Monday, August 30, 2004

An interesting wakeup call

My old boss forwarded me one of those e-mails that contain a transcript of a speech given by someone that you are never quite sure what the true source is. As near as I can figure, this is legitimate. Feel free to debunk if you can. I found a version on the web. It's called AMERICA WAKE UP and is interesting to me for a couple of reasons. First, it is a very good chronology of the major terrorist activity against the U.S./U.K. for the last 25 years. Second, Capt. Dan Ouimette manages to draw all the wrong conclusions from his data...

His central thesis appears to be that the acts of terrorism are not criminal acts, but rather acts of war. As such, the U.S. is on the right track in waging war on terrorism. Invading Iraq and Afghanistan is a logical extension. He doesn't come out and specifically say those things. That was just the sense that I got when I read it. He does explicitly state we are at war, though.

So, my first question is with whom are we at war? I know. The terrorists. I think we can all agree that terrorism is a bad thing. The problem is that wars are typically fought between sovereign nations. You know, nations that are...that have...well...sovereignty. (Couldn't help myself there.) So, which is the sovereign nation sending out all the terrorists? It can certainly be argued that Afghanistan was under terrorist control. And I don't think most people or nations had a problem with our war in Afghanistan. But that didn't win the war on terror, did it? There are many nations that harbor terrorists. Does that mean that they are all terrorist nations? If so, then we have to declare war on all of them. So, we have to go to war with Iran, Libya, Yemen, SAUDI ARABIA, Lebanon, and many other Middle Eastern nations. That's the problem when you wage war on an ideal. It's really tough to win. War on drugs, anyone?

My point is that you can't defeat an ideal in physical combat. You have to look at the root cause of the philosophy and understand why people turn to it. The solution is not to kill the terrorists. They are planning on martyring themselves anyway. Killing them only supports their cause and gets people on the fence to think they are right.

Now, I'm not suggesting we negotiate with terrorists. I am suggesting we negotiate with the pool of people that terrorists draw from. Educate them. Feed them. Clothe them. When they see we are caring human beings with their own eyes, they are less likely to turn to the radicals for guidance.

And by the way, this isn't really a war on terrorism. This is a war on radical Islam at a minimum, and possibly a global Crusade (capital C intentional). If we were truly opposed to terrorism, I'm sure someone in the administration would have come out and condemned this stem cell lab bombing. Perhaps the bomber is at war with unholy research. After all, a mandate from the white god can't be evil, can it?

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Sunday, August 29, 2004

Casa de Weissman - San Diego Style!

We officially have a new home at last! I have the keys in hand and the movers have come and gone. Now begins the long task of unpacking boxes, repairing move damage, and making the house our home. Here are some pictures of the new place with a little narration. You can see the front of the house in this picture. The double window is the living room and the next two windows moving toward the garage are two of the four bedrooms. You can just make out a bubble style skylight over the living room. There is a similar one over the kitchen in the back...

This fireplace is the centerpiece of the livingroom. If you look closely, you can see what the people who sold it to us looked like when they got married. They were nice enough to leave that floral cushion behind. It made for a semi-comfy place to sit while I was waiting for the movers to arrive.

Here's the dining room. It's one open room connected to the kitchen. And here's part of said kitchen. They left the fridge for us. Bonus! What you can't see is that the counter top is ceramic tile and that the lone counter is along the far wall in this picture. I think we'll need to add an island or get one of those rolling carts with a butcher block top as a mobile work space.

One bizarre attribute that I missed before is that the drawer adjacent to the stove won't open while the oven is closed. The handles bump into each other. I have no pictures of the bedrooms and am not sure I'd be able to get a very representative view anyway. The bedrooms are on the smallish side, so anywhere you stand, due to optical focus ranges, you are likely to cout out at leasy half of the room. Once we have done some decorating and there is something worth seeing in the bedrooms, I'll see what I can do.

Here are a couple shots of the back yard. These were taken from under the covered patio. The first faces the back of our property. The yard is a fair sized space for the kids and Nala to run around in. At the back, you can see a partially terraced hill. The terraced area has a garden and it looks as though they were planning to plant more. We intend to continue that. Currently we have tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, and, allegedly, onions.

