Saturday, December 27, 2008
People have, on more than one occasion, said that honesty should be tempered with tact. In other words, if being honest means hurting someones feelings or pissing someone off then it should be avoided. Or if not avoided, approached delicately so as not to upset anyone.
I can't do it. When I say, "I love you," I love you. When I say, "I hate you," I hate you. When I say, "I don't understand," it means I don't have a fucking clue what's going on...explain or re-phrase. When I say, "That's stupid," it means I've thought about it and come to that conclusion, and will happily provide you with my reasons as to why and how I got there.
When I see a spade, I call it a fucking shovel.
I make no pretensions at being perfect, but I do try for it.
I am of the opinion, after many years of thinking about it, that the world suffers from an overabundance of tact, rather than a lack of it.
And before anyone accuses me of it, I am NOT advocating being rude. Opinions should only be given when they are asked for, or when they are necessary in your judgement to avoid serious error. However, when an opinion is asked for it should be given directly, not circumspectly.
A person, when recieving a negative opinion from someone else, is a fool to act as if they don't care. That person should be asking, simply, "Why?"
When I voice an opinion and a person scoffs, sneers, or ignores it, I categorize them as a fool. When they ask, "Why?", I categorize them as someone I should seek opinions of as well.
Friday, December 26, 2008
By Schism Rent Usunder by David Weber (excellent)
Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word by Randall Kennedy (interesting)
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (very good)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling (good)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I've got to work tomorrow then I've got a four day weekend. Hopefully I can get in Lowe's tomorrow and get what I need to fix this damned pipe. I'm going to try and do it correctly since my two attempts to fix it back to the way it was have failed misreably.
At least I know that I'd much rather be an electrician than a plumber.
And Merry Christmas...I'm not Christian, but I don't celebrate it as a religious holiday anyway. I think of it as more of a birthday for everyone on the same day.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
There have been too many damned hurts lately. By lately, I mean in the last sixth months. I had to give up on some things that I never wanted to give up on. I've been treated with absolute contempt by a person who I gave the benefit of the doubt. And I was disappointed by a number of friends on this, the week of my birthday.
A part of me wishes I had it in me to give up, but for some damned reason I still believe that happiness, lasting happiness, is a goal I can attain.
I'll keep trying. One day I'll be able to look back and see more happy memories than painful ones.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I've been having a lot of bad dreams lately. Sometimes I sleep the whole night through, but then others I am up multiple times. Some nights I get only an hour or two of sleep before the dreams chase me to consciousness and I'm stuck worrying about what I see in them.
I feel like I'm waiting for the next big bolt of pain. I don't know why. Everything that could happen, has happened. I haven't had to see it yet, but that doesn't mean I don't know it to be true. I was stuck in a ball of pain, and those long numbed to it moved on past me.
I don't numb to pain. I ignore it when I can. I realize it's only temporary and try to move forward, but there are times when it is bad. Thankfully, there are more times when it doesn't even cross my mind. It usually only gets me when I'm all alone in the dead of night, when I'm doing nothing. Then it strikes.
I guess that's a good reason to stay busy, which I do for the most part.
Tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be twenty-four years old. At eighteen I expected myself to be in law school at 24. Now I'm not even sure if I want to go to law school anymore. I don't feel the desire anymore. The thrill of it just isn't there, nor is the interest. I think I'd rather pursue philosophy. That is where my interests lie. That is where my passion lies. Early on I wanted to teach. Now I'm thinking that is what I may do.
In March I should have a hearing for a partial settlement of my grandfather's estate. Hopefully by the end of March the majority of my debt will be eliminated and I will be breathing easier. I keep saying that, and it keeps getting pushed further and further back. I'd hoped to have it done by the end of this year. But March seems to be firming up. Just three more months and I'll finally feel free of that particular burden.
Not that I didn't bring the burden on myself (I did), but I need to be rid of it.
I'll be glad when the chaos of my life settles down. I remember the last time I really felt at ease, with no worries. It was the Fall of 2006. It took me a long time to get to the Fall of 2006. Two years, a lot of pain, and loneliness before I learned to live my life again. I think it won't take quite that long this time. I know what my goal is now. I don't have to rediscover how to live again, I just have to start doing it again.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
It's weird. I always figured that I would be an uncle before I was a father, even though I am the oldest of all my siblings. Yet, I still feel like I'm a bit behind.
Oh, I'm in no rush, but I guess it's just one more thing that makes me come face to face with the fact that, over the last couple of years, I've come to realize that I really want children one day.
Yep, one day. I've got two minor miracles to get off before that day can come, but I'm pretty determined to pull it all together.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
-Jacob Burroughs in Robert A. Heinlein's The Number of the Beast
Friday, November 28, 2008
THINGS I'VE DONE:
1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo.
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a Marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. The latter.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day.
Well, I've done 32 out of 100. I've got some things to do (well, there is at least one I don't think I can do, but I can help make it happen...close enough).
Thursday, November 27, 2008
The first time was a near blackout caused by a very painful emotionl experience the details of which I don't feel like sharing.
The second time was a near total blackout when I nearly crushed my pelvis while working with some heavy equipment at WalMart. I remember the pain being so bad, but in a distant sort of way as if I could not process it. I was walking away from where it happened and I suddenly got tunnel vision and my hearing went. The next thing I knew the floor was rushing up at me. I guess I came too just in time to catch myself and stand back up.
The third time was this morning. I was shooting a shotgun. Unfortunately, my better reason escaped me and I decided to shoot it one handed. The result was painful. I looked at my hand to find a nice puncture in the web of my hand between my thumb and index finger caused by the lever that breaks the single shot break-away 12-GA for loading and extracting spent shells. The wound was bloody and when I moved my thumb the hole gaped wide.
