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I think there's a leak in my administration. Someone must have let the papers know that I got health insurance today, because people keep trying to run me over! I don't need a hospital visit to break my insurance in...

I went out to pick up Stacked today, to see how good the Poki AI really is, and as I was walking to GameStop some dumb kid (who probably just got his license) almost ran me over. I was crossing the street (in a cross walk, with the green WALK lit up), and he turned left out of the parking lot and not only headed straight for me, but actually seemed to have (accidentally?) hit the gas shortly before he reached me! I had to run to avoid getting hit.

I finished crossing the street and watched the guy go up and turn back into the other side of the parking lot, and park near GameStop, so I walked straight toward his car instead of a few feet over toward GameStop. I know it was kinda' mean, but I was a little pissed off at him... So he sat there for a minute as I walked toward his car, and then backed up and left the parking lot before I got to him. Normally I'd feel bad about doing that, but this time it was just kinda' funny. :)

So I went and got the game, went back to the same crosswalk and took it back the other way. This time a car containing at least *2* stupid teenagers almost hit me. I walked a little faster because they didn't seem to be slowing down or stopping, and as they passed a few feet behind me the guy in the passenger's seat rolled down the window, leaned out and started yelling like his football team had just scored a touchdown. I just flipped the guy off and got out of the street before someone else could take a shot at me. What the fuck is with these people though!? I want some kind of a button I can press to give them penalties. If they get enough of them then they should be placed under house arrest, or maybe fed alive to giant mutant ants. :\

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Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Current Music: Broadsword - Jethro Tull

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Wow, that was scary and annoying...damn you Cox!

I was playing Poker online tonight, and after taking a guy's $700 guy stack heads up (1 on 1), I needed to get to sleep. He didn't want me to leave though, and I knew I could beat him (especially since he wasn't playing very well tonight), so I agreed to play a $500 buyin heads up tournament against him before I went to sleep.

This was the first time I'd played a heads up tournament with more than a $100 buyin, and for whatever reason I started off not playing as well as I needed to. At one point I even got down to having less than 300 of the 3000 chips on the table. Fortunately I got back on track, and as the blinds started to get a little high I got back up to 1800 at which point my internet connection promptly died.

For those of you who don't know, that means that if I don't get reconnected and start playing again, my hands will continue to be folded until the other guy has all of the chips and a free $1,000. Nice for him, not so nice for me.

Fortunately the cable modem basically just rebooted and came back on, but even in that short time I was blinded down a few hundred chips, and the seconds I sat waiting and watching the modem blink away hoping it would be able to reconnect quickly were very unpleasant.

I'm seriously considering getting 2 internet connections, at least once we have a house. If I had lost that 1 game due to the disconnection it would have cost more than *years* of internet access.

Like I said though, I was lucky and the connection came back quickly this time (which is unusual), so I finished the guy off and now I can finally go to sleep. :)

Current Mood: relieved relieved
Current Music: Black Sunday - Jethro Tull

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Warning: Manufactured hate for Saint Harlequin's Day! Please take it with a grain of salt and try not to be offended, but if you are anyway then rant away, that's what this holiday's for after all.

I don't think I'm up for writing a book this Saint Harlequin's Day morning, but I think I've got enough anger in me to at least get things started for the rest of you with some short notes, so:

Fuck The Man, and fuck his worshipers and appologists.

  • Fuck Religion with its millennia-old ideals, its lack of understanding of the modern world or even reality in most cases, and its support of the ruling class.

  • Fuck the government for its corruption, lack of care for its average citizens, support of the vile bastards running the corporations and the rest of the "elite", and its enforcement of misguided religious ideals.

  • Fuck the willfully ignorant who believe that The Man is always right and refuse to question or disobey. A special nod to vampireanneke who recently removed me from her friends list for suggesting that she question her (Catholic) religion, and pointing her to some research materials as a response to her clear misinterpretation of some of her own religion's ideas. By the way, Anneke, I don't think The Pope would believe that you were a psychic either.

    Thanks for giving me an excuse to remove you from my friends list though so I won't have to see your inane whiny bullshit every day anymore. If you really think that I am "the worst sort of person [you] have met" though, you are a very poor judge of character.

