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Saturday, January 31, 2004

Saturday - Eli Update 

As some of you may already know, I've been planning to buy a rental building. Well I'm officially a slumlord now. Yesterday I closed and have official "tenants". Pretty wild. So if anyone is looking for a nice little place at Grand and Oakley with reasonable rents, give me a call...

Today is also the "Yurtzied" or one year aniversary of my grandfather's death. I was lucky enough to be in Turkey last December and see him one last time. This one is tough because even though I never got to spend much time with my grandparents (they're all oversees) I did have a strong connection to him. I felt that whatever part on my personality that is geneticall determined (rather than environmentally determined) came in large part via him. We had a lot of interests in common and similar senses of humor.

Moving on to politics. I got confused when I logged in today. I thought I was accidentally over at Atrios. But alas, it was just a leftwardly wind blowing in from Dupont Circle. Gary, Gary, Gary. First you post complaining about the loss of an entitlement. Then you post complaining about the cost of entitlements. I think you should make up your mind if you're for entitlements or not. On to Elana, your casual description of Iraq and Afganistan as "disasters" and your assessment of "general dissatisfaction at home" need some backing up. I'd like to see the proof of these statements. I suspect the there is in fact more "general satisfaction" than "general dissastisfaction" in any of these countries. You all probably know that I'm staunchly bullish on the current direction of American foreign policy. To me, we're finally living up to our liberal democratic ideals of not coddling dictators and pushing for worldwide freedom. There's a great article that pretty much sums up my current viewpoint in the latest online edition of Dissent Magazine. Follow the link to the Paul Berman article.

That's about all for now. Andrea and I are off to my realtor's place tonight to partake in some P's & Q's. Later...
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Oil me up 

Where's my free oil?
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Friday, January 30, 2004

Medicare 

In news that shocked literally dozens of people, the Administrations bugets will estimate the cost of the Medicare perscription drug coverage added in December will cost 35% more than they said it would. The cost estimate has gone from $395 billion to $534 over the course of a decade.
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oh, gary 

it's not that the bushites are trying to kill the stars and stripes in particular. it's just that they're trying to prevent the armed forces from learning the full extent of the disaster that is Iraq, Afghanistan, the rollback of the VA, the cutbacks in scientfic research (eg, Kevin's work at the NRL), and the general dissatisfaction at home. the stars & stripes just happens to be the main english news source available on bases in korea or ethiopia or bosnia or wherever there are troops.
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The Stars and Stripes 

Via Suburban Guerilla, I note that it looks like the Bushies are trying to kill The Stars and Stripes. For those who don't know, The Stars and Strips is the in house military daily paper.

Having grown up around the military, this is the type of thing that just makes me madder than hell. When I was growing up I loved getting that paper when we lived overseas. It's not the best written rag in the world, but that's okay. It covered what was important to us and it had two pages of comics for the kids. It was read by everyone from SACEUR on down.

Isn't it enough that our sitting President has tried to cut veterans benefits? What about the fact that as part of the overhall of overtime rules they decided that if the person received their job training as part of military service they they would not be eligible for overtime? Can someone remind me again of why the Repubs are supposed to be the ones friendly to the military?
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short vacation 

We traveled down to my hometown for a short vacation.
For starts, the weather sucked for travelling yesterday, it snowed the whole way and it turns out my windshield sprayer doesn't work on the drivers side- so I was often driving with frozen crap stuck to my windshield on icy roads, more snow falling, and 18-wheelers kicking up even more.

I've been called twice from work already.
I love talking to my boss & his boss first thing in the morning over a cell phone.

Cheers, "Mr. Sunshine"


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P's and Q's 

Ever wonder where the phrase "Mind your P's and Q's" came from?
Me either. But I found out anyways:


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hello? 

am i the only one idling at my desk whilst earning my small sinecure?
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an actual picture of my boss's desk . . .  

now, how is it that a woman who needs a post-it on her computer to know how to make emoticons makes $50,000 more than I do?