My only thought was, "Oh, you idiot," as I went to the sink and rinsed it with ice cold water. It hurt, but like the time I almost crushed myself it hurt in a distant way. The most intense thing I felt was a sense of almost overwhelming nausea and some dizzyness. As I continued to rinse my hand in the cold water, which seemed to provide some relief while at the same time intensifying the pain (*shrug*), I leaned my head against the cabinets over the sink and closed my eyes.
The next thing I can clearly remember is the confusion caused by the fact that my senses where telling me I was lying down when the last I knew I had been standing upright. I opened my eyes to see that I was indeed flat on my back on the kitchen floor. A stool I keep in the kitchen was lying on it's side next to me.
I had just missed bashing the back of my head on my stove by about a foot. My glasses had tumbled off into a corner. I managed to pick myself up off the floor and stumble into the living room to stretch out on the couch for a few minutes. Once everything seemed to stop spinning I performed some first aid.
I could probably use a couple of stitches, and I'm sure they'd love to stick me with a fresh tetanus shot, but I'm declining to go sit in an emergency room all day and pay $3,000+ for a small wound I feel competant enough to handle. If tetanus shots are good for as long as they claim, I'm good there. Besides, stitches would probably just be torn out anyway so I used something else and hopefully I won't be out of action for long.
So I guess today I'm thankful for a four day weekend to heal up before I have to go back to work.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I applied for and was awarded financial aid for the academic year 2008-2009. I registered for classes in the Fall, and then went on to process my loan. I was unable to. The reason I was given was that I had to reapply for admission to the university. I didn't have the forty dollars to pay to reapply, so I said fuck it. I'll wait.
Come September I recieved a notice that my tuition was due. What the fuck? What tuition? I'm not a fucking student!
It turns out I was, that I never needed to reapply, and that my loans should have worked fine. "You must have been looking at the wrong year," was the excuse I kept getting. I appealed to higher powers since I didn't have fifteen hundred bucks lying around for classes I had never even attended. I won the appeal.
So, I attempt today to process my loan stuff and have to get a new PIN number for the FAFSA website. No big deal. Anyway, I looked up some classes I needed to take since all the ones I want to take either are not offered or are full, and was about to register when:
YOU HAVE AN ACADEMIC HOLD AND CANNOT REGISTER UNTIL THE HOLD IS CLEARED.
Okay, what is it?
YOU MUST REAPPLY FOR ADMISSION AS OF OCTOBER 18, 2008.
This is after I've already gone through this bullshit once. Now I'm going to have to do it all over again, and hope I can afford it and can get it done in time. Lovely. I really wish I could get my education CREDIT elsewhere.
Last time I could register but couldn't process the loan paper work. This time I can process the loan paper work but I can register. I'm so tired of this.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I try to be tolerant of others' beliefs. Don't make an issue of my beliefs, or lack of, and I won't make an issue of your beliefs. It's a simple thing, really, but some people are incapable of following this little rule.
So, yeah. Today I was the victim of bigotry because I'm an atheist. If you don't like me when you get to know me, fine. I can accept that. But giving all indications that you think I'm a great person, and then doing a 180 when you find out I'm an atheist is nothing but simple bigotry. I'm the same person I was before you found out. Nothing about me has changed. I'm still that great person.
Use your rational. Check your premises. Make sure they're based in the rational world, and not the make believe world of fairy tales you silly fuck.
I've never been tolerant of foolishness, and in this case I'm even less intolerant of it than usual.
I'm very angry. And a little hurt too.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Diplomats say uranium traces have been found at a suspected secret nuclear reactor in Syria.Diplomats in Vienna have revealed that samples taken from a suspected secret nuclear reactor in Syria contained traces of uranium combined with other elements that diplomats say merit further investigation.
Officials in the United States also believe the site, which was hit by Israeli bombers in September 2007, was a nearly completed nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium, a pathway to nuclear arms.
Damascus has repeatedly insisted that it has no nuclear weapons program, and there was no immediate response from Syria Tuesday about the news of the alleged uranium find.
"No, Baby! It's not what you think!" Does anyone really fall for that line?
Syria has great hopes that President-elect Barack Obama can help push the Middle East peace process forward. "This truly is the time to come to a comprehensive peace," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem tells SPIEGEL ONLINE in an interview. He also wants to see direct talks with Iran.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Minister, what do you think of the vote that America has cast?
Moallem: I am happy about the result of the American election and I congratulate President-elect Barack Obama. I hope that he will help us make a dream come true: a Middle East of peace, of stability and prosperity. There is no way around it: To achieve this, America’s role is central.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Syria is a neighbor of Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian territories -- and it is Iran's best friend. Which Middle East conflict would you like to see Obama tackle first?
Moallem: The Arab-Israeli one because this conflict aggravates and fuels all others. This truly is the time to come to a comprehensive peace between Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinians.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Obama is hardly in a position to solve this alone. What can Syria offer him?
Moallem: Our readiness for dialogue, our moderation.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: The new US president would probably even be happier if you stated that you are fundamentally opposed to a nuclear-armed Iran.
Moallem: I am even advocating a whole Middle East without weapons of mass destruction. Israel has nuclear weapons …
SPIEGEL ONLINE: … but you have particularly close ties to Iran. How do you want to counter the concerns of the world and the incoming US administration about Iran's nuclear program?
Moallem: The Iranians have assured us that their program is peaceful and that they need nuclear energy. We trust them.
If, when he becomes President, Obama enters into dialogue with Syria and Iran it will probably be at a time when US military forces are being slowly pulled out of Iraq. While everyone's diplomats blow smoke up each other's hind ends, Syria and Iran will be continue to try to develope nuclear weapons. I don't buy the "We want it for peaceful reasons," line. They want them to threaten Israel, and anyone else who might threaten them.
