Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Adventures of Stupendous Man!

General Blogger's Warning: Do not use link if you suffer from a heart condition, or just find crude humor sickening and distasteful. Risk of psychotic children if used during pregnancy. Use can be habit forming and brain numbing, and can also lead to laughter.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Weekend Warrior (or handiman)

Well, this weekend found me at my fiancée’s house doing plenty of grunt work. She is getting new hard wood floors installed this week, so we were doing some preparations, and some moving, and a few other things that needed to be done. I spent the weekend disassembling a dancing platform, moving heavy furniture down the stairs, stripping wallpaper and texturing, as well as painting. When all was said and done, we were both too tired to do anything enjoyable...but we did get a lot done!

I kept telling her "Just think how nice this will look when we are finished." Well, we aren't done yet, and we will probably be spending much of the spring getting it done, but hopefully the worst will be over by summer time.

I also learned about a group called Hinder last week...they aren't half bad. Also saw Revelation Theory and Aroarah, and I thought they were great. Will definitely look into them, see how they develop.

Anyway, I got a lot of stuff to do today, so I will end here...I hope to post more later today.


Friday, January 27, 2006

When Winter was Cold

Once upon a time, winter was actually a cold time of year. Of course, I should say that at that time, I lived in Oklahoma, so the winters actually meant something. California's winter sucks.

Anyway, lets not get too side tracked. I have a bad habit of that.

I remember winter as being freeze your ass off cold. I loved it! The only time of day that I did not (and still do not) like being cold was in the morning right after waking up. I would leave the heater off all winter if I had my way, or just enough to keep the pipes from freezing, and throw eight extra blankets over me at night as I slept. There is nothing that compares to sleep like that. It is the most warm, comfy sleep I have ever experienced.

Damn-it! I got sidetracked.

Well, anyway, I do have to say that I miss driving on frozen roads, as that is just too much fun...kinda like a slalom in a massive steel death trap. In December, temperature would get down to the teens (Fahrenheit) or below, and the wind chill (once described as how cold it would feel if you stand outside butt naked, but really a more complicated process than that, I am sure) would be below zero. This was winter to me.

So imagine my first year here, in California, mid January, and the low has barely gotten below 35 in the middle of the night, and the highs are up around 45-60 on average, and just realizing what time of year it is. When I finally realized when it was, I asked "When does it get cold around here?" and I am met with incredulous stares and statements of "Damn-it! It is freaking cold already!" Californians, therefore, are wimps.

And it never snows around here. Just rains through the winter. And as it never gets below freezing, we never get icy streets.

Is there a point to all this? Nope. Just my rant about missing the cold.

However, I will get to a point that I have wanted to make. There are still people who will say that there is no such thing as Global Warming. For that, after what I said about my time in Oklahoma, I have one thing to say to them: Tell that to all the people who have lost their homes in OK to fires during this unseasonably warm, unusually dry spell that has been going on since October there. This is usually part of the raining season for them. This is usually part of the freeze-your-ass-off season.

Well, anyway, that was my thought today. Just as a note, as this post has turned more serious, I wanted to say that I do not mean to insult anyone, lest of all the state that I have come to call my home, or any of the good people living here with me. It still makes me laugh to walk out of a store somewhere with my jacket hanging wide open, thinking what a pleasant, slightly chilly night it is, and to hear behind me a couple coming out and complaining about how cold it is.

And that was my Random Thought.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

For Richer or Poorer

I have to admit going into this one that I really don't have my thoughts all that organized, so there are likely things that I will not present too well. Take it as opinion, if you chose.

Today, I heard someone talking about how Bush's tax cut for the rich is actually good for America. Talking about how it is a good thing to have the majority of the wealth of this country concentrated at the top. That if the spending power were to be put into the bottom, consumption would run rampant and everything would be in shambles.

Huh? Did I miss something? I thought consumption was already running rampant, and yet there are a great many people who still cannot fend for their families, can barely scrape up enough to keep their roofs over their heads. The rich like it this way, because that means there are plenty of people to pay starvation wages (a.k.a. minimum wage) to so that they can make their obscene profits even more obscene. Planned/forced obsolescence plays well into the retail markets and credit card companies, giving the middle class all the money they want, so long as they pay it back, so they can live like kings while being broke...because the already-rich now have their money, making them richer.

