Saturday, February 28, 2009

Meaningless Nonsense (And An Apology)

I've been pestering a friend of mine to accompany me on a run around Greenlake for weeks now. Well, last night we finally did it. I ran cross-country in high school (in a highly non-competitive manner), and it's been years since I've actually had an extended run. I made it reasonably far into the run before I needed to walk. My sides ached terribly. We walked for a bit, then finished up the run; I was deeply committed to an all-out-sprint at the end. I never knew I could move that fast. Fast forward to today: I have a minor sprain in my left ankle. Ouch.

And as for the "apology", I owe it to my (few) readers. I've been burned out lately, and have had nothing of notable worth about which to blog. Hopefully I will get things back on track soon.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Re: It's Snowing!!!

Okay. It stopped snowing. It was just a quick little blizzard and then it was gone. Now I'm cold and wet.

It's Snowing!!!

Yes. You heard me correctly. It's snowing...heavily. The photo is from Woodlawn Avenue near Greenlake.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Are You Fucking Kidding Me?

The Russian government has sent a clear message to the world: criticize us and we will murder you. Furthermore, we will acquit the people who murdered you, despite the fact that witnesses saw you do it. Read the story here.

The One True Love In My Life (Well, It Was)

From September 2000 until October 2004 my most prized possession was my 1986 Toyota Tercel 5-door hatchback. After turning 16 years old, my grandfather (I miss you) purchased me this beauty to help out his grandson. For four long years, this car was my life.

I did stupid things in it. I nearly died in it after falling asleep at the wheel while driving home on the freeway. [You can see the damage on the front-right fender; that was me hitting side brush]. I had the back window broken with a baseball bat. Thank you roving gang of high school punks. I had a CB radio installed. See the antenna on the roof? I think my friends and I were able to contact maybe one or two people in four years worth of random bantering on the airwaves. My friend thought it would be a good idea to kick out the right-side tail a joke. Ha...ha.

If it were not for this car, my life may have turned out differently. I'm not sure how I would have made it to school and work everyday. I lived in Kent and went to school in Burien (13 miles between the two). After I moved to Seattle for college, I no longer needed the car. I parked it behind my grandparents' apartment building in case I needed it for something; I never did. So it goes that I had it marked for pickup and removal, and I hope it enjoyed its time with me as much as I did with it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Everyone Has Something In Their Past That Haunts Them

Well, this is mine.
The hair. The clothes. The face. Absolutely disgusting.

Reports From The Check-Out Line

I desperately needed toilet paper, and food, so I stopped by the QFC at Broadway and Pike. After getting all of my required food items, and nearly forgetting the toilet paper, I made my way to the check-out line. Whenever I buy produce (or anything without a scannable barcode) I prefer to have a checker ring me up. I was next in line, and there was no one waiting behind me. After standing there for about 30 seconds, an elderly gentleman approached the line. I kindly allowed him to go ahead of me. This is where the story gets interesting (somewhat).

This gentleman was confused by my selfless gesture. He was adamant about me being entitled to be rung up next. "You've been waiting here longer," he said. After repeatedly assuring him that it was fine, he went ahead of me. He asked me what my name was, and he told me that his name was Joe Mclean. He also noted that he was 90 years old and had never been given the nice treatment I gave him. He thanked me again and went on his way. I couldn't help but feel better knowing that I made a 90 year old man's day by means of a simple selfless gesture.

Joe Mclean, you're the man.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's Better Than A $787 Billion Dollar Stimulus Package?

A second one. Today in Denver, Colorado, President Obama signed into law the $787 billion stimulus package that was passed by both houses of Congress last week. Now the president has not said that talks are underway for a second economic recovery package, but I find it rather ominous that it would even be brought up at a time where government spending is about to transcend the already stretched threshold. This spending does not even include the banking bailout costs, and the additional $12 billion that General Motors has just requested in federal loans to prevent bankruptcy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Very Powerful Movie Line

"It's not about what I want, it's about what's fair! You thought we could be decent men in an indecent time! But you were wrong."

Venezuelans Love A Dictator

Hugo Chavez's referendum to remove presidential term-limits passed today with a projected 54.4 percent of the vote. The New York Times has the story here. Here is my prediction: Chavez will be in power for the next few decades.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fighting To Be Free From Term Limit Constraints Equals...