  • Fuck The Man's executioner. I don't care if you think that the blood isn't on your hands just because The Man told you to do it, you're no better than soldiers who commit war crimes, and you're certainly not killing people for me so don't blame it on all of us. While we're at it, fuck you "eye for an eye" murderous accomplices who support them. Drag your religions into the 21st century or get rid of them and then maybe you'll start to realize that killing people isn't bringing anyone back. Your hands are as stained with the blood of the executed innocents as The Man's are.

  • Fuck the people who own this apartment building for their callousness. I've told them repeatedly that because they have the north gate permanently chained shut, probably dozens (I counted 15 in just a few minutes one afternoon) of little kids have to climb over their stupid fence every day on their way to and from school, and I do it frequently too. The tiny gravel patch is a dangerous place to land too, especially because it has a bush in it and it's surrounded by a sharp curb that curves around it, so I've nearly hurt myself several times, and I've broken things I was wearing or carrying climbing over the damned thing. I'm sure kids have been hurt before, and it's probably only a matter of time before it causes serious injury or worse.

    The fuckers say that they have to keep it chained up to keep homeless people from wandering through the parking lot!? If a little kid can climb over the fence, an adult can, and the south and east gates are always open, and the east side doesn't even have a fence at all on most of it! Fuck you, and fuck the government for leaving me so little recourse against you. I would rather have homeless people here than you bastards anyway.

    In case anyone else runs into a problem like this, instead of talking to the management (unless you can do it anonymously), just skip straight to cutting the chain off without leaving them a trail of complaints to follow back to you.

  • Fuck the government again for making it illegal for me to suggest you do that.

  • Fuck the bastards in the military and the government and their civilian inquisitors who were responsible for what happened in Abu Ghraib (newly acquired and even worse pictures here at Daily Kos), and fuck the rest of the cowards in our government who won't follow the trail and expose and remove everyone who was responsible. The ones who have gone down for it did wrong, but they were scapegoats for bigger fish too.

If anyone has something else that they think I should add, let me know. I may add to it later today anyway, if I think of more to say.

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Current Mood: angry vitriolic
Current Music: Passive - A Perfect Circle

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I bet there are a lot of you who will be able to get into the spirit of this holiday, so while it is not yet widely known, I hope you will try to observe it and spread the "love".

Basically, Saint Harlequin's Day is "a day for SANCTIONED HATE!" Since Saint Harlequin has gone on ahead to receive your prayers if you believe in that kind of thing, you can try praying to him now too if you want. If not, take some time to rant about whatever is making you mad.

I should have been preparing for this day, saving up some hate and good stuff to rant about, but right now all I can do is laugh at the stupidity of the things I'm trying to stir up anger about. Maybe I'll be able to get a good rant going tonight, or even later this morning if I'm lucky. Just in case I don't get to do it though, the least I can do is encourage the rest of you to give it a shot.

This isn't from the first Saint Harlequin's Day, but illdrinn provided a link to it, so this is the one you get! At least it is from the hand of the Saint himself.

Saint Harlequin's Day: The Creation StoryCollapse )

Current Mood: calm calm
Current Music: Dazed and Confused - Led Zeppelin

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...a scorpion in the shower! Nothing says love like a nice neurotoxin injection.

Not only did we have one that fell down onto the dishwasher door when eemfibble opened it and then escaped while she was off getting a jar, but when she went to take a shower this morning she found a nice medium-large one wandering around the bottom of the shower.

Just in case you think I'm being a jerk, it didn't sting her and I caught it. The neurotoxin injection line was just a joke. :)

Anyone who lives or might live in an area where scorpions live, any time you're moving try to find out if there have been scorpions in the place you're moving into in the past. Although it may be possible to get rid of them eventually, if they have been there in the recent past then you can expect them to keep coming and coming, almost regardless of what you might do to stop them. I think they may be spawned by a Monster Generator as seen in the Gauntlet video games, but since you'll probably never find the generator(s), good luck taking them out with your sword, axe or bow. ;)

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Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: Wake The World - Levellers

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Today I had the pleasure of making my first (and last?) visit to the fine establishment known as Food City with my dad. I have always avoided this place, and some people have probably thought it was motivated by class or race since the majority of shoppers are poor and hispanic, but I assure you that was not my motivation.

