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Saturday, November 30, 2002
 
Ms. Divorce Well I was directed toward a real gem of a webforum. It's the Ms. Magazine Women's discussion forums. Wow. There are few places on this earth with as numerous a collection of horrible advice as can be found on that forum. I'm sure there's good advice mixed in there, but everything in there is like a monument to stereotypes about feminists. Girls come there upset and asking for advice about their relationships and crippling emotional problems, and the answer is always "LEAVE THAT INSENSITIVE MAN'S ASS! He sees you as only an object! He wants pleasure from sex with you because he doesn't love the true you!" Another favorite response to any problem whatsoever with a girl's boyfriend is that she seek out a polygamous lesbian relationship. A man stares at you while you're walking to the bus today? "It's like visual rape." In other News The press is awash with stories now of the new "sexed up" Barbie. My only problem with this is that the new Barbie's idea of sexy, which the doll will instill into young girls, is to have her face covered with whore-paint ala Christina Aguilera. What fashion body decided that dropping pounds of purple and pink paste on your face was sexy?
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Eiffel Tower, Established 4,000,000 BC So I was flipping through the channels yesterday and I see that Cartoon Network is running something called a Flintstone's Christmas. Now ignoring the simple fact that the show itself refers to its place in time using the initials B.C., meaning Before Christ, what I saw next made me question whether Hannah Barbara should be burnt to the ground. They wanted to demonstrate people all over this mythical flintstones world celebrating Christmas, so they show kids in France celebrating under the Eiffel tower, and kids in Russia celebrating next to the Kremlin, and so on and so on. I mean, for fuck's sake. It's not like I was expecting realism or something. But I thought that perhaps they would atleast be able to follow the core fucking concept of the Flintstones, namely that it's set in the time of a modern stone-age family, without looking quite so stupid. Now if you don't mind, I'm have to go back and watch cartoons so I can belittle their plotholes.
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Thursday, November 28, 2002
 
Incompetence Deaths because of recent terrorist attacks in Kenya - 16 Israeli Deaths - 4 Israelis killed who were possibly capable of military service - 2 Kenyans - 9 Terrorists - 3 The "Army of Palestine" sucks ass at terrorism.
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Tuesday, November 26, 2002
 
Late prediction As soon as I read that the Disney Cruise ship Magic had 200 sick passengers, but Disney planned to have it disinfected and ready to go again for that very weekend's next trip, I knew it would turn out badly. I didn't mention it at the time, but I just said to myself, "How the fuck do they expect to contain a disease they don't even understand the source of by paying a bunch of guys to spray lysol on a cruise ship the size of Mt. Rushmore?" Well, sure enough, 70 people are now sick on this newest cruise. I'm gonna say "Boo!" to disney for trying to do a rush job to save money. Now they'll probably have to deal with lawsuits because there's always some person who claims his 3 weeks with the flu destroyed his life.
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And Rick with bi-minutely plant analysis! I've been listening to AM radio lately, and I've noticed some things. Now I don't think that advertising works very well in general, but I can't imagine anyone being influenced in anyway whatsoever by a radio ad. Who buys a car based on a radio ad? Who goes to see a movie based on a radio ad? Hell, who even pays attention to a radio ad? So it stuns me to realize how much fucking money these little AM radio stations are spending. They've got 400 different on-air personalities. In the span of 30 seconds, I counted five different people on one newsradio station. "And here's Chip with the weather, and now Roger with the traffic, and Marie with national news, and Jake with entertainment news, and in a second we'll get to John Smith's interview of Colin Powell, but first Skip with the sports beat!" How the hell are they employing all these people? Even someone who is on the air for 30 seconds has to be costing a lot of money since they are on-air talent. Why the fuck isn't there just one guy/gal doing all this? Is reading off a page really so difficult that we need specialists to recite a bunch of recycled Reuters and Associated Press reports?
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Monday, November 25, 2002
 
Action Pope wouldn't approve I'm all for slapping down international software piracy schemes that hurt US businesses abroad, but this sentence seems a little screwy. Obviously the woman in question deserved severe economic penalties and jail-time since she was a key player in a software piracy scheme that sold 100 million dollars worth of stolen loot, but she pleaded no contest to ONE COUNT of failure to disclose the origin of a recording or product and will spend 9 years in prison and must pay 11 million dollars to Microsoft and Symantec. Something just seems a little screwy to me if one charge can reach such huge penalties. Oh, and PS to Symantec: I promise I'll update my virus definitions list soon, so please stop bugging me about it!
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Saturday, November 23, 2002
 
Ninjas I was looking for pictures of ninjas and the pope and this came up:
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Friday, November 22, 2002
 
Responsibility I don't understand the furor over the Victoria's Secret Show on CBS the other night. It's not like anyone turned on the TV at 9pm that night expecting Victoria's Secret to be a murder mystery show. I don't understand parents who complain about the show's effects on their children. Just change the fucking channel! And now, McDonalds: Destroyer of souls! You've probably heard about this lawsuit already. Essentially, some people are suing McDonalds on behalf of the obese children of New York claiming that McDonalds caused their obesity. I'm sorry, but this is just fucking stupid. Anyone who thinks McDonalds is healthy has been living in a cave on Mars. This isn't some tobacco company testifying before congress that their product isn't harmful. Hell, some of the McDonalds in Europe even have ad campaigns suggesting that people should never visit more than once a week. The argument that's frequently being made is that many of these children are poor and have to eat at McDonalds because its prices are so low. My response is, "So what?" What the fuck does that matter? Should McDonalds raise their prices so that these poor people don't eat at all? I never heard anyone in a tobacco suit complaining that the tobacco companies were at fault because their harmful product was too cheap. It's just a false argument. I visited a page that had the actual court documents of the case. Amazingly, the last point that the three obese children in the case mention is that "One of the reasons I went to McDonalds was because of the prizes. I collected some of the prizes." That's just silly to me. To allege that McDonalds is at fault for some kid's obesity because the kid really wanted the full set of hotwheels mini toys is just silly to me. At some point it was the parent's, and yes, even the child's job to say, "Hey. This greasy fried fastfood is probably contributing to my weight problem. Perhaps I shouldn't eat it 5 times a week."
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Thursday, November 21, 2002
 