Last but not least is the backyard fireplace and BBQ. This is at the far end of the patio. The bright red cover off to the right is the charcoal grill. The central fireplace ought to be good for those chilly 55 degree winter days. Not sure what the bit on the left is. It has a ceramic tile top and a pretty big, open chamber underneath. However, it does not appear to be connected to the chimney.

So, there's m'house. Stop by for a visit!

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Monday, August 23, 2004

Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

A while back, a friend of mine pointed me to this list and asked if it looked familiar: Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism. I told her it was interesting but a bit of a stretch. I recently revisited the list and no longer think it is too far off the mark.

Here are the fourteen characteristics. If you want the author's definition of what each means, follow the link. I'm going to give my take and how much I think they apply to the US at this moment in time.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
4. Supremacy of the Military
5. Rampant Sexism
6. Controlled Mass Media
7. Obsession with National Security
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
9. Corporate Power is Protected
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
14. Fraudulent Elections

So, let's break it down.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Let's see now. Any criticism of the government is considered unpatriotic. Everyone and anyone has a flag on their car, home, or otherwise. You're either with us or you're against us. Check.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Secret military tribunals. The Patriot Act. The 'detainees' at Guantanamo. FBI harrassment of pacifist groups due to potential terrorist threat. Free speech zones. Check.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - Well, we have two major scapegoats here. Liberals and Islam. Check.

4. Supremacy of the Military - The economy is in the toilet, yet we have spent 89 billion on our military campaigns and will be spending more. Support of our troops is pretty unanimous across the country. War supporters try to paint dissent about the war as lack of support for the troops, attaching a negative connotation to said feelings. Not as strong as the others thus far, but still. Check.

5. Rampant Sexism - You need to see the definition to really see this one. The attributes listed are such things as disdain for homosexuality, abortion, and divorce. Government portrays itself as the caretaker of the family institution. Famil values anyone? Big time. Check.

6. Controlled Mass Media - FOX News. Conservative talk radio. Reports coming out that dissent for the war movement was largely squelched by the major media outlets. Coordinated campaigns of lies being supported through multiple outlets giving them more credibility. Check.

7. Obsession with National Security - Department of Homeland Security. Vaguely defined alert levels. Detail free alerts coming out at politically expedient times. Constant unsubtantiated warnings. Threats that exercising our Constitutional right to choose our leaders will help terrorists. Fear mongering at every turn. Check.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - This one practically sells itself. Religious ideology trumps science at every turn. Global scientists condemning lack of science in government policy. Abstinence education pushed to the exclusion of other birth control methods. Crusades against Muslims. Declaration that God is on our side. Mega. Check.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - Enron. Worldcom. Halliburton. Energy policy set by a secret energy task force that is likely composed of energy industry insiders. Environmental standards relaxed to the benefit of corporations. Tax law changes that shift the burden from the wealthy to the middle class. Check.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - I don't have any evidence of this happening here. The unions in this country have been pretty powerful for a long time. Were there to be minor limits placed on unions, I'd just consider that the pendulum swinging back toward the center. Workers used to have no rights. Then came the unions. They made things far. Now they are as out of control as any political influence group. NO Check.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - The Democrats have been criticized by the party in power as being the "cultural elite". Gore is disdained for being too smart and stiff. Bush is adored because he is plainspoken. Check.

12.Obsession with Crime and Punishment - I wouldn't say the country is obsessed with crime and punishment. Tolerance of even slight steps out of line has gone way down. And people would like to see the terrorists punished. But we don't have a national police force per se and I wouldn't call the current mood an obsession. So. NO Check.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Top government officials are from the energy industry. Energy industry is given free reign. Contracts are steered to Cheney's old company without opening them to a bidding process. Check.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Lies and half-truths portrayed unchecked in mass media as fact. Voters omitted from the rolls. Votes not counted. The Supreme Court is used to decide the election. Wide-spread disenfranchisement. Check.