However, the middle class is largely blind to this, because they feel like they have a hand-up on the ladder towards becoming themselves rich someday. They are most likely wrong, and their debts are only going to get worse as they fight to compete with the Joneses to have the biggest, baddest in home theaters, cars, computers, whatever. They have it; I have to have it, only mine will be even better. How long before we realize that we are feeding the beast? Does it really make any of us happy, in the end?

And what happens to the little guy? The people who can't get anything? The poor are invisible to the middle and upper classes. A division created and fed largely by the upper class. The upper class is the smallest, but has the most, the highest of them propagating this obscene culture of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer...and the middle class are owned by the rich.

How do we fix this problem? By giving the rich even more money, is what that guy seemed to think, I suppose.

An interesting take (which I half mentioned a moment ago) on all this is that the rich hold their position by making the middle class believe that they can at some point become a member of the elite. So, when the middle and lower class should be demanding that the taxation laws be more lenient on the have-nots than the haves, the upper class keeps the middle class out of it with the carrot-on-a-stick tactic, or the American Dream as we like to call it.

In other countries, the rich are taxed much more heavily than the middle and lower classes, and they do not complain. Why? Because the people, not deluding themselves that they might be able to step on their hallowed ground, don't let the elected officials give the rich that kind of power. Sure, it isn't perfect, but it is a step in the right direction.

Personally, I, myself, would like to make it to the elite upper class, but I do not hold the illusion that I will make it beyond the upper-middle. I want to be protected as a citizen of this country regardless of my class standing, and that includes that if I wind up broke with nothing to give, I don't want to let what nothing I don't have help to make the fat cats on top purr all the more loudly. And if, by chance, I ever did actually make it up to the top, I would not want to do so on the backs of the poor or middle class.

Well, that was a rant, and contained no hard evidence, but it is my beliefs, and my blog, so deal with it. However, I am confident of my positions, and will likely start hunting down some statistics to support this, and will include them in a subsequent blog.

I've also been contemplating a split-off to be more a base for my political opinions, but I don't think anyone is reading this yet, so I will try to get a few more readers first.

And that was my Random Thought.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Proposal

Dear Wistful Romantic,

This blog is for you, and only you. Anyone here can see it, read it, and know what I say to you, but it is for you.

I have loved you since the moment I have met you, and the times we have spent together only make me love you more and more. I can no longer imagine life without you, or at the very least, the hope of having you.

Every year I have known you have been the best years of my life, no matter what has gone wrong. No matter where we go, who we become, you will always be beautiful, you will always be perfect, to me.

You give me hope that life can be wonderful. You have taught me what love is.

Will you marry me?

With love,
Blue Eyes

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Brave New World

Well, as I said before, this is my first blog, and I have to admit, I find it interesting. Interesting to write anything I feel like, and see if anyone really gives a crap. Also interesting to visit the good people of some of the other blogs out there (though I have to admit, I find that my favorite blog to read so far is The Wicked Truth, with the attitude of Mister Hand being quite refreshing).

I would write a longer post, but I have work to do today...I get to work on an Apple G4 tower that probably will turn out to have a bad motherboard or processor. Wee.

Sorry about that

Well, I thought that my first template might look nice, and from some viewpoints, I suppose it did...however, if anyone wanted to read anything, it was horrible, awful, and for that I apologize.

The good news of the evening is that I just got a new job that starts at the end of this month, so I'm happy about that. You can tell by the sheer glee with which the words of my blog hop off the screen and dance around like hamsters on your keyboard.

Hmm...well, okay, so they probably aren't, but just pretend that they are (and if they really are, you should learn to share the good stuff, you know?).

Well, that’s all there is for now. I probably won't post anything this weekend, but you never know.

Have fun! Will return soon.