*i'm stealing server space, so this page will only be available for a limited time.

http://fmmcmwr.com/sssh.htm
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Terror Alert Level 

The current Terror Alert Level is:

Terror Alert Level
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Thursday, January 29, 2004

Check it out! 

OK,
You all know I'm a crack-smokin drug-feind, but did you know I organize "Hempfest"? Check out the credits and the very bottom right of this poster.
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si·ne·cure ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sn-kyr, sn-)
n.
A position or office that requires little or no work but provides a salary.
Archaic. An ecclesiastical benefice not attached to the spiritual duties of a parish.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[From Medieval Latin (beneficium) sine cr, (benefice) without cure (of souls) : Latin sine, without + Latin cr, ablative of cra, care; see cure.]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sine·cur·ism n.
sine·curist n.
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Why isn't this a bigger scandal? 

It seams to me that recent revalations of who was receiving millions of free barrels of oil from Saddam Hussein as bribes should be front page headlines. It's pretty much a who's who of anti-war loudmouths. Nearly 1.6 Billion barrels of oil to Russian politicians? Untold billions to French politicians? Others include the main anti-war politician in the UK parliment, Mr. Gilligan and close associates of Jimmy Carter, but I'm too lazy to dig up links for them...
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Whiplash 

Eli, I'm sorry, I'll post! I was being bashful, and just sort of swatting for a while. My apologies. Right now I'm am work, and I have put off my normal 8-9:30am activities (8-9:30am: Learn to sleep with eyes open) to write you folks. Some of you sound insurmountably busy, and I'm here to tell you as a typical State of Texas employee, I am the exact opposite. Sometimes I worry that I am relegating myself to a Rumplestilkin existence, and when I wake from my 100-year slumber, I will have found anything I've learned is now irrelevant. Other times I enjoy that my little brain is free to frolic, and I just sit here and let random thoughts plunk down one by one like raindrops on a metal carport. It's my sinecure without political connections. If I can manage to stay here for another 25 years, I will be able to retire with a fabulous pension (at least if what I am told now is true). However, since I have a propensity to do the most illogical thing in any given situation, it's highly unlikely that I will.

So yeah. But things are good here. I get invited to more Super Bowl parties than New Year's parties, but for the most part I am enjoying myself. I went to a comedy show last weekend at Ester Follies-and there is a guy there who does a spot-on Dubya. I had forgotten that when Dubya tells a joke, he presses his tongue out towards his teeth and makes his left cheek pooch out. What is that anyway?

Here are some things I've learned in Texas that I would like to share:
1. Despite what anyone tells you, the name Ernest should not have a female counterpart ever.
2. The phrase "Bless your/his/her/their heart(s)" is a euphemism for "that/those idiot(s)". I actually love this phrase because people always use it after they've said something heinous about someone. As if saying it absolves them of any guilt or wrongdoing. This phase can also be alternated with "God bless em!"

Also, when I saw this on the news yesterday, I nearly fell off of the couch. Take a peak:
http://www.whiplashrides.com/index.shtml

Well, better get back to "work". The Eyes of Texas are Upon Me.

Amy
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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Traffic Miniseries 

Traffic concludes tonight! Very good show.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Bureaucratic bullshit 

I tried to get a new passport today and the post office wench wouldn't accept my identity as valid. Apparently, I have been driving around under an alias, AKA a hyphenated last name for the past two years. I spent 5 hours at the DMV after I got married because they kept messing up my change of name then. I thought I was good to go and come to find out today that the records have me as hyphenated even though my actual name on the driver's license doesn't have a hyphen. How was I supposed to know what the first letter on the ID meant? I have been on the phone on hold now for over an hour waiting for someone from the DMV to get on the line and tell me I will have to go down there. I cannot tell you how much I hate the DMV. Just the thought of waiting in that hellhole and having to explain that they made a mistake and I shouldn't have to pay for it just gets my blood boiling. I have waited in too many DMV lines in my short life - IN, IL, CA, IL (again) getting married, getting my sticker stolen in LA, transferring plates and cars and all that crap. When will the madness end?
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Addictive Snowball Game 