That's 12 of 14 indicators. The question is, do you need to have all 14 to be considered a Fascist Nation? I'm certain things could be worse. For example, while some civil liberties are trampled on, we still do have many. I don't think we are the second coming of the Third Reich, but we are certainly heading in that direction. After all, if they take a few freedoms and you don't complain, why not take a few more?

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Recording Books

I've started doing something new. Maya likes to listen to books on tape, but the supply at the library is often limited, and they are too expensive to buy all but her absolute favorites. We own all of the Harry Potter books on tape, unabridged of course. At any rate, it's cheaper to buy the books and some blank tapes and record them myself. So, that's what I just started.

I still plan to read to her in person as well. This is just a side project that I undertook while I was apart from the family. I would have been farther along, but I switched books mid-stream.

I started reading Book 1 of An Unfortunate Series of Events by Lemony Snicket. It was a decent read, but if didn't wow me. Perhaps I was expecting too much after all the hype. For those who haven't read the first book, I don't want to spoil it. Here is a brief overview omitting most major plot points. The Baudelaire children are orphaned by a fire. Lots of unhappy or unpleasant things happen to them. Any time there is the slightest ray of light, it is snuffed out quickly. In the end, they avoid absolute doom, but still end up pretty miserable.

Now I realize that not every book needs to end with "Happily Ever After" as that is not a realistic world view. However, "Miserably Ever After" is not necessary for Maya, at this point. I don't think she'd enjoy it. I had recorded several chapters by that point. Then I stopped and read the rest and decided against it. In retrospect, I should have set the tapes aside in case she was interested later. Instead, I put them right back into circulation.

I'm now about four chapters into a different book and I think she'll like this one a little bit more. I'm only reading ahead one chapter this time to familiarize myself with it before I record it. I'm recording The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. It's a Discworld novel, but you don't need to be familiar with Discworld or its recurring characters to read and enjoy it. Thus far it is very amusing and clever. It takes a different angle on the world of fairies, pixies, and the like.

I'm still a long way from being a compelling audio book narrator, but you've got to start someplace. I also thought this would be good practice for my storytelling work. I'm making it a point to do different voices for the characters. Mind you, all the Wee Free Men are pretty indistinguishable and all talk alike, so I'm skimping on those voices a bit. They have great names though, like Rob Anybody and Daft Wullie. I'll post a review of the book when I have finished recording it, but it is satisfying so far.

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Friday, August 20, 2004

The Internet Ate My Blog Post

It's true! I know it's a lame excuse for not having a new post, but it is true nonetheless. And it reiterates an important point when editing a document: save early, save often! Now I know most of us do this when we do word processing and the like. But this is also important to do when sending e-mail or blogging. Henceforth, all my composition will be done in TextPad. It's a full featured text editor that includes spell checking, macro definition, and syntax highlighting for some languages. I'll re-write the original post later.

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Why Does Bri Know About Rope Burns?

You know, that is an excellent question. Sorry to disappoint the more perverse of you out there, but this post or no more sexual than the one about Hummers was. :-) The truth is, it is more about my knack for doing clumsy things than anything else...

Shortly before we completely moved out of our house in Chelmsford, Maya was making the rounds and saying good-bye to her various friends. She was supposed to sleep over at Lucas' house, but our dinner plans complicated thungs a bit and we got there late. She could have slept over, but it was close to bed time already and Luke's Mom had to be to work early the next morning. That meant no play time. So, while the two Moms tried to resolve the situation, I went out back to play with the kids. Luke has a really nice tire swing in the back yard. And it has a pull rope so you can....well...pull.

The kids were having fun swinging, but once I arrived, they wanted REALLY big pushes. So, I grabbed the rope, pulled it as far back and over my head as I could, and let go. Wheeeeeeee! Verify satisfying rides. Unfortunately, not satisfying enough. You see, they wanted what Maya calls "Underdog" pushes. For those who don't know, this is where you pull the swing back, hold on to it, and then run for all you are worth while still holding on. You essentially run underneath the swing and push it until you can't reach anymore. Then you push it off your hands as you go by. This makes for a pretty high push. It also made for my downfall.

