It hurts to read it, but here's the Ann Coulter column that was dropped by USA today. I almost don't want to give her the attention, so don't click on it... unless you really want to... and even then, just trust me. It's awful.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Sunday, July 25, 2004
A picture from the sandlot baseball game I played in yesterday. It turned out to be more of a grasslot field, but it did have a nearly naked catcher and a pitcher with excellent tube socks.
Jeff brought this shining example of why the media in this country does not lean to the left to my attention.
A big thanks to Chris for sending pictures from the wedding in Poland... I left my camera on a bus... that was a mistake, because now I don't have it anymore. On the other hand, it gave me the opportunity to buy the Canon S500, which is already on my coffee table wating for the trip to Sweden to help on a dig in August... August 3rd... cannot wait... arg.
Picture of the main square of Krakow taken by Chris A. Notice the use of light to create the image.
Friday, July 23, 2004
R and I cancelled our cable a few months ago. I don't want to be one of those people that always talks about "Oh, I don't have television! I didn't see that! Aren't I great because I don't have television?!?" There's nothing special about not having a television. It might just show that you're cheap... Most people have a television, but anyone can just shut it off. The real admission of a person not having a TV or canceling their cable is that they don't have enough self control to just stop watching it.
Either way, R and I decided that we were spending too much time watching the magic window and that we might as well cancel the cable to save money and encourage ourselves to read the newspaper.
This all leads up to my visit to the local Radio Shack.
With the cable canceled, I thought that we would at least get normal broadcast TV (i.e. NBC, CBS, and the illustrious WB). I was wrong. Just fuzz. We could actually still see the history channel because the cable is running into the apartment for the internet connection. I had considered buying a descrambler, but that would have just ended in us watching even more television and stealing from those poor, indigent media conglomerates. In the end, we decided that we should buy an antenna to try to get some semblance of television (and I thought it might be useful for the Olympics when they come around).
There's a Radio Shack on K street across from my work, so I went over there on Monday afternoon to buy an antenna. I went during work and didn't have a lot of time to mess around. My idea was to get in there, buy the first antenna that I saw and then leave again.
I should say that I haven't had the best experiences with radio shack in the past. I've never purchased a device from them that lasted more than a year or so. I learned not to trust radio shack from my mom at an early age when I listened to her complain about a slew of terrible clock radios she'd purchased, so I was on my guard as soon as I went in.
No sooner had I asked a sales representative where the antennas were was I confronted by a hands-free-cell-phone-attachment-wearing employee who was ready to "make the sale." I have never appreciated salespeople. I know that I could never do it myself because I'm a terrible liar.
"You really don't want to get that one," the salesman said to me as I was eyeing the cheapest of the antennas.
"Of course I do." I said, "It's the cheapest one here."
"Yeah, but that one won't work for you."
"Why would you be selling something that doesn't work?"
"Do you live in the city?" he asked me.
"Well, then that one is 'unamplified' and won't give you reception in the city."
"Oh." I said, "what's the return policy on the cheap one?"
"Well, then why don't I just buy it and then if doesn't work I can return it and get the next better one."
"But why would you want to go through all that trouble?" He asked.
"It's really not a problem," I said, "I work across the street and I could just bring it back on my lunch hour."
"Well, look: I bought that one and it didn't work too well in the city. Now I own this other one," he said, pointing to the antenna that was $20 more. "I personally own the amplified antenna and it works great. What floor do you live on?"
"Ummm... The sixth floor."
"Yeah. You'll definitely want to buy this one."
At this point I was sure he was lying. Who doesn't have cable? I knew that R and I were outcasts for having canceled our cable and listening to somebody trying to sell me an antenna lie about owning one himself was insulting. And what the hell does being on the sixth floor have to do with needing an amplified antenna? Don't people try to put antennas as high up as they can? Wouldn't being on any floor at all be better than not being in an apartment building?
Needless to say, I picked up the amplified antenna for $30. I felt so used walking up to the counter to pay, until I listened to the clerk to my left trying to sell a French woman a warranty for the battery on her alarm clock.
"Ms. You should really thinking about getting a warranty for this. We get these thunderstorms that roll through here and you'll get a power surge and BAM! The battery will short circuit and your alarm clock won't work anymore."
"I've lived here for 4 years and I've never had a problem like that," she said.
"Well, I'd like to live where you live."
She didn't buy the warranty... Come to think of it, now I feel even worse about having bought the more expensive antenna. Once I got the thing home and had it hooked up, I got to play the fun game of having the reception be perfect until I stepped back and then having it be all fuzzy again. I did find that if I unplugged it (thereby making it "unamplified"), it wouldn't work anymore, which made me feel a little bit better about having spent as much as I did. After an hour or so, I found that the only channel that comes in clearly is the WB. We haven't turned it on in four days.
Posted by Greg on Friday, July 23, 2004
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Friday, July 16, 2004
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Feel like making your F1 key into the F2 key, or mixing up all of the keys on a coworker's keyboard? Download this utility called Key Tweak and get to pranking. Of course, to change someone else's computer you would need to install and run the program on their machine while they're at lunch, but it can be done.