Click!
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Fisking 

OK, I have to take certain people to task. Despite their acceptance of my invitation to blog, they haven't posted yet. Tsk Tsk. I won't name names, but let's just say that they appear on the left hand side of your screen and not on the right.
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Debunked 

I was talking to Jen & Jer about the recently reported on Parrot (not a parakeet!) that belonged to Winston Churchill. It looks as if I should have just kept my mouth shut. The good news is that I was right in saying that Parrots can live for over 100 years. So there.
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Monday, January 26, 2004

Too Good To Pass Up 

Break-dancers perform for the pope

Jan. 25, 2004 | VATICAN CITY (AP) -- In an unusual spectacle at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II presided Sunday over a performance of break-dancers who leaped, flipped and spun their bodies to beats from a tinny boom box.

The 83-year-old pontiff seemed to approve, waving his hand after each dancer completed a move, then applauding for the entire group. He watched the performance from a raised throne.

"For this creative hard work I bless you from my heart," he said.

During the show, one dancer -- part of a Polish group that helps poor and marginalized youths -- planted his head on the inlaid marble floor of the Vatican hall and spun to loud applause from his group and from Vatican officials. Another performer flung his body around in a series of spins and handstands.

"Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it," John Paul said.

Earlier Sunday, members of an Italian Catholic youth organization enthusiastically cheered the pope's weekly remarks in St. Peter's Square. A few were invited into his papal apartment and helped him release doves from his window.

The pope, who suffers numerous ailments but appeared relatively strong Sunday, called out to the other children cheering below his window.

"I love you all. I love you very much," he said.


To which I reply: WTF?
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Sunday, January 25, 2004

Eli's Fun Links of the Day 

GWB Conspiracy Generator

OBL's Friendster Profile
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Saturday, January 24, 2004

This is what I'll be doing when I'm 92, god-willing 

Click!
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Ryan Adams broke his wrist doing a stage dive.
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The Weather Outside is Frightful 

The Real Temp Outside is:
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Friday, January 23, 2004

The Office Poetry Award 

Goes to Chris Hinson for his inspiring post. I nominate Chris to be Poet Laureate of Absolutely Nothing.
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Jesus loves me, this I know, cause he gives me a new playstation if I say so...
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What I Did Today 

3:00
Went to bed after working on a Java Problem that I can't test. I sent an email with, "try this" and "try this too".

I woke up around 7 to Jen yelling "Get Up, Lazy!". Shower, sit at the computer making 3D graphics for a proposal till 830. I'm supposed to be at 2 places at 9 this morning, so I email one and go to what I think will be a sales call for a project for the ABA, turns out to be a nice meeting, but no new project.

10:45 - 11:45
So I call the person I'm also supposed to talk to @ 9. She's cool with meeting at 1, so I have a little time. My Java problem is still giving me a pain in my arse.

11:45
I have given up on the Atkins Diet after 1 Day. Bought 30 dollar carb-blocker pills and went to McDonalds. I"ll let you fools know if the pills work, I doubt it, but a fat man has to do something.

12:15
Check e-mails and run to the CHA to work on that Java mishap.

1:20 - 3:30
Get to the CHA and fix the bug. The site is starting to come together. Call the project manager in another building. He's in the cubicle with Lorena (CHA's Oracle DB Administrator) and me in like 2 Mins. Mind you it's snowing. He spends the next hour telling me stuff I already know and even draws me a picture.

4:00-5:00
Meet with my friend Courtney. Talk about the 3D graphics from earlier and a few other projects.

5:30 Picked Jen up from work.