... a dictatorship. President Hugo Chavez is at it again; the Venezuelan people go to the polls today to vote on a referendum that would remove term-limits for the office of the Presidency. This is now the second attempt by Chavez to get himself into an indefinite position of power. As I mentioned to a coworker today, I don't care if a political leader has done good things or bad things, if he/she wants to have unlimited reigning time, then he/she will never want to cede power to anyone else. Political parties will unify under that of the president's, and all opposition will be silenced. This is nothing new, and if the Venezuelan people do not realize that, they will be in trouble.

Recipe For Healthy And Economical Living

It's been working out for me all right:
  1. 6:00 a.m. spin class.
  2. Maple and brown sugar oatmeal for breakfast.
  3. A cup of herbal, caffeine free, tea.
  4. A granny smith apple for a mid-morning snack.
  5. A cheap (10 for $10) microwave meal for lunch.
  6. A nutri-grain bar for mid-afternoon snack.
  7. Dinner is...not yet defined. Something healthy.
  8. Hours of sleep.

Also, drink nearly 120 fl.oz. of water for the entire day. But stay away from Vitamin Water. Instead, drink regular water or Smart Water.

Americans Aren't The Only Greedy Swine In The World

The Times of London is reporting that UK banks that received bailout funds last year were intending to dole out large bonuses for its executives. Read the article here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

On Becoming A Hipster

Just based on my [own] observation, one will need the following items in order to become a "hipster".
  1. A pair of (brightly colored) high top sneakers.
  2. A pair of skinny jeans.
  3. A t-shirt (preferably v-neck)
  4. A cardigan, or a zip-up hoodie will suffice.
  5. A backwards baseball cap is optional.
  6. Long, emo-ish, hair. (extra points for highlights).
Add those all together, and you have the perfect hipster. And you also have a guy that I am interested in meeting. Haha.

Friday, February 13, 2009

This World Is Trapped By Delusional Thinking

I really hope this world either improves dramatically (and soon) or it just ends. Really. When 13 year old children are becoming fathers and they say things like
“I didn’t think about how we would afford it. I don’t really get pocket money. My dad sometimes gives me £10.”
I cringe. I cringe at the thought of how much stupidity and irrationality are consuming the world. Read about this joyous event here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pike Street Smoke Shop Is Back

There used to be a smoke shop on the corner of Harvard and Pike (next to the QFC) that recently disappeared; it happened, seemingly, overnight. I was somewhat disappointed. I could easily walk there to get hookah tobacco if I didn't feel like taking the mile long trek up to the smoke shop on Broadway and Mercer. Although, in doing that, I satisfied two things: 1). I got some much needed exercise, and 2). I received excellent customer service. The gentleman who works there is very nice indeed.

Anyways, as I was walking home from downtown I noticed that the missing smoke shop is returning to its new location on Pike and Boylston (a mere single block away from its previous location). That means that whenever I'm feeling lazy, and have to make a tobacco run, I can make the five minute venture over to Pike and Boylston. Good times indeed.

Also, I was called a "punk f*ggot" after refusing to let someone use my cell phone; I was also conversing on the phone when this happened.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This Is Why I Love Language And Law

It's amazing what logical fallacies can arise by merely reading certain Seattle Municipal codes. The prominent example that I came across deals with the contributing to delinquency. According to SMC 12A.18.030 of the Seattle Municipal code:
"A person is guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a child if,by act or omission, he knowingly causes or encourages a child to commit or otherwise contributes to a child's commission of a delinquent act."
Okay, now let's say this code refers to an adult purchasing alcohol for a minor. That would make the adult guilty, right? Using straightforward logic would tell us 'yes'. However, let's look at what the definition of a delinquent act is, according to SMC 12A.18.010:
"Delinquent act" means an act committed by a child which would be designated a crime if committed by an adult."
Now let me ask you this: if you are 21 years of age or older (in Washington state, at least), is it a crime to consume alcohol? Answer: no. Henceforth, we are presented with the logical flaw. The adult could not be guilty of providing the minor with alcohol, on the grounds that the very act itself is not delinquent. Arguments and refutations can be posted in Comments.

Of course, you can just go over to SMC 12A.24.100 and make me eat my own words:
A. It is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years to possess, consume or otherwise acquire liquor.

