to lose but your poverty!

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So, you know that cool soldering iron that gets advertised on TV? The cordless, battery operated one which cools down almost instantly, and has all sorts of safety features so that children and pets can't get burned?

[ profile] ratphooey was kind enough to buy me one, for the holidays. (If you don't trust ordering from the TV guys, ThinkGeek has them)

Tonight, I felt motivated enough to do some soldering. A simple job-- the output jack of my main guitar (a rather beaten up but loved and extremely tricked up 1980 Ibanez Artist that I've had for 13 or 14 years) had been crackly and loose lately (A hint for the future-- I had replaced this output jack a few years back. It turns out that there is a difference between the $1.79 ones at Radio Scrap and the fancy $3 ones what advertise in the geetar magazines. The latter feel more solid, actually sound noticeably better, and presumably won't die of metal fatigue after only 4 or 5 years).

So, I dragged out the ColdHeat, and went to it. Some notes:

- It really does heat up and cool down fast-- however, they claim it has the power of approximately a 15-30w iron, yet it takes a little longer than a 30w iron would take to melt solder. The extremely narrow gauge silver solder I like using for audio-related electronics took a couple seconds to flow. I tried some thick rosin-core as well, and that took 5-10 seconds to heat up enough to flow. I'd guess closer to 15w than 30w. Good for small electronics and PCB work, (and probably jewelry) but I'd go nuts trying to say, rewire an AC-powered lamp with it.

- Despite the reasonably low power rating, the tip that ships with it is manifestly unsuited for electronics. It's unwieldy, and very hard to get a good joint on say, 20 or 22 gauge wire. I was using the 24-gauge wire that was already in the guitar. It took me an hour to get the jack wired into my guitar as a result-- the job would have taken me 3 minutes flat with a conventional iron. (To be fair, about 15 minutes of that involved restripping the 25 year old wire so that I had a clean enough surface to resolder.

- I did not burn myself; not with the iron, not with hot solder, and not even with hot bare wire. This may be a first in my 20 or so years of soldering. I also had no fear of burning the dining room table.

- The tips appear to be made of graphite. Whatever it is, it conducts heat well. However, it's kinda fragile. Out of sheer reflex, I wiped the tip (with some, but not a lot of pressure) against the damp newspaper I had at the edge of my project, and it cracked.

- It does not heat up unless the twin points of the tip make an electrical connection. And it has a great white LED which lights up the thing you're trying to solder.

While it wasn't an ideal soldering experience by any stretch, I was pleasantly surprised, mostly by the safety stuff (a real consideration, given that Maggie the moggie has been fascinated by soldering since kittenhood, and the fact that the baby is about to start becoming self-mobile) . And I like the lack of a cord a lot and the fact that I can toss it in the case without having to keep a close eye on it for 20 minutes while it cools down. I guess I'll shell out the $10 for the small tip that should have come with it in the first place. Not a bad buy.
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that these people have the cruelty to do this, and then to say that Jesus would do the same thing. Have they even read the books that are the basis of their own religion?

Bush voters all, I'll bet.


Dec. 2nd, 2004 02:14 pm
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black sabbath is love
brought to you by the isLove Generator
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An article I just had to read for work was co-authored by Gregor (well, Gregory) Samsa.
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"[I]n a populistic culture such as ours, which seems to lack a responsible elite with political and moral autonomy, and which it is possible to exploit the wildest currents of public sentiment for private purposes, it is at least conceivable that a highly organized, voval, active, and well-financed minority could create a political climate in which the rational pursuit of our well-being and safety would become impossible." -Prof. Richard Hofstaeder, 1954.
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I haven't posted much lately. In part, it's because I've been utterly miserable, and haven't wanted to take it out on my (5 or 6) readers.

I accepted another job yesterday. While I've gotten unbelievable experience in the firm at which I've been working, I've been having major personality issues with the partner I report to, and it kept getting worse and worse. (Final straw was getting docked a day's pay for calling in after a rather harrowing dentist's appointment and telling him that I was in too much pain to come back to work that day. I had taken one prior sick day in nearly 2 years of employment. Not only was it downright illegal for him to dock me the pay, the fact that he didn't tell me about it directly, but had his secretary do it, really pissed me off. Also the fact that he pulled this stunt while [ profile] ratphooey is 8.5 months pregnant.) Add to that the fact that I hadn't gotten a raise since I started working there, and hadn't received promised bonuses. This would suck badly enough, but to discover that the office's receptionist made as much money hourly as I (with a law license, a law degree, and a master's degree) do was just adding insult to injury.

Those of you who know me know that I just plain don't give a shit about money. I'd rather be happy and making less than miserable and rich. With RatPhooey taking maternity leave, though, I was getting really scared that we would have trouble making mortgage payments or putting food on the table unless I got a big raise.

Well, I did. It's kinda sick that I'll be making more than half again as much money, working fewer hours, and having less stress. At what amounts to a temp gig, incidentally. Just goes to show how underpaid I was.

Now I just have to figure out how to tell him. He took yesterday off, and today and tomorrow are Rosh Hashanah, so he won't be in. I'm halfway tempted to wander over to his synagogue (which my dad also goes to) to give him notice, but don't know if that will enrage him further. I also can't figure out which is worse-- not telling him until Monday because I didn't want to tell him over the phone, or telling him on Thursday or Friday during a religious holiday. Any opinions?

In other news, my baby sister turns 30 today. This makes me feel really old....

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