Can we trust a country to enter into an honest diplomatic dialogue, when they've shown they have no respect for the rule of diplomacy? (Iran) Can we trust a country that has lied about developing nuclear weapons? (Syria!)
Read the statements by Syria's Foreign Minister. "I am advocating...a whole Middle East without weapons of mass destruction." I am. Not "We are," not "Syria is..." And, "Israel has nuclear weapons..." He is making it appear as if Syria has no interest in nuclear weapons, but since Israel has them then it is their best interest to have them as well. See, this is why I don't like diplomacy. Diplomats can't make a straight fucking statement about anything. Even his statement about Iran leaves him an out, "We trust them." If Iran developes nuclear weapons Syria will say, "They lied to us! Now we are in between two states that are hostile towards one another who have nuclear arms! We must think of our security!"
Too bad the concern for the future of the Republican Party had not been seriously addressed in the year 2000 when the Republicans gained control of the House, Senate, and the Presidency.
Now, in light of the election, many are asking: What is the future of the Republican Party?
But that is the wrong question. The proper question should be: Where is our country heading? There's no doubt that a large majority of Americans believe we're on the wrong track. That's why the candidate demanding "change" won the election. It mattered not that the change offered was no change at all, only a change in the engineer of a runaway train.
Once it's figured out what is fundamentally wrong with our political and economic system, solutions can be offered. If the Republican Party can grasp hold of the policy changes needed, then the party can be rebuilt.
In the rise and fall of the recent Republican reign of power these past decades, the goal of the party had grown to be only that of gaining and maintaining power -- with total sacrifice of the original Republican belief in shrinking the size of government.
Most Republicans endorsed this view in order to achieve victories at the polls. Limiting government power and size with less spending and a balanced budget as the goal used to be a "traditional" Republican value. This is what Goldwater and Reagan talked about. That is what the Contract with America stood for.
The opportunity finally came in 2000 to do something about the cancerous growth of government. This clear message led to the Republican success at the polls.
Once the Republicans were in power, though, the promises faded, and all policies were directed at maintaining or increasing power by trying to whittle away at Democratic strength by acting like big-spending Democrats.
The Republican Congress never once stood up against the Bush/Rove machine that demanded support for unconstitutional wars, attacks on civil liberties here at home, and an economic policy based on more spending, more debt, and more inflation -- while constantly preaching the flawed doctrine that deficits don't matter as long as taxes aren't raised.
But what the Republican leadership didn't realize was that ALL spending is a tax on middle-class Americans through price inflation and that eventually the inevitable consequence is paying for the extravagance with a financial crisis.
Party leaders concentrated only on political tricks in order to maintain power and neglected the limited-government principles on which they were elected. The only solution for this is for Republicans to once again reassess their core beliefs and show how the country (not the party) can be put back on the right track. The problem, though, is regaining credibility.
After eight years of perpetual (and unnecessary and unconstitutional) war, persistent and expanded attacks on our privacy, runaway deficits, and now nationalization of the financial system, Republicans are going to have a tough time regaining the confidence of the American people. But that's what must be done.
Otherwise, Republicans can only mimic Democrats and hope for an isolated victory here and there. And that's just more of the same that brought on the disintegration of the party.
Since the new alignment of political power offers no real change, we will remain on the same track without even a pretense of slowing the growth of government. With the new administration we can expect things to go from bad to worse.
Opportunity abounds for anyone who can present the case for common sense in fiscal affairs, for protection of civil liberties here at home, and avoiding the senseless foreign entanglements which have bogged us down for decades and contributed so significantly to our fiscal and budgetary crisis.
During the debates in the Republican Presidential primary, even though I am a 10-term sitting Representative Member of Congress, I was challenged more than once on my Republican credentials. The fact that I was repeatedly asked how I could be a Republican when I was talking a different language than the other candidates answers the question of how the Republican Party can slip so far so fast.
My rhetorical answer at the time was simple: Why should one be excluded from the Republican Party for believing and always voting for:
• Limited government power
• A balanced budget
• Personal liberty
• Strict adherence to the Constitution
• Sound money
• A strong defense while avoiding all undeclared wars
• No nation-building and no policing the world
How can a party that still pretends to be the party of limited government distance itself outright from these views and expect to maintain credibility? Since the credibility of the Republican Party has now been lost, how can it regain credibility without embracing these views, or at least showing respect for them?
I concluded my answer by simply stating the Republican Party had lost its way and must reassess its values. And that is what needs to be done in a hurry.
But it might just take a new crop of leaders to regain the credibility needed to redirect the Party.
It certainly won't be done overnight. It took a long time to come out of the wilderness after 40 years of Democratic rule for the Republican Party to take charge. Today though, time moves more quickly. Opportunities will arise. The one thing for certain is that in the next four years we will not see the Republic restored. Instead the need for it will be greater than ever.
The problems are easily understood and the answers are not that difficult. Abusing the rule of law and ignoring the Constitution can be reversed. If the Republican Party can grasp hold of the needed reforms, it can lead the way and regain its credibility. If power is sought for power's sake alone, the Party will never be able to wrench away the power of the opposition.
In the past two years, I found that when the young people heard the message of liberty, they overwhelmingly responded favorably, fully realizing the failure of the status quo and the need to once again endorse a system of self reliance, personal responsibility, sound money, and a non-interventionist foreign policy while rejecting the cradle-to-grave nanny state all based on the rule of law and the Constitution.
To ignore the political struggle and only "hope for the best" is pure folly. The march toward a dictatorial powerful state is now in double time.
All those who care -- and especially those who understand the stakes involved -- have an ominous responsibility to energetically get involved in the battle of survival for a free and prosperous America.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ron Paul.