B. Subsection A of this section shall not apply to:

1. Liquor given or permitted to be given to a person under the age of twenty-one (21) years by a parent or guardian and consumed in the presence of the parent or guardian;

2. Liquor given for medicinal purposes to a person under the age of twenty-one (21) years by a parent, guardian, physician or dentist;

3. Liquor given to a person under the age of twenty-one (21) years when such liquor is being used in connection with religious services and the amount consumed is the minimal amount necessary for the religious service.

C. It is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years to purchase or attempt to purchase liquor. A person between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty (20) years, inclusive, who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days or by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) or by both such imprisonment and fine; provided, however, that a minimum fine of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250) shall be imposed and any sentence requiring community service shall require not fewer than twenty-five (25) hours of such service.

Having Trouble Finding The Perfect Valentine's Day Present?

Why not head over to where you can send your loved one some nice pajamas. Overnight and Valentine's Day delivery GUARANTEED! I now hate Valentine's Day, or Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D.), even more.

You can even get matching sets!

U.S. - Iranian Relations

Special Note: Today is the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

The Obama administration has vowed to take a diplomatic approach to greatly improving the United States' relation with Iran. The New York Times reports that
"Mr. Ahmadinejad promised that if the United States was truly serious about changing the countries’ relations, then Iran was ready to respond in kind. 'It is clear that change should be fundamental, not tactical, and our people welcome real changes,” he said. “Our nation is ready to hold talks based on mutual respect and in a fair atmosphere.' "
Of course, I see this happening: Iran will want the right to develop nuclear technologies for energy use only. The U.S. will not feel comfortable with this, given President Ahmadinejad's statements regarding the "wiping of Israel off the map". Either side will have to make a major concession in order for a stable relationship to exist; the U.S. has faith in Iran's pledge to seek peaceful nuclear technology -or- Iran will have to abandon its nuclear pursuits.

This Economy Sucks...Get Over It

Read this fascinating article here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Dictionary Entry [Updated...Again]

Crackoon [kra-koon] n. - A raccoon that has consumed crack cocaine.

Addendum One:

Apparently the word Crackoon already exists. After googling the word, was the first entry. Here is that definition:

"a [crackhead] who digs through garbage and has dark bags under their eyes. much like a racoon."
My definition came in at #11.

Addendum Two:

Homocoon [hO-mO-koon] n. - A homosexual raccoon. This is an old term that some friends and I coined maybe a year or so ago. We now introduce it to the public. Use it as you will.

And The American Dream Has Hit A New Low

I'm absolutely disgusted with the decisions that Nadya Suleman has made with regards to her children. This is the woman who already has six children, and wants to have eight more. Her wish was granted. She is now the proud, and single, parent of 14 children; all of them are under the age of 10. Here's my question: how does she intend to raise 14 children on her own? Furthermore, how does she intend to provide for all of them when she is an unemployed worker receiving disability payments, and is intending to go back to school?

From the MSNBC article:
They’re going to watch these kids very carefully for eating problems, growing [problems], and then seizures, jaundice, heart problems, lung problems, blindness, developmental delays — there’s a laundry list of things. Long term, because some of these children will be physically or mentally challenged, there’s a looming price tag out here. The hospital bill alone will run $1.5 to $3 million. Forget about getting to college; just to get through special-needs stuff — it’s going to have to come from somewhere, either the taxpayers of California or her family or her church or the hospital. But she can’t do it alone.
TV networks and publishing houses that jump on the opportunity to throw millions of dollars at this women are deplorable. In no way is this woman entitled to taxpayers' money, as well as other "free" means of subsistence. She needs to give these children over for adoption. There is no other way to ensure that these children won't grow up living a worse life than the one she had as an only child. Ms. Suleman, you are wrong in thinking that you're going to give these children great lives. You are going to raise these children in the worst possible way, and it's absolutely appalling that you would even think of exploiting these children for monetary gain or endorsement.

Like I said, the American dream has hit a new low. Only in America could one get the notion of free entitlement due to deliberate circumstance.

Here is the MSNBC article/interview.

Watch this video, and tell me if even though it's a joke, Nancy Pelosi (Krisin Wiig) is right.