Oh, and before I leave, I want to do a plug for a website/blog that I have found inspirational and informative. Check it out at www.faulkingtruth.com. I think Robin posts the most powerful, thought provoking articles there. Well, don't take my word for it, check it out!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Standardized Testing

Okay, I can't not write about this. Unfortunately, one of my room mates is a Rush fan, so I get to hear his station sometimes during the mornings (wee). This morning, I heard a rant about Public Schools (I'm assuming he meant college level) and how the people there had the lowest standardized testing scores, worst teachers/professors, and least credibility. His solution: Get rid of the schools! That is outrageous! What the heck does he think that is going to solve? Even fewer people will have access to higher level schooling than now!

Here's a couple of thoughts that might actually do some good towards actually educating the people in those schools instead of putting them out where they will have little to no options left. First, get rid of standardized testing! They make teachers aim their entire class at learning how to take a lousy test instead of actually teaching them how to learn, what the important knowledge and skills are and how to get them! Then, pay the teachers/professors at these colleges a better wage! Then, people who would make good teachers who cannot now afford to work at their salary might actually be willing to apply, and the schools would be able to weed out to find the good candidates!

(Addendum: This is not to say that there aren't any, and my comment was not aimed at the wonderful few who teach regardless of how little it will pay, just for the pleasure of helping others to learn. We need more teachers like this! We pay our celebrities, our lawyers and our politicians such high wages, but I guarantee that our teachers are far more important, and far less appreciated...that’s why we have so few people willing to let themselves be put through it that are truly worthy. Those noble few, I salute you)

And then, the teachers would be able to teach a real class that did not have to do with knowing a set of pressed and dry facts that mean little to a real world of people and workers and employers. These options, by the way, are also what we should be doing in high and junior high schools. College education is too strict, not accepting enough of fresh ideas, for just these reasons. High school and Junior High are even worse. They are a joke. Indoctrination at best.

I agree with him on one thing: this country's education system is broken and needs a serious overhaul. I just disagree on which way it is broken and how to fix it.

And that was my Random Thought.

One night in Bangkok

Always interesting to wake up to my radio listening to a song that I have never heard before, one that captivates my interest and is distinctive and unusual...I just had to hear it again, know who did it!

So, imagine my surprise (not really, considering the style) when I find that it was done in the early 80s...anyway, it was unusual, and I seem to like the unusual pretty well, so it was a good fit.

Anyway, I guess if there is anyone who is actually reading this, you might want to know a bit more about what I'm going to post about: everything. Well, everything that I think about in this deranged mind of mine...hence the title.

Yes, I am a geek. I'm also strongly opinionated, about politics, interpersonal relationships, the environment, even mundane things like movies, books, computers and music. Now, at the risk of scaring off someone who might be reading this, I'm going to invoke the dirtiest word of our time (according to some, anyway): liberal. I am a Liberal, and I am proud of it.

Well, that can of worms is open. So, the point is, don't expect anything specific from me...expect me to rant about nonsense one day, next give a thought provoking statement, then gripe about my character on Diablo dieing for the fiftieth time today (yes, I play Diablo II...my computer can't handle much more. Sad, isn't it?).

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hello, World.

Okay, so not that creative a title for my first blog, but there you have it. Hello, world. Reminds me of the first thing any programmer ever makes his computer tell him to learn how to program.

Anyway, as this is my first blog, I thought I would start by telling you a little about myself. My name is Jeffrey Hunter, and I am a computer geek by trade (don't call me a nerd unless you like to watch my face turn interesting colors of green). Yes, the cat is out of the bag. I'm the sort of geek that once, for fun, downloaded Linux, then thought "This is too confusing! It's all so horribly...different! Cool!" and proceeded to sit down to carelessly hack away at it until I started being able to do something with it. I will never forget the feeling of sheer glee when I first figured out how to mount a file system. You would think I had solved cold fusion. Go figure.

But, that is the mind of a geek for you. Learning is everything, knowledge is power.

Well, I know this is rather short, but I realize I don't know what to say (like I said, I've never written one of these before...this is new to me). Give me time. I'll warm up to it, I'm sure.

I just hope my next post doesn't sound so banal and dull.