I was a Ron Paul supporter even after he dropped out of the race. I really wish I had written his name in on the ballot. Instead I voted fo McCain. I don't really care for McCain, but I saw it as a better alternative than Obama, and I figured if McCain lost then I would at least help keep the margin small in the popular vote (doesn't matter in the election, but it gets a point across).
Monday, November 10, 2008
October 10, 2008
Washington, D.C. --The Treasury Department, as part of its ongoing assumption of control over the financial industry, is preparing to inject cash into U.S. banks in exchange for preferred shares of bank stock.
“Are we all socialists now?” said Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. “Have we learned nothing from the devastation that socialist policies wrought worldwide in the twentieth century? Government intervention distorts markets and causes economic dislocations, no matter whether Uncle Sam controls private companies by regulation or assumes public ownership outright.
“A crisis doesn’t transform poison into medicine. Over decades, government manipulation of money, credit, and mortgages poisoned this economy and left it dangerously weak. Now Hank Paulson and his comrades are hooking up IV tubes filled with more of the same poison--bailouts, loan guarantees, cheap money, and more burdensome regulations--and hoping we will lie still and trust in their cure.
“But the real cure is capitalism, not more doses of socialism. We should act quickly to put government in its place, by rolling back the interventionist measures that caused the present emergency. Government’s proper role is to punish fraud and enforce contracts, not to own and manage the economy. We cannot achieve financial health unless we are willing to free the markets.”
I was against the bail out, so obviously I'm against any policy that mean implementing it in more ways. This mess was caused by the government 'encouraging' banks to give loans to people who didn't qualify for them. Then those people couldn't make their loan payments. Suddenly the notes that the banks sold became devalued, worthless. Businesses built around trading those notes started to collapse. People who invested money in them started to lose it. This threw the economy for a curve ball.
And people started to face losing their homes. Um...when you don't pay for something you take...it's called stealing. Forclosure is the least you should face. Idiot.
The correct action to be taken would have been to let those people lose their homes. The financial institutions then owning them should have sold them, even at a loss, to people who could afford to buy them. That is all.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military has conducted nearly a dozen secret operations against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Syria, Pakistan and other countries since 2004, The New York Times reported Sunday night.
Citing anonymous U.S. officials, the Times story said the operations were authorized by a broad classified order that then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed and President George W. Bush approved in spring 2004. The order gave the military authority to attack Al Qaeda anywhere in the world and to conduct operations in countries that were not at war with the U.S.
One such operation was an Oct. 26 raid inside Syria, the Times reported. Washington has not formally acknowledged the raid, but U.S. officials have said the target was a top Al Qaeda in Iraq figure. Syria has asked for proof and said eight civilians were killed in the attack.
In another mission, in 2006, Navy SEALs raided a suspected terrorist compound in Pakistan's tribal areas.
The raids have typically been conducted by U.S. Special Forces, often in conjunction with the Central Intelligence Agency, the newspaper said. Even though the process has been streamlined, specific missions have to be approved by the defense secretary or, in the cases of Syria and Pakistan, by the president.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a fan of the Bush administration, and I'm not a fan of violating another country's territory, but when that country is allowing known terrorists freedom of movement there, then fuck them. They ARE an enemy and deserve to be treated as such until they prove otherwise.
You can live with a surgical strike conducted by SOCOM, or you can have the entire weight of the US military brought down on you. We can't really afford to invade and conquer every country that harbors our enemies, and those countries don't really want that anyway.
Yes, I DO want a nuclear reactor in my back yard.
That's what Hyperion Power Generation, a small Santa Fe, N.M.-based startup, hopes lots of utility and energy companies say over the next few years as it prepares to build and market small, self-contained, portable nuclear reactors that need almost no oversight or maintenance.
"Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world," Hyperion CEO John Deal told Britain's Observer newspaper in an article published Sunday. "They will cost approximately $25 million each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $2,500 per home."
In fact, Hyperion claims its sealed, buried reactors, which would be 10-15 feet long and about 10 feet wide, could power 20,000 homes for 7 to 10 years. At that point they'd be dug up and hauled back to the plant for refueling.
The portable, self-regulating nuclear reactor isn't a new one, and many companies and organizations have been trying to develop them.
Based on the low-maintenance TRIGA research reactors found at many American universities, the various designs all use a form of liquid metal to both carry the excess heat away from the core reaction and to absorb stray neutrons, moderating the reaction should it approach meltdown.
Toshiba has been developing a portable reactor, dubbed Rapid-L, that uses liquid lithium-6 as coolant and moderator, while the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's SSTAR design (Small, Sealed, Transportable Autonomous Reactor) uses liquid lead hydride instead.
Both use traditional solid low-enriched uranium as fuel.
The Hyperion design, licensed from the DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory, takes things one step further by swapping out enriched uranium hydride for the chemically similar lead hydride.
That means the same pool of molten metal is encased in a buried "hot tub" and acting as fuel, coolant and moderator all at once. If the reaction gets too hot, Hyperion claims, the hydrogen atoms will chemically separate from the uranium, stopping the reaction.
And as with the other designs, the Hyperion reactor's container would be tamper-proof so bad guys would have a hard time breaking in and stealing the nuclear fuel.
Not that they would be able to, claims Deal.
"Temperature-wise it's too hot to handle," he tells the Observer. "It would be like stealing a barbecue with your bare hands."
They just talk about powering homes here, but I say look at the bigger picture. Imagine if GM and Ford, or one of the other automotive manufacturers decided to get off their collective asses and design, or implement production of, fully electric vehicles with the same capabilities of our antiquated internal combustion engines? They run on batteries, right? Why not put these reactors in fueling stations. Are you listening BP, Chevron, Mobil???
Sunday, November 9, 2008
But there are times when you can't win, you can't convince another person of something that is so obvious to you that the words 'self evident' come to mind.