Morning Adventures

I started off my day at 5:10am: I woke up from the sensation of having to urinate. I got out of bed, took care of all that business, then enjoyed a big bowl of imitation Fruit Loops and nonfat milk. After that, I put on my gym clothes and headed outside. Upon getting outside, I was annoyed to find out that it snowed during the night, and I was now going to freeze. I survived. 6am spin class worked me out, and gave me the energy I needed for the day. I walked back home, showered, got dressed, and headed out for the bus. This is where the real adventure begins.

My bus, ST 522, picks me up at 6th and Pike around 8:05am. My coworker just happened to be waiting for the same bus at the time. We chatted and waited for quite a while. We waited until nearly 8:45am for not one, but two buses to never show. I suggested that we hop on to the Metro 49 to the University District, and then connect with the Metro 372 to our point of destination. So we did. We enjoyed a nice scenic and sunny bus ride to the University District. Then we waited for about 15 minutes for the Metro 372, and made it to work just five minutes short of 10:00am. What an exciting morning! Then all hell broke loose. The end.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Best Thing Overheard Today

"I was going to do the 25 random things thing, but I ate too many fake buffalo wings, and I was too tired."

With Apologies To My Manager

For weeks I have been pressuring my manager to get me a copy of Chuck Palahniuk's forthcoming book, "Pygmy". Yesterday, my lobbying paid off, and I was finally in receipt of the book I so desperately wanted to read. I got home from work, wasted a few hours doing not much of anything, and then decided to dig the book out of my bag. I quit after three pages. Mr. Palahniuk, your new book is crap, and I base that entirely on only three pages of text.

Why is it crap? Although it goes with the character, the story is told in broken English. You tell me if you can stand reading a 200+ page book that reads like this:

Story of me. Passport man bald. Fat. No look good. I break his neck real fast. Double swift kick.

Of course, those are not direct from the book, but they are similar.

Where I Will Never Live

Mississippi. Why? Read here. Vermont sounds very appealing.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Had A Slow News Weekend

Therefore, I give you two cats "talking". Enjoy.

Here is what they are really saying:

Finding Letters In Books

I sold some of my used books back today and I was informed that there was a letter stuffed inside one of my books. I took it back, as if it was mine, and read it. I now present that letter to you in its entirety. Enjoy.
Dear Scott,

It kills me that in recent days I have caused doubt in both our minds about the stability of our relationship. You definitely don't deserve this after some five years of standing devoted by my side. I have harmed you, and I'm sorry even though I know apologies are fruitless in easing your pain

I need you to know that I love you sincerely and that I believe we will grow old together. This disruption in our relationship will be seen down the road as a rough time, but it will be evidence of the strength of our love. "If we could make it through that," we'll say, "then we can make it through anything." I believe this, ultimately, despite how irreparable the damage seems right now. Like I said before - sometimes the relationship needs the to be torn apart, as in remodeling a building, in order to make it better. I truly feel that good will come out of this. Life is hard and love is so difficult, but you can't give up. If you are persistent (it's like practicing piano) you will find gratification and fulfillment.

We will stay together and get stronger with time. I will support you and you can trust me. You (us) are #1 to me. I'll love you always.

If anyone knows who or where Scott is, please alert him to these facts immediately. I fear that Scott and Julia are no more, and all because this absolutely eloquent letter never made it into his hands. Does anyone have any thoughts or comments about this letter? Do you think Scott should take Julia back? Should Julia accept her mistake and move on with her life? I'd like to know what people think on this. Please let me know via comments on this post.

An Important Announcement From The A.F.A.

I received the following email today (from the American Family Association):
Obama nominates pro-p*rn, pro-abortion lawyer for the number 2 position in the office of the Attorney General.

Phone calls need now!

February 4, 2009

Dear Jon,

Your phone calls are urgently needed now! President Obama has nominated David Ogden to be the second person in command in the U.S. office of the Attorney General! Odgen must be confirmed by the Senate.

Call your two senators and tell them to vote against the Ogden nomination. Odgen is no friend of the family.
  • As an attorney in private practice, David W. Ogden has filed briefs pushing for gays in the military.
  • He has litigated numerous obscenity and pornography cases on behalf of clients like Playboy, Penthouse, the ACLU and the largest distributor of hardcore pornographic movies.
In various cases, he has filed briefs opposing:
  • parental notification before a minor's abortion
  • spousal notification before an abortion
  • the military's policy against public homosexuals serving in uniform
  • the Children's Internet Protection Act and the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act.
Take Action!
You'll notice that they need to double-check their communications for errors before they send them out to the masses. "Phone calls need now."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You Can Run, But You Can't Hide

Donors for the "Yes" on Prop 8 campaign will be made public.