What I *have* been concerned about is the quality, cleanliness and selection. I'm sorry (but not surprised) to confirm that unless you have to have labels in Spanish or the other stores in your area are lacking in an entire *wall* of Menudo to meet your daily requirements of tripe and hominy (intestines and lye-soaked corn), this is not the place to shop.

First, being a vegetarian and a picky eater on top of that, they had maybe 1/3 of the things I normally eat (in any form or brand).

Second, although I know that a lot of generic products are just as good as what they're imitating, and I could be wrong about the quality of some of the products, there seemed to be quite a bit more questionable stuff there than I'm used to seeing. If anyone wants to tell me (truthfully, after having experience with food of various quality levels) that I'm wrong and their stuff is good, please do, but they could at least do a better job of making it look good.

Third was El Raton. As I was standing around waiting for my dad to look at something, my eyes wandered the few feet back down to the end of the aisle, and something was moving under the shelf on the left. I've seen a few bugs in stores before, and I know that wherever there's food there's always going to be something else trying to eat it, but I didn't even have time to wonder what manner of giant insect might be lurking beneath the shelves before a cute little mouse ran across the aisle. :)

I was close enough that I might have been able to smash it if I were so cruel, but instead I watched it finish its crossing and went on my way chuckling and a little disturbed. I didn't want to kill it, and I don't even want them to, but a grocery store is really not a good place for mice. The fact that at least one of them was running around the store in the middle of the day probably means that they've got a significant number living there, so they at least need to patch up their walls and make an effort to catch and remove the mice (although sadly they would almost certainly kill them). :( Because of that, I didn't say anything (except to my dad), so hopefully they'll continue to serve the mice but not you or me. ;)

Again, please correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that although you can find some pretty cheap food at Food City, if you shop carefully you can find similarly good deals at almost any grocery store, leaving no reason I can think of for most people to go to Food City.

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Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: One Brown Mouse - Jethro Tull

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This morning I had to drop eemfibble off at work and take the car to get some air filters. Sadly, once we got in the car I realized that I must have left my iPod playing and its battery was dead. :(

Since I am not a big fan of most music on the radio, and I despise commercials, I soon switched to AM and tried to find some interesting talk radio. I suppose you could call what I found interesting, and somewhat enlightening, but not very pleasant or informative.

Apparently 80-90% of AM radio here is now conservative and/or Christian talk radio or preaching, or in Spanish. There were maybe 2 stations in English that didn't fall into those groups, but they were talking about sports at the time. I'm pretty sure we still get Air America here, but I couldn't seem to find it. Maybe it's only on at certain hours...?

So why was I looking for Air America when they're just as biased as in a different direction? Because on the rare occasions I do listen to them they tell me about things that we *should* all know and care about, but most media doesn't give much (if any) time to, and the conservative radio people certainly don't mention them. Also, of course, because they are more on "my side", although I believe that they're on the side of the vast majority of Americans, even if they don't know it.

So, between Spanish talk and music I couldn't understand and some silly preaching (it's funny that you can recognize a Christian preacher on TV or radio just from hearing half of a word, just from the way they talk) I got a dose of conservative and Christian talk radio.

The one I heard the most of was Laura Ingraham. Wow, she's great, huh? I wish I could be so unquestioningly "patriotic"! Apparently unauthorized wire taps are a *good* thing, and so are any other invasions of privacy, as long as they're done under the guise of "keeping us safe". To be fair, she did say that there should be limits, but basically she kept spouting about how we should just accept things like that, and how those evil Democrats were opposing bush and his policies, and how dare they ask questions!? They just can't take a brave man like George W Bush who stands up for what he believes in and never changes his mind!