Good Pelosi wants the Democratic leaders to get together for a conference to discuss things and come up with ...gasp... policies. I think this is a very good idea.
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A tear in my eye I've never been more proud of my hometown. We're #1! We're #1! We're #1! We're #1! Hey Scott and Asparagirl, doesn't this sound like a great place to raise children! editor's note: I often get the impression that the rest of the world thinks that we in America spend all our time ducking drive-by shootings and leaping into the air as wearhouses explode behind us. But let me assure you, this is only true of our poor inner-city minorities. The rest of us are shot at only once or twice in our lifetimes.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2002
 
Differences must be crushed! edit: Please forgive the disjointed, non-sensical, rambling nature of this post. Europe and I have had some problems over the years and I guess I sort of shot all over the place. I have a feeling that around December 25th, Americans everywhere will walk around saying "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Hanukah." The problem of course will be that Hanukah is starting next week, and will be long over by the time Christmas rolls around. I can't blame them. Clearly the Jewish calendar is stupid. I have no idea why after a few thousand years, when we realized that we had to add a month or so to the Jewish lunar calendar every year to keep things reasonably on-track, we didn't just junk the fucking thing. I'm sure there would be religious conflicts and fucked up holiday schedules, but let's think about the date system. Rather than fighting an impossible battle and not recognizing the concept of a year zero set at the birth of Jesus (or more accurately, four years after the birth of Jesus), we just said, we'll use this system but without the religious terminology. Hence the use of BCE (before common era) and CE (common era) instead of BC and AD. I don't like belonging to something that's wrong. For instance, the rest of the world calls soccer football and football American football. In this one case, the rest of the world is clearly right and we in the US are clearly wrong. That's why I propose that we change the names of our sports. We should call American football soccer, and give soccer the title of football. Everything would just make so much more sense that way. In the case of the date system, however, Europe and the rest of the modern world can suck it. I've had this argument on the internet for roughly two years now, but I feel the American date system of month/date/year is clearly superior to the European system of date/month/year. It's just a simple matter of efficiency. If I'm looking through a long list of articles and I want to understand them in chronological order, which two numbers are going to be most important? Well, the month and the year. So why squish the extremely important month into the middle, making things confusing in a long list? The European counter-argument is that their system makes more sense because it goes in order of units of time (days/months/years), but I think that's flimsy at best because it has no use. Especially when you consider that the American system puts them in order of number ranges (1-12 months, 1-31 days, infinity years); this makes dates easier to read. So long as I'm on Europe vs. America, I might as well touch on the metric system. In every scientific sense, the metric system is clearly superior to the English system, but I just can't bring myself to support trying to convert America to it. All our products are designed to have nice round English unit amounts. 12 and 16 ounce drinks. 6 foot tall people (which is a lot easier to say than 1.83 meters tall). And we sell everything by the pound, since grams would mean really high numbers and kilograms would mean really small numbers (this ignores the inbetween units which no one seems to use for anything anyway). Yeah, it's a weak arguments, but I don't think any politician thinks it's worth being run out of office to try to acquaint the American public with buying steak by the decagram.
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Downsizing Tissues. My school brings in money in excess of 40 million dollars a year. Tuitition rises every year. Donations are plentiful. One year ago they downgraded the tissue boxes to save money. Tissues. Instead of the nice soft tissues that came in boxes with high numbers of sheets, we now have tiny boxes filled with what I can only assume is sandpaper. They're murder on my already fragile nostrils. By the end of the year, my nose will probably resemble some sort of inhuman Michael Jacksonesque monstrosity. You see, my nose is poorly designed. It doesn't seem to understand its responsibilities as a nose. It fills itself with dried mucus at the drop of a hat, but the mucus affixes itself so firmly to the walls of my nose, that only the most vigorous of picking can free the air-passage. I tell you this, a year later, because I was reminded when a similar threat to my safety occurred in my very bathroom. For no reason whatsoever, we switched from Charmin to another brand of toilet paper. It's one thing to have to wipe your nose with unforgiving tissues, but I had to draw a line in the sand on this issue. I felt like I was wiping my ass with cardboard. Why oh why do people try to save money doing stupid things like this? How much could my school have saved switching to that awful tissue paper? Was it really worth the two weeks I spent with my nose full of dried blood because of the harsh paper? And what could possibly me the motivation for my household's switch to bad toilet paper? This is something we rub, errr, wipe our anuses with! How much more intimate a purchase does it have to be before you spend a little fucking money. We don't tell women to stop wasting money on quality tampons. It's just stupid.
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Tuesday, November 19, 2002
 