You see, I failed to account for the pull rope as I swished past and it tangled around my leg and foot. I realized this as the swing was ascending and frantically tried to remove it. Unfortunately, it came back down and began dragging me before I could accomplish that task. I managed to stay on my feet, but the resistance that provided undoubtedly enabled the rope to slide rapidly around my leg and foot, causing some lovely rope burns. The kids didn't realize how much pain I was in and had a good laugh. Then asked for more Underdog. I limpingly did my best while holding the rope.

I couldn't do any first aid on the burns, because all our medical supplies had been boxed up earlier that day. In fact, all our posessions had been pretty much boxed up. I couldn't even do an internet search to make sure rope burn treatment was the same as regular burn treatment. What I would have done was put some burn cream on and leave it open to the air.

Searching the internet for what I should have done proved more challenging. Here is a Google searches I tried:

The top link? "Even with the best of care, horses occasionally injure themselves." Apparently, horses get rope burns more than people do.

The best link I found on that search was to a rock climbing forum. had some links to general first aid that weren't particularly relevant. I also got a bunch more horse links! Here's my favorite.

First Aid: How to monitor your horse's vital signs - temperature, pulse, and gut sounds. By Karen Hayes, DVM, MS for Horse & Rider magazine.

So, I learned two things. 1. When playing with moving objects, account for all loose ropes. 2. If you have to get a rope burn, you're better off being a horse.

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The word hummer conjures up many different meanings. One meaning is disgusting and reprehensible, one is obvious, one is a bird, and the last is slang for oral sex. ;)

The subject has been on my mind a bit lately for a couple of reasons. And no, neither of them are the sex ones. The first is that San Diego is a great place to see hummingbirds. I see at least one a day, and they are my favorite type of bird. Mind you, I can't tell you all the different varieties. I just think they're cool. And I was thinking that I wish that was the first thing that popped into people's minds when they heard the word hummer.

Sadly, nowadays, it is the vehicle that comes to mind. And I have to say, this vehicle makes me ill. It gets to be exempt from fuel economy mileage reporting because of its weight, but independent tests put it at 10.7 mpg. It costs more than the median household income in America. (But the wealthy NEEDED that tax break, didn't they...) It's a physical beast that will likely total anything that isn't a gas guzzling behemoth in a collision. And excerpts from purchaser reviews I have read feature such salient points as "Strengths: Looks cool! The Bose system rocks and you have unlimited variations with the chrome pieces. No 2 look alike! Weaknesses: Gas mileage. Protest from ignorant people." and "It's not a luxury car that wipes your butt for you....IT'S A TOY TO GO OUT WITH THE GUYS AND PLAY IN THE MUD!"

Now, why do you need a luxury with fancy chrome and a kicking stereo to go off-roading? And if that is their intended use, why do I see so many of them sparkling clean driving around the streets and parking lots of San Diego?

Ignorant protestors my eye! So, oil is reaching new highs every day because the demand is skyrocketing. And you think it is reasonable to burn fuel buying groceries in a tank! And I'm ignorant?!? Puh-leeeeeze. I'm tired of hearing that people can spend their money as they see fit. Let's start talking about consequences.

I know I'll take heat for this, but I like what the city of Paris is trying to do. They are trying to ban or at least heavily tax SUVs that drive in the city. The reasons are many: fuel economy, pollution, space considerations. I am not so naive as to believe that this is driven by pure environmental altruism, but we gotta start somewhere.

Oh, wait. I forgot. In George Bush's America, consequences are for those who can't buy their way out of them.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Tell Me a Story

This past March, I started a new hobby. I am now working to become a Storyteller. Someday, I hope to actually do this full time and entertain children and grown ups alike. Storytelling, put simply, is getting up and TELLING a story in front of a group of people. (Duh!) It is not READING a story aloud from a book. The tale may come from a book, but by relating it in your own words, you make the tale your own...

