Friday, December 02, 2005

Did Someone Pour Water on the Torch Carrying Mob?

No, the TCM is okay. It's just taking a vacation while I work my 4 jobs. Yeah, I have 4 jobs. I get to lose one of the jobs when the year ends. Until then I am pretty busy so I may or may not post this month. I apologize as I know you would prefer to read my blog over the morning paper.

In case I don't get to it, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, as my friend once told a cab driver, Happy 'fucking' Shintoism, or have a happy, merry time this month, but not the next month.

Friday, October 14, 2005


LEFT: Me trying to take a picture of myself. I guess I'll be normal and have someone actually take my picture. Until then this is what I look like in the mirror holding a camera. I still have 2 eyes. RIGHT: Mt. Rainer from the sky. We went back to the area on a clear day and took pictures but they didn't work out. We gave up and took it from the plane.

Torch Carrying Mob - Assignment 2: Microsoft

Men and Women, Girls and Boys, light up your torches and grab your pitchforks. We are going to show Microsoft our version of a firewall.

The Torch Carrying Mob asks: Are we attacking Microsoft because they are an evil monopoly?

I respond: No, even though their tactic of injuring their competitors as opposed to developing a better product is bothersome, that is for the courts to resolve

The Torch Carrying Mob asks: Does this have anything with the recent trojan you found in your system?

I respond: No, but I was upset that a vulnerability in IE allowed it. Removal of the trojan was time consuming. I didn't click on a spammed email link nor visit any site out of the ordinary. I think I may have used IE too long. I usually use Firefox, which was unaffected. I only use IE to check Hotmail and get Windows updates, since the Firefox browser isn't compatible with Windows Update and Hotmail occasionally screws up. But sometimes, if I have the browser up, I use it for other things.

The Torch Carrying mob asks: Then what's your problem?

I respond: I'm bothered that I spent a good 30 minutes driving in and around the Microsoft campus looking for building 22. Microsoft has 50 or so buildings all numbered from 1 to 50 (or however many they have, I have only seen up to building 41). Now, if you had numbered buildings, what does logic tell you? Mine told me that there would be some sort of pattern to the ordering, distribution, and placement. Buildings were ordered by number: 1 was grouped with 2, 3, and 4. So, going back to patterns, where do you think building 22 would be? If you said right next to building 40 and 41, and about a quarter mile, separated by a few unnumbered buildings and a busy street, from 24, then you may be interested in this and this. If you said somewhere in the area of building 21 and 23, then I you are like a majority of rational thinking people, including myself.

I drove around the campus looking for buildings in the 20's for about a half hour. It took so long since I was unable to make any u-turn after my many unsuccessful searches. I found building 22 on a fluke. I exited the campus by crossing the major street and drove into the parking lot of a building on the other side to call my student and ask for directions. When I told here where I was she said I was at building 22.

To make matters worse, I had wait outside, in the cold, for a bit for security reasons. Too bad they don't use the same security precautions in their Internet Explorer.

It really doesn't make sense, but then nothing about Microsoft has to. If only I was geeky enough for Linux or eccentric enough for Mac, but, alas I am like the majority of people, a slave to the Windows operating system.

My Dream

I had a very vivid dream/nightmare today (I dropped the man off at the Victoria-bound ferry early this morning, came back and slept until noon). I was driving on an unknown road with my cousin in the passenger seat (this is my cousin who lives in Seattle, and who I have been spending a lot of time with). As I was driving towards the freeway I noticed a diesel going in the wrong direction, so I pointed it out to my cousin, and expressed my fear of seeing this guy run into other cars . When I finally got on the freeway, it was foggy and I was now driving downhill at a high elevation alongside a mountain. I saw more cars going in the wrong direction, but this time they were headed towards me. Suddenly, the problem wasn't the imminent head on collision, but rather, non-moving traffic going the proper direction. I tried to stop, but my breaks wouldn't work and my only choices were to run into the cars or drive off a cliff. I remember saying, "Oh, no," and feeling bad that my cousin had to die too. Then, I woke up with a jolt.

I've been obsessed with the dream all day, since I rarely remember my dreams, and this one was so clear. I think there is some meaning to dreams, though I don't trust the assessment of those on the web or in the psychology section of the bookstore. Maybe I need to get my brakes fixed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Go Angels!

Though I hate the cheapening of Anaheim to Los Angeles, I'm still a halo fan. Go , beat the Soxs off Chicago.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Bush does something right

He must be doing something right if he has managed to get the religious conservatives angry at him (YAHOO! NEWS: Miers, the Iraq war and hurricanes prompt GOP to confront Bush).