She has this ridiculous "But...Monkey" thing she does. Apparently it's only okay to make simple statements, and if you attempt to qualify them in any way or to add anything to them then you're being a ridiculous fool, so she used this thing on a quote from the Democratic New York Senator Charles Schumer. He said "I support our troops, but..." and then we got a stupid screeching monkey and angry ranting from Laura, then his questions about the war in Iraq, then more angry ranting from Laura and a distinct lack of answers to his questions. Maybe it's not okay to answer because it's not okay to ask...?

You know, Laura, the reason he has to preface questions about the war in Iraq with "I support our troops" is because people like you would come down on him twice as hard and say "He doesn't support our troops!" if he didn't say it. Apparently it's only okay to say the part you want him to say though, and then he should shut up and let the just and mighty President Bush do whatever he wants to do.

Next, I'm not sure which show this was on, but I caught a bit with someone pushing his book about "liberal hypocrites". Apparently because certain individuals have said bad things about the stock market, the fact that they actually own stock means that liberals are hypocrites. Not only is that a huge and silly generalization, but I personally dislike the stock markets and large corporations, and I still wouldn't feel bad or hypocritical for taking a cut of the profits *especially* if I were speaking out against them.

We do what we have to do to survive, and in this country today it is simply not a good idea to be an average worker doing your job every day and taking your paycheck. If you're lucky that may provide for your basic survival, but for the most part if you want much more than that then you have to reach out and take a piece of Rich People's Work (which actually means rich people being paid for your work). I don't see anything irreconcilable in hating the way that works and trying to take a piece of it back for yourself if you can, because you can't stop it by not participating, and if you don't take that piece then you know exactly where it's going.

One of the last things I heard was a Christian host talking about the articles about Islam that he was going to rip apart tomorrow. He thought the idea that Islam was a religion of peace was "horse puckey" (I believe was what he called it), and apparently he is going to tell everyone why tomorrow. Then after a couple of minutes of extolling the virtues of his sponsor, a giant warehouse full of carcasses of cruelly slaughtered animals (how nice and peaceful, I wonder if he would still drool while talking about the veal if it were from *his* 8 week old baby?), he said that the only reason they did the show was because they loved us. Awww...how sweet.

I'll give him the point that Islam is clearly not a religion of peace, but since when are any of the Judeo-Christian religions peaceful? Jesus himself is portrayed as peaceful in the bible, but the bible is also packed full of murders by God and man (often sanctioned by God), and commands to brutally kill people who don't believe in it, much like the Qur'an. Of course most Christians today don't stone the unbelievers to death, and neither do most Muslims blow up the infidels, but if you want to tell the truth about one of the religions, maybe you should tell it about both.

About the only useful bit of real news that I got was that Israel's Prime Minister Arial Sharon has had a severe stroke, and it looks like he's going to be out of the political picture now. This might pave the way for Binyamin Netanyahu to return to power, and if that happens then I'm afraid that the recent movements toward peace that have been achieved sine Yasser Arafat's death may be halted or even undone. :( I'll be surprised if it gets more than 30 seconds on most news shows though...

Still, despite being annoying, listening to these things today opened my eyes a little more. I knew that Republicans and very conservative people would hate Air America and a lot of the things I say too, and I can understand them disliking Air America for the way they talk about them, but I hadn't really noticed how much each side will say that certain people (or all people on the other side) are crazy and horrible people, but staunchly defend the same kinds of people on their own side who the other side are calling crazy. I mean I knew that it happened, I just hadn't heard them defending people who I thought were way off their rockers before. Apparently those people are completely sane and correct though, and people who oppose them are the idiots. It's really funny (and sad) when two people think that they've won the same argument with each other...

Maybe what we need to do is have a draft, we could go back and forth picking the crazies from the other side and then not letting them on TV or radio anymore? Unfortunately people wouldn't do it fairly and reasonable people would be pulled too just because someone didn't like them, but damn it, these people are not a good replacement for unbiased news, and offer little of real value in its place. I want as many legitimate news stories as I can get with as much detail as can be reasonably provided, and I don't need the slant! Where have all the real news people gone!? :(

Sadly, you can't be Ralitsa Vassileva. You're just hand-me-down news in a cookie jar...