I've always had a bit of a performing bent to my hobbies. To me, this was a new twist on an old favorite, improv. But it turns out there is a lot to learn about this business. I started my education at an excellent conference in Cambridge. It is LANES' annual Sharing the Fire conference. I didn't know it at the time, but this is one of the bigger Storytelling conferences in the country. It ran from Friday night to Sunday night, though I skipped Friday.

The conference consisted of keynote speeches from storytelling luminaries, several workshop sessions, lunch, dinner, story swaps, and an Olio. There were also assorted vendors and a silent auction.

The workshops were all top notch, as were the keynotes. The keynotes were particularly enhanced by the sign language interpreters. Their facial expressions while signing added a wonderful layer of depth to them. My favorite moment was when Norma was telling a story about her two youngest children having a contest to see who could pee higher on the bathroom wall. I cannot do justice to the sign language interpretation, but suffice it to say that the uproar was so significant, that Norma turned around to look as well! If you ever get a chance to see a talk interpreted, I highly recommend it.

After the workshops, I started reading books on how to get started. For anyone interested, I highly recommend The Storyteller's Start-up Book
by Margaret Read MacDonald. The book is filled with practical tips, a selection of tales that can be retold, and a bibliography in each chapter broken down by topic to help guide your reading.

Finally, I was ready for my first telling in front of an audience. It was not in public per se. I did a story at Temple for the children's service. I told The Matzah Man: A Passover Story by Naomi Howland which is, in itself, a retelling of The Gingerbread Man. Overall, I give myself a B- on the first effort. I kept the audience engaged, my voices were good, I didn't stumble on the repeated rhymes or the ever increasing list of chasers, and I changed the names of the characters to be members of the congregation that all the kids could identify with. However, my rhythm was a bit off, and I didn't include much physicality to help transport the kids into the story. They pictured my words rather than seeing the story. Still, a good first effort. And I received many compliments, the sweetest of which was from Lynnea. She is my story coach and always gives constructive feedback, so I know she is looking with a critical eye. And she was pleased.

After that, more reading and practice, but no gigs. I kept telling myself I wasn't ready. Lynnea got me a gig at the MacKay Library in North Chelmsford. Bonnie, the librarian there, is the one who got me into storytelling. She told Lynnea to get me to go to the conference. So I suppose it was fitting that she got me my first real gig. It didn't pay anything, but it was in front of a real audience who didn't know me. So, it was a good litmus test. I opted for three tales interspersed with a little discussion and a mime lesson. I ran over an hour, which is a little long for the ages present. That said, I kept most of them for the whole time. This time, I gave myself an A-. I told Tortoise's Dream as recorded by Joanna Troughton, Kanu Above and Kanu Below as relayed by this site, and a story out of The Adventures of Hershel of Ostropol by Eric Kimmel. All of these stories make for a good read. They vary in tellability.

At Lynnea's suggestion, I went with my best story first and saved my weakest for last. Lynnea knew I'd start to lose them if I ran long and wanted to make sure they got the good stuff. She is turning into an excellent story coach and is going to be instrumental in any success I have.

The best of them was Tortoise's Dream. In a way, it's a variant on The Tortoise and the Hare. It is an African folk tale in which tortoise dreams of a magical tree that all the animals want to find. However, the only one who can tell then how to find it is wise Grandmother Koko. Tortoise wants to go ask her, as it is his dream. The other animals insist he is too slow. Each in turn explains why he or she is the right animal for the job. Each fails in turn in an amusing way. Ultimately, they let turtle go and he succeeds. Everyone benefits from the wonderful tree. It has several things which make it a good story. It features repetition, an ever growing list of obstacles, diverse characters, and narration which can be acted as well as told. I was able to become the different animals with varying degrees of success and convey their attributes. Then I was able to teach the children how to be a lion. This went over tremendously well.