Rule #1 - Don't f**k with the gays.

Mercury News has the story here.

Have We Not Already Known This?

Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.
Read the rest of the (brief) article here.

13 Years Later, The Case Is Reopened

The Boulder (Colorado) Police Department is reopening the case pertaining to the murder and sexual assault of JonBenet Ramsey.

Full story here.

I Never Knew Dry Cleaning Was So Dirty

I can't think of anything more important going on in the world, right now, than this.

In An Email I Received From My Manager Today

"She must have heard us talking about her"
Which is referencing this email:
Ooophs! Two Pygmy's - C. Palahniuk are in the mail today, got knocked out of my field of view, sorry I am late getting these to you.
I've been waiting for this book for two weeks now.

We'll Have Our Day In Court...And It's March 5, 2009

The California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding the validity of the passage of Proposition 8 that passed with 52% of the vote: a margin of only 5%. In case anyone has forgotten exactly what Proposition 8 sought to do, here is the text:

Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.

Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
I was under the impression that law was intended to protect rights, not "eliminate" them. Now let's be sure to make this perfectly clear: this is not bigotry. Californians (52% of them) do not hate gay and lesbian couples. They probably even know a few gay people. They have no qualms with them. It's just that when [we] want to have the same right as them, they get upset. We can be as gay as we want to be. We just can't get married (in California). That crosses the line. How dare we try to earn a legal right that will not affect straight peoples' legal right. There's no way to convince me otherwise that this is purely religious (or cultural) bigotry.

On March 5th, we will continue to fight for our rights. We will never stop fighting until we get what is equally deserved.

If You Want Taxpayers To Help, You're Not Taking Home More Than $500,000

According to a NYT article, the Obama administration is planning to impose income restrictions on executives of companies that request "bailout" money. Under the restrictions, executives would not be allowed to make more than $500,000 during the year. This is good news and bad news. I personally would not want to have the government telling me how much, at maximum, that I could earn during the year. However, if I was so irresponsible as an executive so as to drive my company into the ground and expect to be bailed out by the taxpayers, then I should have to forfeit my right to excessive (yes, excessive) income. Fair is fair.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Guilty Pleasure Thwarted By (Nutritional) Facts

Twice a day, for five consecutive days, I walk past a Baskin & Robbins. On one of the windows is a large advertisement for their Reeses® Peanut Butter Cup Sundae, and it makes my mouth water every time that I see it. Of course, now that I've looked at the nutritional facts (courtesy of the B&R website) I'm far less inclined to act on my impulses.

Calories: 1,250 (Calories from fat 730)
Total Fat: 81g or 125% of your daily value
Saturated Fat: 32g or 160% of your daily value
Trans Fat: 1g

Cholesterol: 100mg or 33% of your daily value
Sodium: 680mg or 28% of your daily value
Total Carbohydrates: 108g or 36% of your daily value

Fun Times With The RCW : Part 1

RCW is the Revised Code of Washington, for those not in-the-know; it's the compilation of legal speak that keeps Washington state in a state of non-disarray. My favorite parts are in bold (title excluded).

RCW 26.04.010 Marriage Contract - Void Marriages.

(1) Marriage is a civil contract between a male and a female who have each attained the age of eighteen years, and who are otherwise capable.

(2) Every marriage entered into in which either the husband or the wife has not attained the age of seventeen years is void except where this section has been waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides on a showing of necessity.

[1998 c 1 § 3; 1973 1st ex.s. c 154 § 26; 1970 ex.s. c 17 § 2; 1963 c 230 § 1; Code 1881 § 2380; 1866 p 81 § 1; 1854 p 404 §§ 1, 5; RRS § 8437.]


Finding -- 1998 c 1: "(1) In P.L. 104-199; 110 Stat. 219 [2419], the Defense of Marriage Act, Congress granted authority to the individual states to either grant or deny recognition of same-sex marriages recognized as valid in another state. The Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage for purposes of federal law as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that a state shall not be required to give effect to any public act or judicial proceeding of any other state respecting marriage between persons of the same sex if the state has determined that it will not recognize same-sex marriages.