I left the GOP in 2003 because I felt it had been hijacked by the "religious" wing of the party. With the Republican party no longer representing a substantial portion of my views, I became a librarian, oops, I mean libertarian, since the party seems consistently opposed to small government -unlike the GOP's big brother in the bedroom approach to social issues. Thus, I take great pleasure in the fact that conservative Christian whiners are now upset at their former front man.

If Bush's latest move causes a major rift within the party, I say it's a good thing. I hope the end result is a mass religious fanatic exodus from the Republican party. After that they can become the God party and damn us all to hell as part of their policy, because that is where we will end up if we don't agree with them anyway.

Unfortunately, such a split will probably weaken the GOP to fringe status and the Democrats will have total control. Our only hope is self destruction within that party as well, which will happen when misguided compassion finally surfaces and the environmental wing really takes on world overpopulation.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

My Last Real Birthday

Don't worry, I haven't decided to end it all. I say today is my last real birthday because it's the last time I'll celebrate my real age. I plan on being 29 forever. Even when I'm shaking my cane at the loud, young punks across the street, I'll still be 29. People say it's a number and that it doesn't matter how old you are, it's how young you are on the inside that counts. I agree, that it why I don't think it matters if I claim to be 29 my entire life, it's what's on the inside that counts [Did I write that correctly? Do we say it's want's ON the INside? That's really messed up English, no wonder my students never understand our prepositions. I suppose 'it's what's inside that counts' is more appropriate.] Okay, I'm back. So, whatever, I'm still young, I'm fit, and, uh, I can't remember what else I was going to say.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

My first complaint about Seattle

Seattle's street designations make sense once you understand them, but unless you do understand them, you can end up many miles away from your destination. Can you find NE 45th Street and 45th Avenue NE? What if it were written more compactly and confusingly as "NE 45th and 45th NE?" How far would "1401 45th SW" be from "1401 NE 45th?" From Wikitravel

Well that is just the beginning my friends. Seattle's road system sucks! I'm not the best driver in the world, I'll admit it. But, I am not the stupidest either. Yet, everytime I go anywhere new I get lost. I'm not talking about Downtown, that is difficult in most big cities. These are the residential roads that bite.

As you have read above, Seattle wasn't really creative when it came to naming roads. "Lets call this 45th Street, and this one over here 45th Avenue. " There is some logic in the system. In theory Avenues and Streets are perpendicular; and the roads are numbered so that 45th will be followed by 46th. That sounds easy, why are you getting lost so much Carrie? Well, if the road veers any then your Avenue becomes a Street and you are going in a whole new direction. Soon your 45th Ave is 103rd Street. Sometimes you can even be on a Street and that allows you to turn into another Street. I learned in 3rd grade that things that run parallel don't intersect. Why would Street and a Street meet? It's counterintuitive! You spend all your time on the Avenue looking for your Street, when that Street is running parallel to the Avenue. AGHH!

Then you have roads that change their name 4 or 5 times within a 5 mile radius. I can stay on the same road and Drive on Montlake, 45th Street (or is it Ave, I don't remember), Sandpoint Way, 125th Street, Roosevelt Way, and then 130th Street. I'm in the same city, the same road, the same lane. Sometimes I see a street that is familiar, like 125th Street and I try to follow it back, but it's not the same 125th Street. I suppose on the grid it is, but really, it's a whole new road that takes you to the bad side of town and introduces other roads you don't know. Of course, sometimes the roads aren't even marked so you have no idea if the names have changed or that you are going the wrong way. That is the most reassuring.

Mastery of the messed up grid system won't make the problems go away, especially on the Freeway. You have to learn through trial and error that you can't get on the freeway on the same street you got off at. Wanna go south on the 5? Well, don't even think of changing your mind and going north. To go on 1-5 North you got be somewhere else on some other street, say like in Portland. And just because Exit 171 traveling north puts you on one street doesn't mean Exit 171 traveling south will put you anywhere near that street.