I'm not going to try and prove myself anymore. Either I'm it, or I'm not. I can't be something in between. I can't make the decision of which it will be, but I can sure as hell stop trying to influence the judge.
I'm tired. I'm feeling completely defeated. I keep asking myself, "Why am I not good enough?"
I'm starting to think that I'm not the one who should be asking themself that question.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
So picture a guy walking into a restaurant in a seedier part of town when he passes a homeless dude begging for change. He ignores the begger, goes in and orders. Eats his meal. When the waiter comes over smiling...wearing an Obama pin proudly.
"How was your meal, sir?" he asks our hero.
"It was fine, man."
The waiter hangs around, obviously wanting a tip. The customer sees this and smiles, "Guess you are waiting for a tip, eh?"
"Well, thats customary," says the waiter, growing irritated.
"Tell you what, seeing as you are an Obama supporter.....instead of tipping you, I think I will just give the five bucks I had for you to the homeless guy out front....he didnt earn it, of course, but isn't that the way this works?"
With that, the guy walks out, the bum gets happy, the waiter gets fucked.
Welcome to next year.
Those of you voting in Louisiana or Connecticut this week won't have the option of voting for Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr for president. In both states, Barr's campaign insists it had more than enough signatures to put his name on the ballot. But in Louisiana, the courts determined that Barr's campaign missed the filing deadline. That was in part because state offices were closed the week of the deadline, due to Hurricane Gustav. No matter. A federal court determined it would be too expensive to reprint the state ballots to include Barr's name.
In Connecticut, state officials initially said the Barr campaign came up about 500 names short of the 7,500 signatures required to put Barr's name on the ballot. They later acknowledged that they had made an addition error. Barr was only 321 names shy of the minimum. The state then admitted that state officials had actually lost 119 pages of signatures—almost certainly enough to put Barr over the top. Nevertheless, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Barr would not be on the ballot, citing testimony from Connecticut officials that it would be "nearly impossible" to reprint the ballots to include him.
Meanwhile, in Texas, the tables were turned. Both the Republican and Democratic parties somehow missed that state's deadline to include Barack Obama and John McCain on the Texas ballot. Barr's campaign sued, noting the equal protection problems with allowing the two major parties to skirt campaign rules while holding third party candidates to the letter of the law. Barr was right — Obama and McCain should have been kept off the Texas ballot. But Barr's suit was dismissed by the Texas Supreme Court without comment. Apparently, the Democratic and Republican parties are, to borrow a now-tired phrase, "too big to fail." They're allowed to break the rules.
Bob Barr has no chance of winning the election. But regardless of what you may think of his politics, or that of third-party candidates like Ralph Nader or Chuck Baldwin, this system is rigged. The two major parties have effectively cemented their grip on power by creating laws that make it virtually impossible for upstarts to compete with them. They have effectively done with campaign laws what federal business regulations tend to do in the private sector — protect the behemoth, entrenched dinosaurs that dominate the industry by making it too expensive and difficult for anyone to challenge them.
In addition to ballot access laws, consider campaign finance rules. In his recent special "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics," ABC News reporter John Stossel profiled Ada Fisher, a woman attempting a low-budget, longshot run for Congress in North Carolina with a staff of volunteers. She found it impossible to comply with the election law without hiring a team of lawyers — which of course, she couldn't afford. Written in small print, single spaced, the federal election code spanned one-and-a-half football fields. Eventually, Fisher and her volunteer campaign treasurer were personally fined $10,000 by the FEC for filling late reports.
Stossel then cut to University of Missouri Professor Jeff Milyo, who ran an experiment in which he asked dozens of college-educated people to try to fill out various campaign finance forms and applications. Of the more than 200 people Milyo tested, Stossel reported, "every one of them violated the law." One participant added, "I'd rather not participate in the political process if it means I have to go through the nonsense I went through today."
That's exactly what the two major parties and the incumbents in Congress had in mind. Come up through their party structure, and you'll have a team of lawyers to help guide you through the process. Challenge them from the outside, and the laws they designed will cripple your candidacy.
Consider these two figures: Congress' approval rating right now is a dismal 19 percent. Clearly, we aren't happy with the people who are governing us. Yet 90-95 percent of the incumbents running for re-election to Congress will be victorious on election night. Many will run unopposed. Between gerrymandering their districts to ensure a friendly electorate, campaign finance legislation, debate rules that effectively bar third-party participants, onerous ballot access rules, and the privileges of office, the Democrats and Republicans have ensured that the vast majority of the country will chose only between one of two candidates this year — candidates who, when it comes right down to it, really aren't all that different.
The system we have now selects for the sorts of people who want to make a career of politics. If, in order to successfully run for high office, you have to spend years culling favors and working your way up through one of the two major parties, the winners in this game are going to be the party loyalists and power-hungry climbers who couldn't hack it in the private sector — frankly, the last personality type we want governing.
It ought to be much easier to run for office. As it is now, the first task of anyone challenging an incumbent for federal office is to raise enough money to hire a team of lawyers to ensure that they're complying with the law. It's difficult enough to raise enough money to mount a credible challenge that overcomes the name recognition and other advantages of incumbency. Congress then continually adds to that the enormous costs of navigating more and more layers of an expensive and confusing web of legalese. Defenders of these complex laws then justify them under the guise of "getting the influence of money out of politics."
How clever of them. What they're really doing is ensuring that incumbents stay in office, and that one of two same-ish parties always remains in power.
In the last two Presidential elections the same Representative has been running for Congress in my district. He wins everytime. Why? He never has an opponent. I've always wondered why and considered seeing what it would take to try my hand against him. Now I see why it's so hard. And I'm glad I almost always write in another name, any name, when I see a candidate running unopposed.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I lay in bed until my alarm went off at ten after six this morning. I got dressed for work, brushed my teeth, made my lunch, and then headed out. Traffic wasn't as bad as usual. It's funny the difference five minutes makes on my morning commute.