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Current Mood: irritated irritated
Current Music: Not Ralitsa Vassileva - Ian Anderson

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Note what pocketaak says in particular. :)

Hand History behind cut to save you space.Collapse )

In case you don't get why it's funny, he told us exactly what he had (which you're not supposed to do, and is a bad idea anyway) so I didn't raise just in case he was telling the truth, and then when I hit another 10 and could beat his Queens, he still put in the most money possible on the last 2 cards. :)

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Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: Caring Is Creepy - The Shins

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I know that the "War on Christmas" is really taking taking its toll on all of you, so I thought you'd like to know that there's still someone out there fighting for you. :)

Merry Fucking Christmas
Performed by Mr. Garrison from South Park

Lyrics behind cut.Collapse )

I would encourage those of you with a sense of humor to go get a copy of Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics (Not Holiday, *Christmas*, damn it!), and try not to be offended. It's supposed to be funny!

You may also want to pick up A Very Scary Solstice, if you want more interesting holiday music. :)

It's beginning to look a lot like fish-men, everywhere I go...

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Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fish-Men - HPLHS

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At midnight tonight, December 13th, 2005, Stanley Tookie Williams laid down in a modified dentist's chair and waited to be murdered. The first IV went into his right arm without too much trouble, but even with his help, it took the nurse more than 10 frustrating minutes to get the second IV into his left arm. After that his hands were taped down, wrapped over and over, and at 12:22 AM they began pumping chemicals into his veins.

He held his head up as long as he could, taking a last look at the few friends he had there as they prayed and mouthed things like "I love you" and "God bless you" and tried to provide some comfort, but eventually the drugs robbed him of the ability to hold his head up, and finally took his life at 12:35 AM.

Although he admitted to having been a bad person back when he was living the gang life, from the moment he was arrested until the moment he was killed he always maintained his innocence in these murders, even though he knew that admitting to the murders and showing remorse would have given him a much better chance at clemency. Whether or not we have just killed a man for crimes he did not commit, we may never know for sure, but his friends intend to keep trying to prove his innocence, and in my opinion there was more than enough evidence to at least stay the execution.

In the last couple of days, 4 different witnesses have finally come forward and made sworn affidavits saying, among other things, that they had personally seen a witness in his trial given evidence by police to help with his testimony, and that he told them he intended to lie and put that "nigger" away. Why would he lie, other than being a racist? To avoid punishment for his own crimes, which he was also being held in jail for at the time.

This information didn't sway Governor Schwarzenegger though, and when he denied clemency, he said the following, which I want to respond to:

"Is Williams' redemption complete and sincere, or is it just a hollow promise? Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings there can be no redemption. In this case, the one thing that would be the clearest indication of complete remorse and full redemption is the one thing Williams will not do."

Did it ever occur to you that he may actually have been innocent of these crimes? He was not a stupid man, and he knew you would think that way, but he still maintained his innocence. Maybe he was too proud to admit that he'd been lying all of these years or had some other reason for saying that, but maybe he really didn't do it and you let him die just because he wouldn't lie to you and tell you what you wanted to hear. I thought that the inquisitions and witch trials were over, but apparently you still have to admit to things you didn't do if you want to try to save your life.

Even assuming that he did actually commit these crimes, he was no danger to society anymore and he had been doing good for many years. He probably still had a lot of years left to continue trying to make amends for whatever crimes he did commit, and he seemed to have dedicated his life to that end. Most notably he co-authored a series of children's books to try to keep kids out of gangs, helped to make peace between rival gangs, and wrote a "Peace Protocol" for communities to follow to help them end gang violence. Many individuals and communities have benefitted greatly from his efforts, and hopefully that will continue, to the extent that it's still possible.

Despite the things he had done wrong in his youth, the man we just killed has done more to try to help people and positively affected more lives than most of us will in our entire lives. We threw away the opportunity for any further benefit just for a very hollow revenge. Although we've done much more horrible things on a larger scale, when dealing with the life of one person this way, I've rarely been more disappointed in us.

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Current Mood: depressed depressed
Current Music: Taking It On - McDermott's 2 Hours v Levellers

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