Gore I haven't watched his Letterman show appearance yet. I'm watching him on CNN right now. I don't hate him. He's better at speaking now that he isn't running a campaign. Still, I look at these mild improvements in his manner with fear because they make me think he'll try to run again. Maybe if he ran in 2008 he could win, but I just don't see it in 2004. If you ask me, he'd be president right now if he had a better Southern accent. Oh, and I'm downgrading John Edwards' chances of winning the nomination. The newer poll data and my own realization that he is perhaps not North Carolina's most beloved native son makes me think his chances were overhyped. He's still got a good shot, but if it's suspect that he could even win reelection to a second term in the senate, then I don't quite see what makes him presidential material. Yeah, Gore lost Tennessee, but he hadn't been directly elected there in many years. John Kerry looks like a caricature. That's all I know about him.
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These apples have rotted It's quite common for companies to copy Apple computer. Most of this time, this means stealing some software or hardware idea. For instance, Gateway's profile computer bore more than a casual resemblance to a certain Macintosh whose name rhymes with "ilac" For some reason, Apple's absolutely atrocious switch campaign, which has been parodied on the web with 9 separate videos, seems to have also been copied. More and more, I'm seeing random idiots standing in front of a white background explaining how some local insurance company restored their kidneys to functioning order. The worst offender is AMC (the American Movie Classics channel). AMC was already on my list of things to belittle. It's a channel devoted to great American cinema that focuses on pinnacles of the movie making craft such as Robocop 3, Short Circuit, and Hot Shots!. Basically it's an excuse for its owners to get some mileage out of their rather mediocre movie library. There are a few gems in their lineup, but it's basically the same set of 12 movies over and over again and then a few original documentrary specials. The documentraries aren't very good, but it's nice not having to watch the E! Channel for interesting behind the scenes stuff. Back to their new ads. First of all, as a rather weak cable channel, 80% of their advertising is for their own programming. So every commercial break, the familiar white backdrop appears and one or two people appear on the screen. Apparently whatever pit of human sludge that Apple fishes their switch ad people out of is more than ample enough to provide AMC with plenty of energetic ninnies. Basically, each talks about some scene in a movie, but rather than discussing it as say, a human being might, they gesticulate wildly and use nothing but vague and ill-defined terms like "oogy." It's pure pain, and it happens twice a commercial break.
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Monday, November 18, 2002
 
"Knuckleheads" Just two good old boys, Never meaning no harm. Beats all you ever you saw, Been in trouble with the law Since the day they were born. Straightening the curves, Flattenin the hill. Someday the mountain Might get them but the law never will. Makin their way- The only way they know how That's just a little bit more Than the law will allow. Makin their way-, The only way they know how. That's just a little bit more Than the law will allow. Just two good old boys Couldn't change if they could. Fightin' the system like two modern-day Robin Hoods. When the CNN synopsis said two "knuckleheads" were on a Southern Crime spree, I thought they were talking about Dukes of Hazard style crime sprees. Well apparently that's not true, unless of course there was some episode I never saw where Luke and Bo carjacked, kidnapped, and murdered a woman. It never ceases to amaze me how CNN can put the stupidest most lighthearted titles on the most gruesome news stories. This is just like the recent FBI statement about "Spectacular!" terrorist attacks.
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Sunday, November 17, 2002
 
Gore's push Al Gore is going media crazy. Time magazine stories. An appearance on Futurama lastweek. An appearance on Letterman next week. Articles swirling. I don't know what it means, if anything. Perhaps he just wants his name in public view to remind people he's not dead in case he decides to run for president. If I were him, I'd wait to announce any candidacy for as long as possible, if that's where I was headed. His best bet would be to ride a wave of name recognition into the primaries and if he announces too early, the media will have plenty of time to remind everyone why they never liked him. As I said, I don't want him to run, though I have nothing against him trying to help ween weak candidates from the strong with endorsements.
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Saturday, November 16, 2002
 
Watching SNL Is it just me, or are Adam Sandler's songs worse now that he can actually sing? Part of the charm of his old songs was the way his voice flew all over the fucking place. Though really, there was never a need for Hanukah song #2 or #3.
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Friday, November 15, 2002
 
Spec-i-tacular! Have you heard about the latest terrorist attack threats? They're Real, and they're spectacular.
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Emerging Trivia Here's some emerging trivia. Which Ferris Bueller actor was arrested for sexually molesting a child and having child pornography? If you answered that Principal guy, then yeah, he just was. I don't like people who partially ruin classic films by making you remember that the actors who were in the film are sick freaks, and I'm not just talking about Mathew Broderick (*rimshot*).
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Thursday, November 14, 2002
 
Robert Reich is ... making sense? I'm stunned. I just read this piece by Robert Reich over at the Slate and I seem to agree with almost everything he says. I mean, there's certainly a lot of hyperbole in there, and a bit too much of that sort of Democratic instinct to blame Republican party structure, but the core concepts are true. "But if you want to be a true leader, you define the Center. You don't rely on pollsters to tell you where the Center is, because you can't lead people to where they already are." He also mentioned my idea of deflating the Bush tax cut idea by proposing legislation to transfer some of the upper-class tax-cut money to middle-class tax cuts. I've usually written him off as a crazy ultra-liberal because he's such an extreme populist. And there are parts of that side to him in this piece, specifically all the allusions to Democrats save the working man concepts. Still, I thought this piece made a lot of sense, even if he didn't really explain any specific ways to implement things.
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How quickly they forget I can finally listen to AM radio because the antenna on Jacob Samuels (my car) was fixed. I was very pleased to find an interview of Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld is the sort of ultra-conservative I can almost get behind. He's as big a war hawk as they come, but he's just a delight to listen to. He has this very Truman-esque straight talk that's very appealing; hell, he even talks through his teeth like Truman. He's what you'd call a real shoot-from-the-hip sort of guy. Having said that, I was annoyed by one of his answers to a caller's question. Now the caller had asked the rather silly question, "What if the war with Iraq turns into World War III?" What bothered me was that Rumsfeld focused very quickly on how much stronger the US military is today than it was during the Persian Gulf war. How quickly they forget. It was only two years ago that Bush was campaigning on the notion that the US military had been horribly detoriated and weakened by the Clinton administration. Clinton had destroyed military morale and we were stretched so thin that we were not a truly effective global military force. It's pretty easy to claim the military is in shambles when you're running for office, but once you get in and have your own little wars to plan, it's suddenly time to convince the public that your army can easily defeat the enemy. And no one can claim that Bush substantially changed the military during his time in office. They passed a Defense Budget increase, but September 11th happened only six months into Bush's term, and we were knocking over Afghanistan a month or two later. Bush didn't enter office and repair the military in six months; he entered office and there was nothing to repair. That's not to say the military was in perfect condition under Clinton or that there aren't things that might need changing, but it will be the same military that worked and developed under Clinton that will attack Iraq under Bush.
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Pa, the wheat dun 'sploded! I spent 12 hours yesterday with a ringing noise in my right ear. I felt like half my head had been in a silo explosion. I don't know why it happened. It wasn't a very strong noise. If there was even the slightest outside noise I couldn't hear it, but whenever things were silent, my right ear had a high-pitched noise in it. It seems to be gone now. If I really concentrate and sit in total silence, I think I can still almost hear it, but now I don't care. It worried me for a minute. I seem to remember hearing about people who live their lives with such a powerful ringing noise in their heads that they ponder suicide. edit: I just hit my arm on a lamp and the ringing came back. What the fuck is that? Someone needs to tell my ear it doesn't know what the fuck it's doing.
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Wednesday, November 13, 2002
 