(2) The legislature and the people of the state of Washington find that matters pertaining to marriage are matters reserved to the sovereign states and, therefore, such matters should be determined by the people within each individual state and not by the people or courts of a different state." [1998 c 1 § 1.]

Intent -- 1998 c 1: "(1) It is a compelling interest of the state of Washington to reaffirm its historical commitment to the institution of marriage as a union between a man and a woman as husband and wife and to protect that institution.

(2) The court in Singer v. Hara, 11 Wn. App. 247 (1974) held that the Washington state marriage statute does not allow marriage between persons of the same sex. It is the intent of the legislature by this act to codify the Singer opinion and to fully exercise the authority granted the individual states by Congress in P.L. 104-199; 110 Stat. 219 [2419], the Defense of Marriage Act, to establish public policy against same-sex marriage in statutory law that clearly and definitively declares same-sex marriages will not be recognized in Washington, even if they are made legal in other states." [1998 c 1 § 2.]

It still amazes me that there is absolutely zero legal grounding for not allowing gay marriages in Washington State, and yet, it is still illegal. Why? To reaffirm a historical commitment? Wow. I can think of a few other historical commitments that didn't turn out so well.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lynnwood Beauty Academy

Once again, thank you to Seattle Represent for this video. As an added bonus, viewers will quickly recognize where the "Lynnwood Beauty Academy" is located. Hint: it's not in Lynnwood. Enjoy!

The Ballard Driving School

Being Norwegian, I have an affinity for Ballard. I also remember all the great memories I had when visiting my grandparents there. As I recall, this video (from Almost Live!) is exceedingly accurate. Well, the times have changed, but it was accurate. Enjoy.

Thanks to Seattle Represent.

Norway & Gay Marriage

This hasn't received much press time (if any), but on January 1st of this year same-sex marriage became "legal" (I hate it phrased that way) in Norway. I'm proud both as a gay male and as a Norwegian. This is another step in the right direction for the GLBT community as a whole. Norway is also the 6th (and most recent) nation to "legalize" same-sex marriages. The other five are: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, and Nepal. An article in PinkNews (originally published June 11, 2008) had the following:

The new law, which passed by 84 votes to 41, will make marriage gender neutral.

The Scandinavian country already allows gay and lesbian couples to enter into civil partnerships, but LGBT rights groups had long complained the law does not go far enough.

In 2004 a similar law, which proposed to abolish the system of civil partnerships and replace it with one single gender neutral marriage law for all citizens, was rejected by the Norwegian parliament.

The new legislation will replace a 1993 law that gives gays the right to enter civil unions similar to marriage, but refuses them the right to church weddings or to be considered as adoptive parents.

As well as more equal partnership rights, it would expand the provision of parenting rights.

On a similar note, today marks the first day of Iceland having a lesbian Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. She was chosen as Prime Minister by her party, the Social Democratic Alliance. Prior to her acceptance of the position, she was the Minister of Social Affairs and Social Security.

Mathematical Jokes

Please note that I lifted these straight from wikipedia. They're funny...if you're a nerd.

A stereotype joke:
A mathematician, an engineer and a chemist are at a conference. They are staying in adjoining rooms. One evening they are downstairs in the bar. The mathematician goes to bed first. The chemist goes next, followed a minute or two later by the engineer. The chemist notices that in the corridor outside their rooms a rubbish bin is ablaze. There is a bucket of water nearby. The chemist starts concocting a means of generating carbon dioxide in order to create a makeshift extinguisher but before he can do so the engineer arrives, dumps the water on the fire and puts it out. The next morning the chemist and engineer tell the mathematician about the fire. She admits she saw it. They ask her why she didn't put it out. She replies contemptuously "there was a fire and a bucket of water: a solution obviously existed."
A mathematical limerick:
A dozen, a gross, and a score
Plus three times the square root of four
Divided by seven
Plus five times eleven
Is nine squared and not a bit more
An over-the-head joke (with added explanation):
Person 1: What's the integral of 1/cabin?
Person 2: A natural log cabin.
Person 1: No, a houseboat – you forgot to add the c!

The first part of this joke relies on the fact that the primitive (formed when finding the antiderivative) of the function 1/x is ln(x). The second part is then based on the fact that the antiderivative is actually a class of functions, requiring the inclusion of a constant of integration, usually denoted as C — something which many calculus students forget. Thus, the indefinite integral of 1/cabin is "ln(cabin) + c", or "A natural log cabin plus the sea", ie. "A houseboat".