Monday, July 12, 2004
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Last night R and I were across the street from her parents at their neighbor's house b/c she had asked us to walk her dogs while she went to NYC for the day. Apparently, she "was going to go to Portugal from NY [for work] on Sunday morning, but decided that [she] really just needed to relax and would instead just go to Germany on Monday instead of flying there from Portugal." So she just got her hair cut in NYC and then flew home. R later explained that she had been flying to Portugal from New York (rather than DC) so that she could get her hair done there.
Conversation progressed to something about voting for Kerry and it unsurprisingly came out that this neighbor who lives in a 1/2 million dollar home by herself, drives a BMW 5 series (it's nice) and travels internationally every week for business, is a republican. She said that this year she isn't sure if she'll vote for Bush again and that it really "depends on this war." I never did figure out what she meant by that. How could it get any worse? She did mention that, much like Vietnam, these soldiers and Iraqis appeared to be dying for no reason. I gave in my two cents about how Bush had an agenda concerning Iraq before he even took office and that half of the people surrounding him were members of PNAC and had been planning to "democraticize" the middle east (i.e. make them friendlier to us to facilitate easier access to oil) since the first Bush administration. That there were no WMDs or Al Qaeda links and that the senate committee on the war had just said so. She thought that Bush didn't know that he was being given bad intelligence. I said that if we were just going on intelligence we should have been trying to stop ethnic cleansing in Darfur and the Balkans, or even, God forbid, discouraging North Korea from building Nuclear Weapons (instead of pulling our troops out of South Korea to go fight in Iraq).
Then out came a few statements that just knocked me over.
"Well, I just can't see voting for Kerry. I'm afraid of Kerry. He's one of these Massachusetts liberals!"
"'Massachusetts liberal?" I said, "I don't understand. I know plenty of conservatives and independents from Massachusetts. And what's wrong with Kennedy?"
"You know, Kennedy, the other senator from Massachusetts? He's a liberal, too."
"Oh, I don't pay much attention to these things."
"Well, I just know that this Kerry is going to raise taxes. We are taxed to death in this country!"
"Um... I really don't think we're taxed to death in this country," I said, "and besides, if Kerry did raise taxes it wouldn't be for me or you, it would be for the people making billions of dollars a year. He would pretty much raise taxes for those that could afford to pay higher taxes. And also, even if did effect us, Europeans pay taxes at rates of 45%, where our highest tax brackets only get up to between 33-35%."
"That's not true," says neighbor, "He would set a bar at $100,000 or $200,000 and people above that would start having to pay. There are people who have decent jobs and make money, but because of taxes are just scraping by."
At this point I started to get a bit to angry. Was she talking about herself when she said "just scraping by"? What the hell is her idea of being "taxed to death"? She must have a different concept of death. Her cleaning lady was in the kitchen! She had just flown to New York for the day to have her hair cut!
R and I left... Seething. The only possible explanation for neighbor-lady to have thought these things is some newsletter she probably gets in the mail every week for having donated to the Republican party at some point in her life. The rhetoric spilling out of her brain was almost visible.
The reason that we "taxed to death" in this country is that the taxes all go to $200 billion unnecessary wars and missle defense programs to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missles that terrorists could never get theit hands on in the first place where the health care "system" receives none.
Posted by Greg on Sunday, July 11, 2004
Friday, July 09, 2004
I almost forgot: go see Farenheit 911 immediately.
A few other quick points before I have to run out the door to sit in my cube:
I've recently run into a few arguement for the election of GWB that are so fallible it makes me cringe.
(1) I'm voting for him because he's a good leader
No. He isn't. He might be a good persuader and he might make you think that he's leading you, but it's mostly his cronies that are doing the leading and even so, have you ever considered where he's leading you?
(2) I'm voting for Bush because the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein
No. It isn't. Who told you that, anyway? Iraq might be a better place, but even that is argueable. There were no WMDs, no chemical weapons, no nuclear programs and no Iraqi terrorists with links to Al Qaeda. Were any of the 911 hijackers from Iraq? Nope. Were 15 of them from Saudi Arabia? Yes. Did we invade Iraq? Yes. Does that make sense?
When was the last time Saddam or an Iraqi had attacked an American citizen?
Has our level of safety increased since the Iraq war? According to a study released by your government that is leading you so well there were more acts of terrorism in 2003 than in any other year previous.
(3) I'm voting for Bush because I'm ignorant
Thursday, July 08, 2004
We're back from Poland! Today was my first real day on the job. Granted I've been working there for the last year, today was my first day on salary. So that was pretty big stuff. I switched cubicles and everything... might even get a new computer next week.
An amazing time was had at the wedding in Krakow. R and I got to see tons of old friends and eat, walk and drink to our hearts' contents.
I lost my camera on a bus, though.
Otherwise, it was an awesome trip.
On the way home we got to witness some strange behavior at Gatwick airport in London. While getting our boarding passes at the US Airways desk, the US Diplomat standing next to us was observed saying "OK, girls. Let's pray... Holy Jesus... blah blah blah... Amen." to his four children as they were waiting for further details on why there weren't allowed to bring a parakeet as on board luggage. From what R and I could tell, this man had a United States Diplomat passport and a Norweigan wife. All I could think was that some diplomat to Norway from the US is a bit more into Jesus than I would want a representative of the US to be... especially one who needs to take his parakeet on board.
I looked around on the web for half an hour or so, but couldn't come up with a picture of the guy to recognize and put a name to... I'll keep working on it, though.
Posted by Greg on Thursday, July 08, 2004