THERE IS NO GOD! It's now clear to me that wearing those surgical masks in public is the most sane thing this man has ever done, and I thank him for it. I'd like to thank the DrudgeReport for burning this awful image onto my retinas.
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Retread This won't be very interesting for those who already know that Israel isn't an Imperialistic country of murderers, but it's still a pretty nice, though relatively one-sided, account of how we get from ancient Israel to today's Israel-Palestinian conflict.
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Go fuck yourselves Dear TheRegister.com, please go fuck yourselves. First, it's delightful the way a site that relishes in talking about the failures of others has not even mentioned that their own recent venture, TheRegUs.com (basically their site but with less Euro-centric news), apparently no longer exists. No fanfare, not even a casual mention. It just no longer exists. Now they've reached a new low with articles attacking Bill Gates for giving money to charity. Sure, they can claim that I'm oversimplifying their point, but that doesn't really hold water. It's one thing to say that you think his donations are partially motivated by the PR needs of his company, but this isn't criticism, this is vicious hatred. This is an example of the sort of people who drove me to being a partial-supporter of Microsoft. Apparently Gates spending 100 million dollars to combat HIV in India doesnt matter because Microsoft (which they apparently view as just Bill Gates by another name) is spending a lot of money to beat Linux by investing in foreign economies. Yeah, I'm sure those truckstop HIV-infected hookers in India are feeling real conflicted about accepting medical treatment bought by this money because the money's source doesn't like Linux. The idea that Bill Gates gave a 100 million dollars of his own personal wealth to fight HIV solely to try to win over India to Windows is such a stupid and spiteful statement that it just totally undermines the entire Anti-Microsoft crowd. That's right, the entire Anti-Microsoft crowd is hurt by examples like this, where they've let their sheer hatred over lines of code turn into a level of extremism that should be reserved to terrorists. Responding to a letter that rightfully criticizes the way the author compared his own donations to charity to Bill Gate's, the Author said that "It's the disposition of the offerer, not the size of the gift, that defines the difference between self-interest and charity. Selfish motives, especially vanity and its corporate cousin, PR, cheapen gifts. There's also a general sense among most people that the gift should cost the giver. It ought to hurt a bit." Well that's all well and good, but how about talking about results. Larry Ellison, owner of Oracle and a fierce competitor of Microsoft, once said that while he only donated a tiny tiny tiny tiny fraction of what Bill Gates donated, his donations were focused and he knew what happened with them. That doesn't change the fact that Bill Gates and Melinda Gates are giving away 24 fucking billion dollars to charity and that he's said that he plans to give away the majority of his wealth to charity when he dies. All the bitching in the world doesn't change the fact that Bill Gates is going to end up giving more money to charity than any human being in history by the time he's dead. It's fine to wonder about the motives, but it's another thing to hate donations that will help millions of people all over the world because you don't like Windows Media Player 9.
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Tuesday, November 12, 2002
 
Hmmm The Drudge Report is saying that the Boston Globe is saying that Democratic Insiders are saying that the 2004 Democratic Convention may be held in Boston. I wonder if this helps John Kerry's bid for the White House in anyway, since it's his home turf. He's an interesting guy, but a liberal from Massachusetts is not exactly going to be winning the South or the Midwestern states by massive margins. I've yet to hear him actually say anything about anything, so it'll be interesting to hear how he frames things once he starts making speeches for his presidential bid.
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Osama Bin Where? This new Osama Bin Laden news confuses the hell out of me. The news agencies are actings as if it's a given that the new tape is really him because it sounds like him. If it is him, then I'm quite frankly surprised. With so much time passed, I really believed he had to be dead because it just made no sense to me that he wouldn't take part in atleast one of the half-dozen or so Al Qaeda PR films that have been released since the Afghanistan war. I know we shouldn't try to subscribe rational thinking to a crazy extremist like Bin Laden, but I just can't think of any good reasons why he would wait until now to talk. Apparently the Arab world doesn't trust him. Atleast that's what I have to guess because it seems that no matter how many attacks the fucker takes credit for, polls consistently show majorities in the Middle East don't believe Arabs are involved in these terrorist attacks in the US and elsewhere. It's an interesting little paradox that so many Arabs love this guy and name their children after him, yet continue to indirectly call him a liar by accusing Israel of creating every terrorist attack in history and then framing Muslims.
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Monday, November 11, 2002
 