Guys, Have a great weekend.
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Lord of the Rhymes 

This was... singular, to quote a colleague
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My day 

My day today: Leaving early. I'm taking off in a minute to head home, maybe take a nap and go to a concert tonight. Otherwise the week has been very busy. I wish you all well and I'll see you on Monday.
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The first 10 minutes of my day every day 

"Good morning good morning gbgbgbgb bzzzzit brrrrigtttttt buzzzzz yeah, I know, did you sleep well little man? Ugubeedoobeedoo. Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh. Did you go poopy pooh? Didya didya didya? Uph yes you did. Where are those wet naps. Wow, you are one stinky little man aren't you? You wanna get dressed dressy doo. What do you want to wear today? Let's see, how about this green ugly outfit _______ got you. Ohhh what's the matter. Here, chew this. Did you take that sock off? Didya didya didya? You are very funny. Get your toe out of your mouth." I need to start talking to adults. I have got to find people at home during the day. I should call my out of town people more. I never call them. Why don't I just get their numbers out and do it.
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A snapshot of my day 

I sit at my desk and glare at the screens.

Yes, screenS. I have two that connect to my one PC.
A double headed monster.

The screens are filled with windows. Many are nearly
entirely hidden behind others. Their title bars peek
out from behind other windows. It's a collage of projects
and tasks. All are patiently waiting my attention and
input, cursors blinking.

Two windows entirely fill the right hand screen, one on top
of the other. They are XTerms to Unix machines.
Maybe the machines are downstairs,or maybe they're out
in the suburbs, or maybe London. Who knows, who cares.
It doesn't matter, the screens look just the same. There's
little difference from this perspective.

I'm glaring at a new email popup. A program I was testing
isn't working. It sent me a an email to tell me what went
wrong. The program has been running all morning.

I get far more email from programs than I do people: reports,
alerts, "batch job failures". I have 30 "Rules" in Outlook to
siphon the obvious ones off of my Inbox and into sub-folders.
Some of these folders have hundreds, some thousands, of
unread email messages. Some I never read, just obliterate
after sitting around for a month. If they had anything
really important in them, someone would have complained by
now in person, right?

Should I stop what I'm doing and fix the program (again)?
Or should I keep working on this other program?
Another popup: Meeting reminder, in a half an hour.
What can I accomplish in 1/2 an hour?

The broken program will take hours to run. Maybe I can fix
this bug before the meeting. It'll leave me alone for hours
again if I do...

I pull up the code editor and type away. Stupid program.
I didn't write, it but I 'own' it now.
Whoever wrote it never took *this* condition into account,
or *that* one. I add code around the core logic, handling
the new circumstances that it needs to understand now. We
call this patching- as if the code has torn somehow. But
the hole's been there all along.

I finish the patch and start up the program (right screen,
lower window). It kicks off, and text scrolls down the
screen for a second as it initializes. Then it falls silent
as it talks to the datbase. This window is now unusable
for the rest of the afternoon.

No wonder I need so much screen space.

A final popup for the meeting appears. I click "OK" and
walk over to the conference room.

The collage waits silently for my return.
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Thursday, January 22, 2004

What I did at work today 

got to work at 8:10, listened to my neurotic ocd boss talk at me in her usual panic mode for about 15 min. Spent another 15 min with my 2 coworkers making fun of boss. Made coffee, ate my low-carb breakfast. From 9-11 did therapy with 11 mentally ill clients. Listened to talk about seeing through walls, paranoid delusions and such. 11-12 spent checking emails and voicemails and generally doing nothing. 1-3 was more groups which meant more disorganized thinking, more paranoia and a lot of makes-no-sense talk. Had to tell a client not to laugh at another client for telling the group he had a "sexual encounter" last night with his roommate in the psych facility. Told another client privately I had better not catch him trying to put entire bags of my sugar-free candy in his jacket pocket anymore. 3-4 spent doing basicaly nothing other than getting mad and repeatedly phoning a medicar company that conveniently forgot to pick up one of the clients. 4pm- bolted out the door.
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Humor for the Office Space set 

The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation
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What I Did Today - by Eli 

I got to work today at 8:52 according to my cubicle phone display. I think I left home around 8am. I sat for a while astonished that it took me about 52 minutes to commute 3 miles. I can WALK to work faster. This is so frustrating. I can't wait for it to warm up a bit so that I can start riding my bike to work again (19 minutes).