I was the first one at work. No big deal. Kind of nice, in fact.
The first job of the day is a simple one. Add a plug above a woman's fireplace for her new flat screen television. We got the job through Kelvin, an audio visual guy who sends us business. I spent most of the next three hours crawling under this woman's house. It was covered in spider webs when I went in. I was covered in spider webs when I came out. Did I mention that I'm terrified of spiders?
The next job was just installing some fixtures and plugs on the exterior of a house that just had a huge remodel. The problem was that the company that originally wired the house is nothing but a bunch of idiotic crackheads. So a couple of hours worked turned into two hours of overtime.
By the time we got back to the shop it was after five PM. The bank I use at one time kept their drive through open until five-thirty. Not anymore. So I couldn't deposit my check. That means the five dollar transaction from this morning will probably turn into a twenty dollar transaction.
I went to WalMart, where I used to work, because they do payroll check cashing for a three dollar fee. I would have waited until tomorrow, but I was completely out of gas and wanted to get something quick to eat.
I stood in long line for fifteen minutes, only to be told, "We don't case hand written checks." But it's a payroll check. "Sorry, we don't cash handwritten checks."
That led to me having to borrow ten dollars from a co-worker, and good friend, so that I would have enough gas to make it to work in the morning. I almost ran out of gas just getting to his house.
Now I'm home. I'm tired, I don't feel good, and I'm hungry. So I'm going to eat while watching A Fist Full of Dollars, then I'm going to shower, and then I am going to bed.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Star Wars: Legacy of the Force (Fury) by Aaron Allston (good)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (very good)
Nightwatch by Sergei Lukyanebko (good)
Friday, October 24, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Hopefully I'll have some pictures when I get back, and I'll try to share them.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I just finished watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I did not have the opportunity to see it in theaters and after an assortment of mixed reviews I had my doubts as to whether or not I would enjoy it. I rented it today and I have to say that after watching it...I LOVED IT!
The story was something completely new...yet a subject I've always thought would make an interesting movie/story/book/whatever so I can't say I was disappointed. I enjoyed the play between the characters Mutt and Indy. I thought the change in Indiana's attitude toward Mutt after he finds out that they are father and son was hilarious. And this movie had one of the best endings I have ever seen. It made me laugh and ask, "When will the next one be out?!"
Now, I won't lie and say they're not some disappointments in this movie. I don't think the Soviets made a very convincing enemy. They just were not as menacing as the Nazis. I can't quite put my finger on why, but they weren't. I guess they just never came close enough in the movie to winning to make them seem like a real threat. I also think that there was a lot of stuff thrown in that just wasn't necessary (the natives towards the end of the movie should have been left our...OR when they were slaughtered by the Soviets it should have been in such a way that made you feel some real horror instead of the muted way in which it was done).
Watching some of the special features I learned that Mutt's character was originally going to be a girl. That is, a daughter instead of a son. Personally, I think that would have been a better way to go. And I think the main villain should have been a male character, or at least a much more menacing female (that could have been portrayed against a strong female heroine!).
Anyway, to sum up, there were some really great lines in the movie and some funny scenes that fit the whole Indiana Jones series very well. Overall, I liked it a lot and I'll buy it sometime. I've got my complaints, but I enjoyed it. I wish I had seen it in theaters. And I sincerely hope there are more to come because it can be done.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I'll be getting most of my debt paid off in the next four or five months (with any luck) and that will certainly make life a little easier. I'm going to be able to put some money into savings and live comfortably, I hope. I should also (with a little luck) be back in school in January. I don't know it for sure, but that may help improve my overall outlook.
I spent a long time feeling like I was just treading water and getting no where in life. I was working a night job that was causing me to fall behind in school, the bills just seemed to get bigger and bigger no matter what I did to save money, and my personal life was falling apart in every way.
Every time something would happen to make me think things were looking up so that I could feel some relief and relax a little bit something would fuck that up. And honestly, usually what fucked it up was me breathing a sigh of relief and relaxing a little bit. As soon as I did relax things fell apart, leading me to believe maybe they weren't so good from the start.
Some things have improved, and I won't deny it. I've a got a new job that is great. It's working out really well so far and I'm happy with it. It's not near as stressful as my last job. So that's a good thing.
And like I mentioned, hopefully in the next few months I'll have most of my debt paid off and that will help relieve a lot of stress too. In the meantime, however, I've still got to deal with it, and I've also got to cope with the fact that it may not get paid off as soon as I want.
The thing that is bothering me the most is probably my personal life. What's new, right? I'm spending time with friends that I have not spent time with in couple of years. I like that, but the fact remains that, for me anyway, there is still some discomfort that kept me away so long in the first place.
I also feel like there are a lot of friends I have that I keep in touch with via phone, IM, etc., but who I would like to actually be doing things with and we never seem to find the time to do anything. I mean, damn, I'd love to just get lunch or see a movie or somthing. Maybe go check out a special exhibit at the museum or go for a walk in a park. But no. It never happens.
And then there is my romantic life. Ha. Who the fuck am I kidding? That's always been one of the hardest areas for me to have any success in, and that hasn't changed even today. I really don't know what the fuck I'm doing wrong. It seems like every time things are going good, it's just a sign for me to prepare for them to go bad. I'm sick of that, but I don't know what to do about it.
Anyway, in sum fucking total things kind of suck right now. There has been improvement, but, frankly, as good as that improvement is, it's not nearly been enough to overcome this giant pile of shit that is my life.