Ze Alarm! Ze Alarm! Okay, so I'm driving down the street, a half-hour late because I got parked in at school. In front of me, I see this little kid on a bike. He's got a camp uniform on with a white helmet and a white shirt with a circular insignia on it. So he lets me pass him, and then bam! "EEEEHHHHH! EEEEHHHHH! EEEEEHHHH! EEEEHHHHH!" He has a fucking alarm noise to notify traffic so no one turns him into a hood ornament. Okay, it's the very beginning of dusk, so visibility is still excellent, he's wearing blue and white and is traveling down a 25-mph street, the lights on his bike really do light up, and he needs a giant blaring horn that rings every 2 seconds. I was stunned. I mean, I knew in my mind that it was his bike, but it was so thunderously loud. It seemed to come from all around me. I felt fenced in. I froze in my path. I tried to look behind myself to see if there was a police officer or a screaming monkey that had been set on fire, anything that would provide a better explanation for this tremendous noise than a 12-year-old's bike. So finally I get a grip on myself and finish the left turn. The horn is still blaring and the kid is to my left. Then bam! "EEEHEHEHEHEH!!! EHEHEHEH!!!!! EHEHEHE!!!!" Now the horn is in stereo because the kid's identically dressed friend is riding an identical bike and using the exact same ear-bursting alarm. If you ask me, I was more likely to hit these bastards with the alarm on just out of frustration than if they had been biking around at midnight wearing black leather jumpsuits with no warning siren. I nearly hit someone because the second alarm made me look behind myself once again to make sure I didn't have some cop car with a detective with sideburns leaning out the window shooting at me. I could still hear the alarm blocks later at my house.
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Sunday, November 10, 2002
 
Impressive I've gone on record before saying that I don't think any attention should be paid to Britain's royal family and they should change their laws over there so the royal family has no actual role in the government. But wow, this recent Royal Scandal is quite impressive. It's got everything. Shady actions by the Queen, the late Princess Diana's involvement, a criminal trial, and even gay rape. The British tabloids, also known as whores, must be going crazy with glee.
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Friday, November 08, 2002
 
Advice for Gore Here's my advice for Al Gore (not that I expect him to be reading my blog). You can't win. Even if you somehow manage to win the Democratic presidential nomination, which I doubt you could when push comes to shove, you'd be obliterated in the general election. But that doesn't mean you have to choose between political anonymity and a failed presidential bid that could make you the next Mondale or Dukakis. You've still got big support, which is why I think you can pick the next Democratic presidential candidate. There are a lot of potential candidates, but none have anywhere near the name recognition you do. And though you are personally disliked for your failure, you're also pitied, and to some extent, respected. If you find a good candidate who you think can win, your support could easily win him the nomination. How does Secretary of State Al Gore sound? Yeah, it's not the presidency, but it's also not failure.
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Why I don't think Pelosi matters Republicans are tap dancing in the streets because it looks like very liberal democrat Nancy Pelosi is going to be the minority leader in the house. I'd prefer a more moderate democrat (though they'd need to have a spine), but I really don't think this matters. In my opinion, the choices the Democratic party makes in the next few months with regards to how to deal with its new diminished role will end up being rather unimportant. What will be important will be who becomes the front-runner for the presidential nomination process. As incompetent as he may have been, Gephardt had it right when he said that the problem wasn't that the Democrats weren't liberal enough in the last election. The problem was really McAuliff-ism. As chairman of the DNC he represents everything that's wrong with the Democratic party today. He obsesses over media analysis, polling, and tactical maneuvering. When it comes to actual issues and ideas, he just refers to his polling. He's one of the many democrats who took the wrong message from Clinton's presidential wins. All they saw were Clinton's tactical skills and reliance on media skills, they didn't see the way he handled issues and repackaged ideas. Before these recent midterms, the Democrats were all about responding to Republican issues. They didn't actually put forth any plan. Granted, some of what they were saying was buried by the media. What they needed was something, anything, to cling to. Something non-threatening like a Democratic stimulus package in congress. Now even if the Democrats get dragged into liberal attack-the-president-thinking for a few months, any candidate who's going to win the primaries and support of most party leaders is going to have to be a moderate. And even if he suffers from the same problems as current Democratic moderates, the Democratic party will still be much better off because they'll finally have a central figure. The last two years has been Democrats vs. Bush. I think a big reason that they've failed to propose new legislation and concrete plans is because they've been mired in group thinking for too long. As we all know, committee-thinking leads to rooms painted beige, and I think the Democrats ran a beige midterm campaign.
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Berkeleyism ... err, I mean Anti-Semitism I found this article over at the Slate. I like the piece because it confronts the issue of anti-semitism on campuses and in the liberal left without sounding like a Jewish mother who sees anti-semitism everytime the toilet clogs. She covers all the bases such as the hyperbolic comparisons between the Nazis and Israel and the misguided attempts at anti-imperialism by Israel detractors. It's a good read.
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Thursday, November 07, 2002
 
Comfort For those of you who are Democrats and who were very depressed by the recent election. Here's something to keep you mildly amused:

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The Best Pop-Up Stopper Those of you using IE will appreciate this. It's a really great pop-up ad stopper. Unlike most ad stoppers, it doesn't rely on some brute force annoying method like preventing any new windows from opening. It has an engine that lets it tell bad pop-ups apart from good pop-ups. It really works splendidly. And if you ever have a problem, like for instance, it thought that one of the normal blogger pop-ups was a bad pop-up, you can just add that pop-up to a list of pop-ups to never block. You can do the opposite for bad pop-ups that it fails to stop (though I've yet to have a bad pop-up while running this). Now if only there was a program that let you choose which flash files on a webpage you wanted to load, we wouldn't have to worry about those stupid loud blaring flying flash ads. And in an unrelated note. How about some comments!?!? It's been so lonely around here lately.
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His ass or a hole in the ground. Dick Morris wouldn't know the difference. He has a new opinion article up, that can best be summed up as one of the stupidest things ever written. How this reptilian moron ever helped Clinton with anything at all is beyond me. Here's what his article says: His prediction that the Dems would do well was wrong, but it wasn't because the Democrats were directionless and didn't put forth any cohesive alternative to Bush, it's all Walter Mondale's fault. Never mind that Walter Mondale only lost by a percent in his own state, he apparently has destroyed the Democratic party once again. Morris claims the exact opposite of everyone else who watched the election. He says the problem was that everyone in the country saw Mondale and it made them realize that the Democrats are tax-and-spend liberals who want to repeal the tax cut and start handing out entitlements. Yeah, that's it. Voters in South Carolina chose Dole over Erskine Bowles because they hate Walter Mondale. Voters in New Hampshire, Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Missouri all voted for Republcans because Walter Mondale ran a six day senate campaign in Minnesota. Mondale may have a rich history of running monstrously bad campaigns ("I pledge to raise your taxes!"), but Morris gives way too much credit to Mondale. Largely I think Morris is trying to attribute the Democrats loss to one small factor so that his earlier analysis looks less stupid.
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Why do blind people... Why do blind people wear those humungous super dark glasses? What, is the sun getting in their eyes or something? It can't be that they're overly sensitive to light because, well, they're blind. I guess it's because they're self-conscious about their eyes wandering when they're with other people, though I have to wonder, who tells the blind people about this? I mean, do they all have to spend their childhoods being told "Why the fuck are you looking over there?" before they figure this out, or is there some sort of blind people support group that tells them where to buy their special super big dark glasses? And why do the glasses have to be so incredibly huge?
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The Bear is charging! My communist friend and I were quite disappointed by the Republicans continued dominance over national elections. Our consolation was that atleast we always win our home state of California. Then we were struck. Let's secede! Come on, we've already got more than 1 out of 10 Americans living in the state. Our economy is the fifth largest in the world. And who's gonna yell at us? South Carolina? Now I know there's already a California secession party (actually, there are also parties for cutting the state in half to form South California and North California), but it's largely dormant and has failed to bring this cause to the voters. Once we win over Californians, nothing will stand in our way. Many US soldiers are Californians and we have a lot of military equipment lying around. And afterward the US will have to give us pretty loose trade status because otherwise their own economy will be too badly damaged. I imagine that if the Governor's ballot had included a third option for a secession candidate, he would've easily bested Gov. Gray Davis and Bill Simon. Don't get in the way of the Bear Flag revolt!
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And now for something completely different Well that was officially my longest stretch of "serious" blog posts. So I felt the need to go and look for something silly to post about. You may have heard of this before. These lovely people manufacture life gems. What are life gems? Well, first, you take a friend or loved one's corpse, then you mail it to them, and then they burn it into a cheap diamond knock-off that you can wear and show to new friends! That's the beauty of these things. You use your snazzy bright purple and red life gems to win new friends, who then die and provide you with even more corpse-jewelry to win even more new friends! If this sort of technology had been around back in the 1940's, Germany would be considered the friendliest place on earth.
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Wednesday, November 06, 2002
 
Misanalysis While most Democratic analysts seemed to have all collectively slapped their heads and realized how hugely they fucked up, Republican pundits have been everywhere from right-on-target to full of shit. Newt Gingrich is apparently having drug-induced flashbacks to 1994 and declared the election a repudiation of president Clinton. Bill O'Reilly says the Democrats lost the election because they stand for higher taxes and entitlement programs. What he fails to mention is that the Democrats never even touched the issue of taxes. Yes, Bush gained votes by arguing that his tax cuts should be made permanent and new ones added to aid the economy, but the Democrats never campaigned on anything remotely close to new entitlement programs and taxes. If anything, that was their problem. What they should've done is created some legislative plan that involved economic spending initiatives and the redirection of some Bush tax cuts into some sort of middle class or small business tax cut. I think that would've allowed them to take on Bush's tax cut because voters would probably like the ring of transferring some of Bush's upper-class tax cuts that have yet to kick in toward other more Democratic tax cuts. Other analysts like Novak have taken the very true fact that the Democratic party is very divided and exaggerated it into an orgastic dream where the Democratic party is on the verge of collapse. The Democrats did get their asses handed to them, as I've said a million times, but they aren't the federalists or the whigs. They aren't just going to fade from existence outside of some Republican wetdream. Of course, the Dems really are in trouble. The economy is probably about to rebound, and the Republicans are going to rush to quickly pass some new tax cuts so that when the economy does recover, they can claim it was fixed by their legislation. Largely the Republicans will take Clinton's old role, which they spent so much time criticizing, by taking credit for economic gains only distantly related to government. And since people in this country tend to only read headlines, if the Republicans can pass watered down prescription bills, they'll look like they're getting things done. I think the Democrats should probably fight hard and develop some rival legislation. Even if it doesn't come to vote, if they can atleast trumpet bills and force debates on some of their own issues, the public will have to pay attention to them.
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Bye Dick Well looks like Gephardt is stepping down as house minority leader. Frankly, I'm surprised he's been able to hold the position for so many years. Unfortunately, I was wrong when I predicted this was the end of his presidential ambitions, as this seems to have only intensified them. A lot of people hate Daschle. I actually like him, but I think he's really put the nail in his own coffin by his recent statements after the election. He basically acted as if there was nothing they could've done different. It's easy to see that Bush's popularity and ability to direct the media were big big factors in the Republicans win, but I think for Daschle to act as if the Democrats did everything they could is laughable. While it's true that he and Gephardt did try to create a Democratic message that wasn't picked up by the press, the reason it wasn't picked up was because none of their candidates were running on anything even remotely close to it. As for McAuliffe, I think he's a real shithead. It's been said already, but it bears repeating. He focused on tactics and not ideas. He focused on raising money and tweaking get out the vote mechanisms, not actually running the party. And beyond that, he's terrible on TV and always comes across as a real idiot. If you want a good lesson in fiction, go read his press release calling yesterday a good night for Democrats.
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Tuesday, November 05, 2002
 