My second tale was Kanu. The story is about a tribal chieftain whose daughter is stolen by a god in the sky. He is distraught and becomes less involved in tribal affairs. He is only called in when his under-chiefs don't know what to do. As the story progresses "people" arrive that the tribe members do not like. The people are Spider, Anteater, Fly, and Rat. Each does things that the people do not like. They ask Kanu Below to banish them. Kanu tells each in turn that they can stay, because there is much good in them, if they stop doing the things that people hate. One day, his grief becomes too much and he beseeches his underchiefs to rescue his daughter. They are all afraid of Kanu above. Rat, Fly, Spider, and Anteater all undertake the task in appreciation for Kanu Below's kindness. Each using his unique skill to rescue the girl. As their reward, Kanu Below replaces the underchiefs with them. This is another excellent tale with a great moral. I just need to work on the physicalization of it more. I did some, but I need to do more. Again, the voices were good and the rhythm and pacing was decent. I also need to find a way to bring the audience in more.

Last was the Hershel story. This one was not as well structured for telling and the moral was not as clear. The story was "Hershel and the Money Table". All of the Hershel tales are about a downtrodden Russian Jew with a large family who has to resort to cleverness to get his basic needs met. In this story, he uses the greed of two powerful men to feed and provide for his family. When all is said and done, neither rich man realizes he has been conned. I'm not convinced this one is a keeper. The children who remained enjoyed it and it had some good moments of interactivity, so maybe it can be salvaged. Lynnea said she had some suggestions. Part of the problem is it is pretty heavy on the narration and short on the action. There are parts where Hershel lies about past events, so the events are told and not done. Perhaps I could mime some of them anyway. We shall see. I won't retire it just yet.

Overall, the reception was great. Bonnie couldn't believe that it was my first telling. Neither could any of the other parents there. I kept parent and child alike engage for an hour 15. So, I'm pretty pleased with myself. Bonnie has offered herself up as a reference. Stay tuned as I try to break into the San Diego story scene!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Uncle Bri rides again!

For those who don't know, my sister Sara-Anne has been due any day now for the last week and a half. She was due July 29, but the baby was being a bit stubborn. They were going to induce on August 12 if she hadn't delivered by then...

Around Saturday night, she said she was having "cramps" and her back hurt. She had also had some bleeding in her urine. Having never been pregnant before, she was not sure what this meant. She called my Sister, Samantha, who has a nigh 3 year old for advice. Sam's analysis: "You're almost two weeks late, you're having pains in your abdomen, there is pressure on your lower back, and you have 'bloody show'. Call the doctor." Sam figured this could be labor.

Sara-Anne didn't like that answer. Not sure why. She has been ready and waiting for over a week now. Still, she disbelieved. Her solution was to sit and lay on an ice pack Saturday night and all day Sunday. She was going to wait for her Monday morning check-up and ultrasound.

At the appointment, they did a check. Still no dilation and only 50% effacement. Time for an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed the amniotic fluid level was getting a little low. They didn't think it was going to keep until Thursday. So, they decided to admit her. "Really?" she asked. Really.

She was whisked upstairs to a labor and delivery room and the phone tree was alerted. My sister Laurie ditched out of work and drove the three hours to Boston to assist my brother-in-law Rich with the labor coaching.

It took two doses of prostaglandin to get to 100% effacement and then they started the pitocin. At 6pm, she was only 2cm dilated. Not what you would call fast progress. My parents "happened to be in the neighborhood" because they needed to take out Sara and Rich's trash. So they stopped in to see if they could help.

At 3cm, Sara-Anne asked for the epidural. They told her they liked to wait until 5cm before doing that. She told them "No.". In the end, 3.5cm won out and the epidural began. At the last update I received last night at 10pm ET, she was only 4cm. She didn't fully dilate until 1 am. Then the pushing began. She pushed for 3 hours, but he didn't want to come out. Part of the problem was that he was facing the wrong way.

At 4am, the decided it was time for a C-Section. At 4:30am John Zachary Hawkins arrived. He weighed in at 9lbs 2oz and was 21" long. I don't think he'll be getting much use out of the newborn sized clothes! From what I've been told, everyone is doing well, but very tired. No pictures as of yet, but I'm an uncle again!

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Monday, August 09, 2004

Put on a happy face!