So I picked up the phone and made the requisite phone calls to New York and later to San Francisco.
"Hey, it's Eli. Not too busy here in Chicago, need help on any projects?" No luck - nothing to do today. Same as every day this whole frickin week.

I then proceed to spend the ENTIRE day surfing the web. NYT online. Washington Post. AndrewSullivan. Instapundit. TheNewRepublic. NationalReviewOnline. Yahoo Photos. Check my e-mail like 50 times. I basically spent this whole week doing NOTHING but web-surfing (except for having lunch today with Jen (thanks Jen)). Is this a talent? Is this pitiful? I don't know.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2004


I've never loved Russia, until now.
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75-69 

I swore off watching Mizzou after the loss to the Illini, but this is just embarrassing.
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Another awesome sound clip... 

click!
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Sneaky 

So, I was on Amacon.com last week searching for the latest in a chic elevated infant tool that allows my child to throw liquid substance not only the floor but the walls, the furniture, the cats, and me. I am not web savvy, mind you, so I push the icon, "one-click" and go about the rest of my hunt for the perfect seat. A few hours later, I am shocked to receive an email from Amacon thanking me for my order. Hmmm, what could this be? The hottest most expensive, oh so stylish sit and toss was heading to my far from being a mommy friend in Texas! Maybe she can strap her cat in it for funsy. Thank you Amacon.
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New Mars Photos 


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SOTU Impression 

So when Bush said:
"Abstinence for young people is the only certain way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. Decisions children make now can affect their health and character for the rest of their lives. All of us -parents, schools, government — must work together to counter the negative influence of the culture, and to send the right messages to our children."

Was I the only one who heard the subtext:
"Jenna, Barbara, I'm looking in your direction..."
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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Hypocrisy thy name is Trent 

Via Atrios, we witness the stunning about face of the former Senate Majority Leader.

G-dog, I wouldn't consider hypocrisy in the Senate "stunning" - Eli
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Hello all... 

Love the picture.

I think furballs are gross.

My website of the day: Slacktivist.com
Be sure to check out their running commentary on the Left Behind series of books.

And if you're ever in Baltimore, have the crab cakes at Faidley's.

That is all.
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Picture of the Day 


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Monday, January 19, 2004

Furballs 

Hey. What does everyone here think of furballs??
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Jer's Site of the Day 

Here is a website for despair, inc. They are a company that sells inspirational messages on lithographs and coffee cups and shit like that...
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This is from the most recent Atlantic Monthly. They have exerts from a recent tell all memoir from Kim Jong Il's (Dictator of N. Korea) personal chef. The chef is actually Japonese, and recently escaped.

"Well known in Japan from TV and tabloid coverage, Kim Jong Il's 'Entourage of Delight' is just that - a group of entertainers devoted to providing Kim Jong Il with delight and gaiety.

The women of this entourage were frequently summoned to the 'Number 8 Banquet Hall' in Pyongyang to perform elegant dances. The stage of this hall was equipped with an elaborate lighting system that includeds floodlights on the sides and even a disco miror ball hanging from the middle of the ceiling with strobe lights. The floor was also decked out with lights that flashed from below, and floor-to-ceiling speakers pounded out music.

During a banquet one night a group of five dancers in the entertainment entourage were performing a disco dance. Suddenly Kim Jong Il ordered, 'Take off your clothes!' The girls took off their clothes, but then Kim told them to take it all off. They seemed surprised and could not hide their bewilderment, but they could not object to their Dear Leader's orders. In awkward embarrassment they stripped down and continued their performance in the nude.

After a while he turned to his cabinet staff members and instructed them, 'You guys dance with them too.' And soon enough I, too, was ordered to dance. However, he cautioned us, 'You'll dance, but you won't touch. If you touch, you're thieves.' In other words, I think Kim Jong Il felt these girls were like his own daughters."

Yikes!
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Sunday, January 18, 2004

This is classic, if you haven't heard it already...
Follow the link to the Ryan Adams voicemail left for Jim DeRogates of the Chicago Sun Times.


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Thursday, January 15, 2004

Is anybody listening?
hellooooo
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