They Win I don't care if the senate races aren't over. There's no need to skirt the obvious. The Democrats got their asses handed to them tonight. I find this so incredibly depressing. Democrats had better candidates than we've had in years, a bad economy, and a decent advantage on several issues. So why did Democrats lose? Because they're fucking pussies. They ran a platform of me-tooism. "Hey, you like the President! Well I voted for everything he asked me to!" I'm not saying they needed to run on some super liberal platform, but they needed to run on some sort of god damned platform. I don't see how they could've done any worse by running on a clearly defined liberal agenda. That's not to say the New Democrats are wrong about things. I tend to agree with them on every issue, but they're so obsessive with running away from the liberal side of the Democratic party that their so-called centrist coalition has murdered the Democratic party in this election. Begala was wrong to claim that the Democrat's problem was that we didn't attack the president, but he and Carville were right when they said that the Democrats had no platform and they've paid for it. I'm not gonna watch the news again for a month. I've learned to live with Bush in office; I'll learn to live with this. Sounds to me like Daschle (who was probably never going to run) and Gephardt are officially out of the running for the 2004 race. I'd also say McAuliffe (sp?) has come across like a real fucking moron and he might want to look for a new job. So in conclusion: .
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The Election in a nutshell
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Early Every Democratic leader just went on TV saying the night is "early." Basically, that means we're "early" into the Republicans triumph. Dems didn't get the vote out and though I still think they had a lot of good candidates, those candidates were too afraid to take any national stands. Now the Democrats absolutely have to win Minnesota, and even if they win that, they'll have to win either Missouri or Colorado. I suspect they'll win South Dakota though.
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Gut Just a gut reaction, but with the tiny small amount of races in (only one of which is important so far, South Carolina) so far, I think the Dems suck and are going to lose the senate. I may be wrong, but I just feel that New Hampshire and SC probably going Republican puts too much pressure on South Dakota to go right for the Dems. edit: The real issue is that the Dems may lose Georgia, and if they do, they're essentially fucked unless they can magically pull Colorado out of their asses.
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P.S. Does anyone remember Israel? You know, little country just left of Jordan? There's been a lot of stuff going on over there, but damned if I know much about it. I'm preoccupied with the elections, just like the news networks here, so whenever I want to hear about it, I have to turn to the BBC. Hell, I practically have to turn to the BBC for anything outside of the US lately.
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Predictions First, some comments on this years election. Whoever dubbed it the "Seinfeld" election stole the words right out of my head. It's about absolutely nothing. Having said that, just from my casual glance around the country, it seems to me that both parties have fielded stronger and better candidates than they have in years, with the obvious exception of my home state of California. I just see a lot of people who, should they win, are likely to be big names in the party and perhaps future presidential or vice-presidental candidates. Every blog I visited today seemed to be filled with predictions. So here I go: House: Even. Senate: Dems even or +1 I can't really break it down confidently race by race, because some of them are just too close for me to get anything more than a feel. As far as I can tell, Arkansas is going for the Democrats and Missouri is going for the Republicans (though that's less assured than Arkansas) and those should balance each other out. I think that there are two races to watch, New Hampshire and South Dakota. I'm guessing the Republicans will win New Hampshire, but if they don't win it, then that'll be an early indication that their chances of retaking the Senate are screwed. And South Dakota is important because if the Democrats somehow manage to hold off the Republicans there, they're in good shape for the night. I think Republicans keep Colorado and Democrats keep Minnesota. You may have noticed that my race-by-race doesn't actually add up to my general prediction of the Dems keeping things even. That may make no sense, but I just have a gut feeling that the Democrats will surprise me by winning some election that I don't expect them to like Missouri, South Dakota, or New Hampshire. As a Democrat though, I hope that I'm wrong and the Democrats pick up atleast one house seat and perhaps two senate seats.
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An Open Letter Dear Mr. Colmes of "Hannity & Colmes," Please grow some fucking balls. The show is called Hannity AND Colmes, not "Watch Hannity get indignant for an hour while Colmes sits in the background like the big fucking pussy he is." For crap's sake, get agitated about something. Hannity gets enraged and starts yelling everytime anything of controversy is mentioned at all, but you are worse because you're the exact opposite. It seems like a gang of murderous thieves could come onto the set, start shooting and raping interns, and you'd still sit there off to the side without even the slightest change in facial expression. FoxNews loves to claim that they monitor the amount of airtime given to each side of an issue so that everything is fair and balanced, but you're so disgustingly inactive, that the show has become the Republican Super Happy Fun Time Variety Hour. When Hannity is speaking to guests, even when he's acting like a fucking moron, he's challenging them and trying to make points. You, on the other hand, seem to think you're supposed to be a bland interviewer who asks for the basic facts of the situation that everyone already knows. And of course you're inevitably interrupted by Hannity because otherwise the show would have nothing interesting to listen to. Even when you try to ask hard questions, you always back out and don't pressure anyone. The reason FoxNews is stilted toward the Republicans isn't because they don't employ enough Democrats; it's because they employ Democrats like you. Chris Matthews may be an idiot, but atleast it's clear he's actually alive. If you ask me, "Hannity & Matthews" would be a good combo because they're both loud-mouthed shits who would probably balance out in the end. Well I suppose the open-letter aspect of this post is closed, but as an aside, let me mention Mathews. I was flipping through the channels, and I find that Mathews show has four guests on at once in a split screen. So he isn't even on the fucking screen, which basically means that he had no power over the show and 90% of it was 4 voices yelling at the same time. If I had wanted to hear unintelligible screaming and bickering, I'd have turned to C-SPAN. And now changing topics once again, I could only see sound bites of the Mondale Coleman debate. It didn't seem like either won, but I think Mondale surpassed his light burden of proving to voters that he's actually still alive. I also thought that he did a good job of attacking Coleman's talk of setting a new tone in Washington. I really think that both parties have been gripped by this misidentification of what it means to be bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans seem to see it as meaning that when you attack the other side, they should lay down and take it, and that's bipartisan support. I doubt Mondale's style would work if he wasn't replacing Wellstone. As someone who's suffering through one of the blandest and least issue-oriented races in this country (Bill Simon vs. Gov. Gray Davis), I found Mondale's willingness to take somewhat firm stands on issues rather refreshing. edit: Most opinion articles of the race seem to say that they think Coleman won handidly because he seemed calm and talked about finding common ground. I dunno, maybe that'll play with the voters, but I'm just so fucking sick of this phony baloney talk about ending partisan bitterness.
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Monday, November 04, 2002
 