I've been thinking a lot lately about happiness and what it takes to acheive it. One of the things I've determined is that some portion of happiness is self determined. I'm not sure what portion that is, but I'm convinced it's sizable. I've decided to try to be more like my friend Steve. Sorry, not you Steve. This is a Steve who I worked with at Message Secure.

The thing Steve does that I am trying to do more is simple. Whenever someone asks Steve how he is doing, unless there is something really terrible going on in his life, he answers "Fantastic!". I usually say something like "hanging in there". My response is much more gloomy. I've found that if I use an upbeat response, I feel more upbeat. Today, someone asked how I was doing. I responded "Excellent." Aside from the fact that I should have said "Excellent-ly" I felt a surge of warmth as I said it. Perhaps I realized that things were going very well. Or perhaps I just convinced some part of me that they were. Whatever. It works.

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Friday, August 06, 2004

Best Movie Lines Ever

A poll was conducted by one of those entertainment shows as to the Best movie lines ever. I was happy to see that The Princess Bride, one of my all time favorites, had multiple entries in the top 10. So, the question to you, dear reader, is, what did they leave out?

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Coining a new term

So, I was drving hom last night and in a foul mood. I'll explain why in a later post. (MORE coming attractions!) Suffice it to say I had just received a call that annoyed me mightily. If you don't believe me, just ask my sister Sara-Anne. I called her up to rant and used the exclamation WTF repeatedly. (I didn't say WTF. I said what it stands for.) At any rate, I was stuck in bad traffic that wasn't supposed to be there as my apartment commute is allegedly "against traffic". I spent a lot of time behind a car with a vanity plate. He became the focus of my verbal ire. I decided it was his fault, somehow. This was completely unjustified. There was no problem with his driving. Nothing pretentious about his car. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The plate was GIBSTER. It stuck with me, long after he was gone. I did something stupid and said "I'm such a Gibster." I found I like the way it flowed. It seemed to fit. So, I propose that the term "Gibster" refer to a moron. That's how I intend to use it. :)

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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Coming Attractions

Ok, so I haven't posted much lately. I was back east wrapping up things there before returning to California for the long haul. Unfortunately, that put me behind at work and with some things I needed to do locally in terms of house buying and setting up residency. I'm still behind, but I'm closer to digging out. I've been keeping track of the things I plan to blog about and my friend Chuck suggested I do a preview of what was upcoiming on Briwise. So, instead of writing articles, I'm going to write an article about what I'm going to write articles about when I have time to write articles.

Go with me, it works...

So, in the near future, stories you will see will include:

Slug gets married - in which I help to make the special day of an old friend even more special

Go, Packers! - Not about Green Bay. Rather about packing and moving and how much nicer it is when you don't have to do it yourself.

First Aid for Rope Burns - Why would Brian need to know that?

The House Buying Saga Continues - Did he get any of the houses he bid upon?

More adventures of Almost Puking Man - Did he puke?

Safety Training - Can 8 hours of learning about workplace safety be fun?

Tell me a story - Bri's newest hobby

Some shocking news - In which Bri has a rude awakening

Battleground, Ohio! - one of the many hotly contested states in this election

How one lucky Massachusetts resident can win a free pair of shoes! - Kind of tells itself.

Pirates - Arrrrrrr!

There's a new Sheriff in town - In which Bri performs at the San Diego Ren Faire.

At any rate, it's good to be back in the blog-o-sphere. Feel free to cast your vote for which story I ought to do next. Unless it's the Sheriff one. I don't actually DO that until this weekend, so I can't write about it yet.

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New comment system

Ok, I've added Haloscan commenting and trackback to my blog. It's not a seamless transition, but it's close enough. That's especially true since I don't have that many posts yet. The commenting system will allow for trackbacks, which I could not do with basic Blogger. From now on when you enter a comment, a new comment window will open. Enter your comment there. Or click Comment to view the comments already entered.

The part that isn't perfect is that all the old comments seem to have disappeared. :( I'm sure they are around someplace. I'll look for them and see if I can resuscitate them, but I'd rather not spend too much time on that. There wasn't a big history there anyway.

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