Political Impartiality

This post was intended for publication on January 31st.

The departure of the Bush administration and the arrival of the Obama administration has thrown me into a flux of being supportive of both Republican and Democratic party ideals. Of course, I've always considered myself a fiscal conservative and a social liberal; and I've also never associated myself with any political party. Why? George Washington told me not to do so, and he was right. Gays should have equal rights; taxes should not be given out (or back, in this upcoming stimulus package) to those who don't pay them; that government is best which governs least.

It would make sense, to me at least, that if there is a giant deficit hanging over our heads, we should be putting efforts into reducing that deficit. I have credit card debt. The monthly bills drain me of all my income. What should I be doing? Paying off those debts, and not adding to them. The stimulus package passed by the House this week is said to be 2/3 spending and 1/3 tax cuts. Granted, I will enjoy having more money in my pocket, but we cannot continue to cut taxes. The intent of cutting taxes is so people get so flash flooded with money, which results in an increase in consumer spending. I just got $500 for free (inaccurately so), and I've always wanted a new flat screen television. Let's illustrate this process:
  1. My employer makes money.
  2. I work, so I get a share of that money.
  3. A share of that money gets taken by the government.
  4. I use my money as a consumer; the government uses my money for its [own use].

[Note: I became distracted whence writing this post, and therefore, it must remain incomplete. I still find value in what it has to say, and so I am posting it as I left it.]

A Script For New Employees

This post was intended for publication on December 30th.

One of the duties to be performed at [my] bookstore is to call customers when an item they ordered arrives. When new employees start to make these calls, they may get flustered, not knowing exactly what to say. I thought it would be beneficial to all those future new employees if I wrote up a general 'script' to follow when calling customers. I hope it helps. (For this demonstration, 'C' will denote 'Customer', 'E' will denote 'Employee', and 'O' will denote 'Other'.)

[E] "Hi, can I please speak with (Insert Customer's Name)?"
[C] (in a rather jovial tone) "Why yes, let me go get (him/her/it)!"
[C] (cont., yelling, but away from the phone) "Mom!/Dad!/You! for you!"
[O] (speaking to customer) "Who is it?"
[C] "I don't know."
[O] "Well find out!"
[C] (speaking to employee) "Who's calling please?"
[E] "This is (State Your Name) with [Business Name Omitted] in [City Omitted]."
[C] (yelling, but away from the phone) "It's (Employee's Name) with [Business Omitted]!"
[O] "Oh! Ask them if my book(s) came in yet!"
[C] "Did (his/her/its) book(s)/item(s) come in?"
[E] (in a pleasant tone) "Why, yes it/they did. And we'll hold..."
[C] (interrupting, and yelling away from the phone) "They have it/them!"
[O] "How long will they hold it?"
[C] "How long will you hold it for?"
[E] "We'll hold it for up to ten days, and you can pick it up at the cashier when you come in."
[C] "Okay, thanks, bye." (abrupt click...followed by dial tone).

And scene.

Cooking 104

I'm a big kid now! I finally bought real groceries (cereal and milk do not count) and prepared a meal for myself. Now, I know that 99% of all the people I know do this on a regular basis, but for me, it's a new thing.

I bought penne pasta, broccolli, boneless/skinless chicken breast, heavy cream, butter, parmesan cheese, and garlic. I was originally going to purchase a jar of premade alfredo sauce, but a coworker of mine urged me to purchase the ingredients and make my own sauce. Thank you Erica, it was a delicious sauce.

Alas, I chopped the garlic and broccolli; cooked the chicken and cut it up; melted some butter, added the garlic, and cream; boiled the noodles; combined it all; and I had my very own chicken alfredo dinner.

Things I learned while making this:
  1. When not in possession of a meat pounder, a glade scented candle will suffice.
  2. When the sauce is thin and runny, take it off the stove (heat).
  3. With time and practice, I will be able to cook meals without using 80% of my cooking-ware.
The best part about the whole thing is that upon showing a coworker the photo above, she replied with, "that has to be a staged photo." I guess presentation is everything after all.

Oh, and it's now February 2009. Where did the time go? Also, tomorrow is Groundhog's day. I'm hoping it's overcast in Pennsylvania.