Dirty This Mark Pryor Illegal Immigrant thing is looking pretty dirty ... for the Republicans. Basically, as it stands now, it sounds like someone basically told the state Republicans that she was an illegal immigrant who had worked for him, Drudge heard about it and posted it, and then the Republicans "demanded" that Mark Pryor answer their accusations. I think that's pretty disgusting. The Republicans: "We don't know whether it's true or not, but ..." What the fuck is that? Well I don't know that President Bush doesn't masturbate to pictures of school girls, but he damned well better answer the charge!! That's not to say they couldn't have accused him of this, but it sounds like Drudge posted this shit early and without good evidence (because as an internet journalist he apparently isn't bound by ethical concepts), and the Republicans in the state acted as if Drudge hadn't heard this from them. I just think it's bullshit for the Republicans in the state to act all indignant and innocent when they clearly were Drudge's source for this and they had no real idea whether the allegation was true. Drudge can be great at getting stories, but I have a feeling this is going to end up as another case of him posting explosive information that turns out to be either highly exaggerated or completely untrue.
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Sunday, November 03, 2002
 
Head things off at the past Senor Drudge is in the process or reporting that Democratic candidate for US Senate in Arkansas Mike Pryor may have had an illegal immigrant work for him for years. Mr. Pryor just happens to be the Democrat's best hope of picking up a senate seat. I'm just gonna head things off at the pass and say that I doubt this is going to turn out anything like Linda Chavez. My problem with Linda Chavez wasn't that she had hired an illegal immigrant; it was that she was a brazen hypocrit who had years earlier spoken at length about how a Clinton nominee shouldn't be approved because she had hired an illegal immigrant. And really, it made sense that it was an issue with Clinton and Bush's nominees because they were trying to be heads of the Department of Labor. I don't know enough about this Mark Pryor thing to chime in in either defense or attack against him, but I don't think this situation can really be compared to the Chavez case.
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Saturday, November 02, 2002
 
What? Al Gore to Host Saturday Night Live. Ummm ... what?
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Hell hath no scorn like John Carmack scorned For those not in the know, one of the most anticipated PC games is Doom III, from id software, who damn near created the first person shooter genre. Anyway, they've generally been very tight-lipped and controlled with their releases, which is why it was a very big surprise when a beta of Doom III leaked onto the web. Well according to this chat log with a developer (which is pretty hard for me to confirm because most of the site is in French), because they watermark their copies they know for a fact that the graphics company ATI was responsible (obviously unintentional). This doesn't sound important, but hardware companies depend on their relationships with developers. Recently it had looked like ATI was gaining a lot of ground on current heavyweight graphics company Nvidia, particularly in their relationship with id software, so this could be a real fuck-up for ATI if id suddenly stops talking to them.
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Friday, November 01, 2002
 
AHHHHH!!! One commercial break. Eight election ads. Three of which ran twice during this same commercial break. None of them were for any federal office. There's too much fucking money in California, and it's led to my airwaves being inundated with massive advertising. You'd think that with a Congressmen who never faces opposition and two Democratic senators who aren't even up for reelection this year, there would be a reduction in campaign ads, but this isn't so.
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Anyway Give someone an inch... I installed Freenet, and no it didn't hose my system. For those with bad memories, that's the free super anonymous parallel version of the internet designed to aid free speech. I must say, it's a bit disappointing, but that's perhaps a bit harsh. From what I understand, I'm catching it somewhat with its pants down because the new flood of media attention to the project hit it pretty hard and the network's trying to adjust. The main thing I noticed besides the loading problems (as caused by the just mentioned issues) was that for every site trying to do something mildly important like preserve access to stolen scientology papers that have been kept off the web, there are about a billion porn sites of every imaginable ilk, including the ilks that make pedophiles go "ewww, what the fuck is wrong with that guy?" I mean, that's an expected byproduct of free-speech, but it'd just be nice if people with more noble ambitions than wacking off to pictures of an animated squirrel were making use of the great potential of this network.
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I'll take Scott's check, but not his meal I'm gradually shifting from lack-of-interest to intense dislike for my car. The '92 camry runs well enough. Very well really. But I may have to take a tire iron and smash out its fucking windows. I wake up this morning, walk out to drive to school, and the side-view mirror is broken off. I don't mean it was chipped, I mean it was hanging off the side of the car by a fucking wire. I had to drive with my head constantly peeking out the window in order to keep from killing anyone. Not to mention that the tree I park under is spreading more unidentifiable substances onto my car than Clinton on an intern's dress. The whole fucking car is turning green, and whenever I try to clean anything, it actually gets worse than if I hadn't tried anything. Not to mention that the car has a general look that can only be described as "ass" because Scott and the owner before that used it as a fucking bumper car. I like to refer to it as a hand-me-down-of-an-idiot-of-a-hand-me-down (See, it's handed down, it's possessed by Scott, then it's handed down to me). In Scott's defense, if you look at each of his five accidents on an individual level, most of the time he appears to be at no great fault, but when you add up the five accidents, it's clear his love affair with alcohol began before he entered college. Then we add on the influence of relatives, thanks to whom I now have a nailgun in my trunk and two half-drunk gatorade bottles under my chairs. In addition to these problems, the door handle is broken off, the trunk and gas-tank levers are broken off from the floor, the back seats look like they've been used to carry 50 lbs of dirt (including a stain that is actually shit colored), and I can't get any AM radio stations because the antenna was torn from the car. That's not to say I'm dying for a new car. I don't drive much, and the car does its actual function of going places quite well. It's just that i feel like someone else ate the meal and I'm stuck with the fucking bill, having experienced nothing of the meal except shaved toast crumbs and a dented fork.
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Quotable Siguy Entry for the week: "Damn't, stop undressing me with your eyes and start doing it with your hands."
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