And, yeah, in most areas I can see that things are getting better and it seems like they will continue to get better. But I'm coming to realize that 'some' things being good doesn't matter. It's got to be all good. If it's not all good then it's all tainted by the bad.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not searching for perfection. I don't want a perfect job. I want a good job. And I've got it.
All I'm saying is that I want a good job, a good financial outlook, a good education (or to be on the path to one), a good all around personal life. I don't think that is too much to desire, and I don't think it's an impossible goal to want all of that. Too many fucking people I know, or know of, have it.
And no, it's NOT perfect. But it is good. And I'm feeling a little fucking left out at the moment.
So. I want to work on that. I'm trying to work on that. And I'm trying new strategies. For instance, I'm trying to feel my way through some things. I've always relied on my head, my ability to reason, but that hasn't always led me to a satisfactory conclusion/solution. Logic dictates that I try something else, and see if that works. Identify what I WANT, not simply what my reasoning tells me I NEED or SHOULD HAVE. Then I'm going to to go after those wants. I've already outlined them above.
Now I just have to figure out what is going to be the best way to go after them. Some are easy. Other's are not. And most unfortunately, some depend on other people. I hate depending on other people. But hey, I'm a human being and we are social creatures.
Kushiel's Mercy by Jacqueline Carey (excellant)
The Last Centurion by John Ringo (disappointing)
To Sail Beyond the Sunset by Robert A. Heinlein (good)
On dvd I watched:
Ironman (one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.)
I could support it if some changes where made. One thing that would have to go would be this:
People who are uninsured despite being able to afford coverage should face tax implications.
What the fuck? Here is my problem with this...they want to give a tax break to anyone who gets insurance (I think currently you can only get it if you have insurance through an employer). I like that idea. But what about those of us who don't want insurance? Why should we (I'm one of them, currently...had it...didn't use...couldn't have used it if I was sick anyway...so why pay for something I won't and can't use, right?) be punished? Shouldn't we get a tax break? No, no...I'll do you one better. Shouldn't we get a tax refund? You know, shouldn't we get that money back in our fucking pockets since we aren't going to be using it for the purpose the government took it from us for? I think so.
The AMA doesn't. They want to do this with it:"1. Subsidies for those who most need financial assistance obtaining health insurance.This assistance could take the form of tax credits or vouchers, should be more generous at lower income levels, and should be earmarked for health insurance coverage. It is important to note that the government already gives people financial assistance to buy private health insurance—well over $125 billion each year—with an employee income tax break on job-based insurance that is hidden from public view. This tax break gives more assistance to those in higher tax brackets, and gives no assistance to those without employee health benefits. Shifting some or all of this assistance to tax credits or vouchers for lower-income people would reduce the number of uninsured and improve fairness in the health care system."
Now, that doesn't sound so bad. Why should people in higher tax brackets get a bigger break? It couldn't be that they are paying more in taxes, could it? It couldn't be that they probably pay higher premiums because they BOUGHT more coverage, could it? Oh, and if instead of buying insurance and taking this big tax break if you are in a higher tax bracket and choosing instead to just pay for your health care needs out of pocket, what happens?
People who are uninsured despite being able to afford coverage should face tax implications.
Sounds like you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. You make good money; therefore, you are in a higher tax bracket. Currently, if you bought job based insurance you get a tax break. The more taxes you pay, the bigger the break you get. The proposed plan would change this so that tax break is shifted to people who 'need' your money more than you. Currently, if you choose to opt out of job based insurance you still pay higher fucking taxes but you don't get a tax break.
Hmm. Okay, so the what would the new plan do to you if you choose not to be covered by insurance when you can pay out of pocket for coverage?
People who are uninsured despite being able to afford coverage should face tax implications.
If you have not figured that statement out, it means if you can afford insurance but don't have it, you are going to get hit with higher taxes. Guess what? That is going to fuck people with less money more than it's going to fuck people with a lot of money.
If you have a lot of money, you're fucked and paying high ass taxes either way, currently or under the new plan...unless you get job based coverage and then you get a tax break.
Now, if you are just a cunt hair away from being broke, if you have just twenty bucks a week to spend on whatever you want you could, depending on where you work, put that money into getting health care coverage. You would be able to afford just enough so that you would be covered fairly well. But you wouldn't have that extra twenty bucks anymore. And guess what? When you get sick, you get to pay a deductible, and then you get to pay, probably, about 20% of your medical expenses on top of that. If you're lucky. Oh, and if you don't feel like fucking doing that, under the current plan you get to keep your twenty bucks...maybe put some of it, or all of it, in a rainy day fund for bad times...or maybe you spend it on a few luxury items like cheap chinese food, a new cd, a date with a nice girl or guy. Really, it doesn't matter what you do with it. You fucking earned. You can get insurance or use the money for something else. It's your choice.
Under the AMA's proposal....
People who are uninsured despite being able to afford coverage should face tax implications.
As fucked as it is, and I admit it's fucked, under the current system you can get health care coverage and pray you never get sick because your medical bills are still going to be crippling if you don't make a lot of money. (If you do make a lot of money, you're fucked pretty much either way when it comes to taxes, but you can still afford to pay the docs without it causing you to lose your house or your car whatever the system is.) Under the new system, you have no choice. If you don't buy health care coverage you are punished with 'tax implications.' If you do buy insurance you are basically paying for something you hope you will never have to use because you're still going to have to pay co-pays and deductibles you can't afford even in the lowest tier of coverage.
I like having a choice. I don't like having no choice. One way I can keep my money and take my chances. If I get sick, I'm fucked by medical bills. If I don't get sick I've got some extra money, that I earned through my labors, that I can use for what small pleasures I can find to use it for (savings, CDs, Chinese food, ammo, dates, whatever). The other way I can pay, and STILL get fucked by the medical bills if I do get sick, or I can choose not to pay and get fucked with taxes...oh, and if I choose to pay and don't get sick then I'm just broke.