Last but certainly not least, what is up with 5 way stops !?! They are manageable with lights, but some are just controlled by stop signs. It's hard enough figuring out who got there first and what direction they are going when there are 4 cars. Now I have to look slightly to my right or left on check on that guy too. In my first encounter with a 5 way (with a light), I was so close to the 5th side that I thought their green light was mine and I kept going. I got a few nasty looks and honks. Oh well, I have California plates.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Here is an old pic while you wait

Some have asked that I post a recent picture of myself. I am working on that. I usually take pictures when backpacking and I look like absolute crap during that time. Well, I would rather post a decent picture of myself. So in the meantime you can look at an old pic from 2002 posted on an outdated web page: I'm down at the bottom

Torch Carrying Mob - Assignment 1

It appears I will have to round up a torch carrying mob to address the problems I am having with company Westco Equities, Inc, the owners of my last apartment. Apparently, my roommate and I dirtied up the apartment so much that they had to take $375 of our $500 deposit out for cleaning and repairs. What did we do in the 9 months that we were there that would warrant such a cost. Lets see:

So that is why they charged us for heavy rather than moderate carpet cleaning!
I hear cleaning the kitchen and about every week actually makes it dirtier and allows stains
to form. Vacuuming releases rather than sucks up dust.
I suppose all the time I spent at work, school and the man's, and my roommate spent at work and her boyfriend's, allowed for someone else to live in and dirty up the apartment. Should have made sure I locked the door
When I was at home, I was usually working on a paper. An activity that generates a huge mess. My computer must have had to spit out dirt to balance the crap I was usually writing about.

So you get the point. My roommate and I kept a pretty clean apartment and when we moved out we did a deep clean. There were a few things we missed. We forgot all about cleaning the spider webs above the patio. Probably, because we were never on the patio, but, we take the blame because it was still a required clean. We also didn't wax the floor. I have no idea how to wax properly and will pay the extra money to have the vendors clean it. I didn't know, however, that waxing and spider web cleanup would cost $150. It must have taken them hours. Perhaps one of the cleaners got stuck in a web.

Having worked in the apartment leasing business for a short while, I know that Westco doesn't pocket the money; they do pay for the cleaning and repairs. However, I also know that they will pay their cleaning, painting, etc., vendors for whatever they ask for when the cost is covered by the tenant. Westco gets an improved apartment for free and the vendors make a easy steal with inflated parts and labor costs. The interests of the former tenants are not considered.

Former tenants of crappy owned apartments unite! You have nothing to loose but your positive rental record, you have a deposit to win!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Seattle: Uncensored

I was going to wait until I had an awesome picture of Mt. Rainier before I wrote of my adventures in Seattle, but when I hiked to Noble Knob, a knob that gives a spectacular view, the volcano was covered by clouds. I'll post a picture at some point. Here is a summary of my adventures thus far...Fasten your seat belts:

Friday, August 19 - Arrived around 3:00 am. Don't remember much beyond that. I think the movers got here sometime in the afternoon. After everything was moved in the man and I headed to his pub "The Fiddler."

Saturday, August 20 - Woke up surrounded by boxes to unpack. I think I unpacked a few things. The man worked on fixing his tandem. An essential part was missing. Much cussing from the garage.

Sunday, August 21 - Made cookies for the neighbors to avoid unpacking. Went on a bike ride with the tandem on the Burke-Gilman bike trail. The trail, which runs along Lake Washington, supposedly runs from Redmond to UW. We went the UW direction. I shall post pictures of the trail as well at some point. Except for the houses right on the lake that can block the view, the area is beautiful. If I had an artistic mind I could give a description that would take you from your bleak world to this terrestrial glory, but I don't; It's got a lot of greenery and a big blue lake.

Monday - I know I did something to put off unpacking, but I can't remember.

Okay, I see that this is boring you. My week and a half in Seattle has been great. The temperature hasn't risen above 80 degrees. Natural food stores and farmers markets are ubiquitous. The second hand clothes stores are actually stylish (Carrie's a little on the poor side). And, did somebody say ethnic food? Carrie's going to have run a bit more to make up for all the restaurants she going to try. Next week the man and I are going to Bumbershoot, a 3 or 4 day festival with tons of bands, so I'll have more exciting things to write of then.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Brother, can you spare a dime?

If you have any excess money feel free to donate to the Seattle Unemployment Foundation (SUF). It's a new non-profit organization I have set up for the educated but unemployed of Seattle. Right now the organization is helping out a poor fool who got a Master's in Linguistics, but is having trouble finding employment as she is either over or under qualified for most jobs. Email me if you are interested in donating, so that this girl can do some shopping, er, I mean make ends meet while she continues her quest for employment.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Fresno: When you want the crime of the big city, but inconvenience of a small town

I am now spending my last days in Fresno. Though Fresno wasn't too bad, I will not miss the lack of fine dining, Savemart, smog, 100 degree+ summers, car thefts, and crime in general. Good ol' Fresno, where police manpower is concentrated on combating traffic law violators (tickets are revenue) rather than thieves and murderers. But hey, I'm not bitter about my 3 speeding tickets, really.