Fuck the AMA and their plan. Why don't we pass a law that says all the members of the AMA must work 1000 hours a year in free clinics, pay for all medical supplies they use and prescriptions they write, and take a tax break for 50% of what they spend? I like that idea better.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I know that one day it will be alright. That I'll be better. But damn it, I don't want to be alright without her. I don't want to be better without her.
It'll happen after I haven't thought about her in for a while. I'll realize I haven't thought about her. That I've been okay. And I'll probably cry one last time. But I'll know I'm going to be okay after that.
I just can't imagine not thinking about her. I've got a year and eight months of memories of us together running through my head.
I see blue eyes, I think of her. I smell the perfume she wore, and I think of her. I lay in my bed, and I remember her sleeping next to me. I cook, and I remember us cooking together and how much she loved it.
I want her, and I need her. I just wish things could have been different. I wish being with me had made her as happy as being with her made me.
Friday, June 27, 2008
First, a conversation:
Cheryl Moore: i know what you mean, I hope that doesnt keep you from spending time w/ me
Robert Sandhurst: I don't want it too, but I've been here before and I know it won't get easier any time soon
Robert Sandhurst: I guess I just need you to understand this is very difficult for me. There is a lot of undirected anger there on my part, and I don't know what to do with it. My emotions are all tangled up and I can't think straight. I'm going to have my ups and downs. And I'm never going to find it easy to walk away from you.
Cheryl Moore: dont take it the wrong way. but part of me wants to give you a reason to walk away. i do love you and it brings me down knowing what i do to you. i know its a fucking roller coaster. its not fair.
Robert Sandhurst: I still don't really understand what you want from me Cheryl. And when I do, I'm not sure I'll be able to give it too you.
Cheryl Moore: i want your love, support, acceptance, understanding
Robert Sandhurst: You'll always have my love. I'll give you my support as long as my strength holds out. Acceptance may come with time...I can't promise anything. I don't think I'll ever understand.
Cheryl Moore: i want to hug you again
Robert Sandhurst: Thanks. I wish you could.
Cheryl Moore: i think im going to bed
Cheryl Moore: again, im glad you spent some time w/ me. good seeing you.
Robert Sandhurst: Yeah, it was good seeing you too. Good night.
"Robert Sandhurst" is an alias I use to sign up for free email and what not online so I don't have to use my real last name. Anyway.
They say time heals all wounds. I disagree, though in this case I think it will. But nothing makes the scars go away. And the more scars there are, the harder it is to feel. That's my opinion.
I don't understand why it is that the thing I want most, cherish most, would trade anything else for, seems to also be the thing that slips through my fingers every time I find it.
I wonder if I've committed some great sin for which I am being punished. I don't believe that to be the case. But still, it would be easier to believe that. At least that would be a reason. Something. It's much harder to accept that some things just don't work out, for no reason that can easily be defined. Oh, sure, with enough study of the situation the reasons could be dredged up, but that wouldn't make it any easier. The reasons would probably do nothing more than make you realize that the person you thought you knew only existed in your head, and was never really there in reality.
I'm angry. I'm bitter. I'm sad. I want to break things. I want to hurt someone. I want to cry and I want to yell.
I find myself in serious need of comfort, with no one around to do the comforting. I'm full of rage with no way to expel it. I'm full of need, yearning, and wanting of some one, of some life affirming action that will let me know there is still pleasure in the world and the hope of happiness in the future. I can't see it right now. I'm blinded by my bitterness in a world painted black.
"Wash away my troubles,
wash away my pain,
with the rain of Shambala."
Friday, June 20, 2008
I miss her so much. I would give almost anything in this moment to have her in my arms, yet I can recognize that that wouldn't be right, because she would still be holding back. No matter how close I got, it would never be close enough. But, damn, I still miss her so much. I miss her smell, her smile, her laugh.
I can remember coming home and smelling her perfume all through our apartment from her getting ready for work in the morning. I can remember when we used to sleep in the same bed snuggled up together.
How do I cope with that being gone? I don't know. I just know it hurts a lot right now. And all I want is her. Her her her her her. I made a total commitment to her. Total. How does one walk away from that sort of thing? I don't know either. I just want someone to hold me and put me to sleep. to be there when the nightmares wake me up.
I've had them every time I've slept. I woke up in the wrong room the other day. I had dreamed we still lived together. In another she had found someone else, and was so happy and oblivious to my pain I couldn't speak. More will come.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
It seems the only time I update this blog is when I'm not doing too good. So my relationship with Cheryl is over, and I think this time for good. I've tried and tried but it's just not good enough. I wanted things to work out between us, but nothing ever changes. She's unhappy and refuses to do anything about it. She just runs away from her problems. I can't be with someone like that anymore.
We recently moved into seperate places, and things were good for about a week and half, and then they started down hill again. Last night we ended up in a fight. It came down to her saying she wanted us to spend time apart so she could get her life together, figure out what she wants, and what will make her happy. If she has to figure it out, it's obviously not me.
I told her she should do that, but I wasn't waiting. I couldn't wait for her anymore. I told her to look me up if she ever gets her life straight. I don't think that will happen. I also told her to not dare ever blame me for us not working out. I put way too much effort into making things work to take the blame. I understand she has a lot of problems to work out and deal with, but I'm not going to suffer because of it any more. I'm tired of giving 90 and only getting 10 back.
I don't know what exactly will happen now. I'm going to probably have to deal with a lot of sadness and depression. I just hope I'm better equipped this time. Hopefully I can move on from this pain a little sooner, but maybe not. It hasn't hit me to bad yet, but it will. I'm not looking forward to that.