There is a difference between Republicans and Democrats, part 0x23fb
Mood: frustrated
Posted on 2009-01-13 11:00:00
Tags: politics
Words: 409


Ken Blackwell, who is running to be the head of the RNC (which effectively makes him the leader of the party), said the following:

MS: Did you choose to be heterosexual? Did you wake up one day and say I want to be heterosexual?
KB: The answer is that I've never had to make the choice because I've never had the urge to be other than a heterosexual, but if in fact I had the urge to be something else I could have in fact suppressed that urge.
MS: But you realize people were insulted when you compared [homosexuality] to arson and kleptomania. I would like you to explain that because, how does that get into this whole "choice" issue? I mean, kleptomania is a compulsion.
KB: Well, the fact is, you can choose to restrain that compulsion. And so I think in fact you don't have to give in to the compulsion to be homosexual. I think that's been proven in case after case after case...
KB: If in fact you would feel better for me to say to you that, one, I believe homosexuality is a compulsion that can be contained, repressed or changed, and that makes you feel better, then that is what I'm saying in the clearest of terms.
(MS is Michelangelo Signorile, KB is Ken Blackwell - see full interview with audio) And, not that this is news, Mike Huckabee and Ann Coulter compete to be the least gay-friendly, or as they call it, "pro-sodomy", because how I have sex is vastly more important than the fact that I love a guy. (not addressed, but I assume they're against sodomy for straight couples as well?) I didn't realize that Huckabee pushed an amendment to ban sodomy in the state of Arkansas when he was governor.

I would argue the Republican party is getting more homophobic than it was under Bush - he didn't do much for us but he didn't seem to have a problem with gay people per se. Ken Blackwell is saying just being gay, even if you never have sex, is wrong.


Obama is set to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Obama wants to publish some secret legal opinions.

I should really make a collection of these that I can point people to when I hear that the Republicans and Democrats are the same. (not that I hear this much anymore, but that's what a lot of people thought in 2000)


giving it another go
Mood: hopeful
Posted on 2009-01-06 11:30:00
Tags: essay weight
Words: 162

I am overweight. This displeases me.

I weighed myself every week through 2006 and 2007, and then my record started getting spotty in 2008 (to be fair, we bought a house and stuff). Keeping a log as to how well I was doing seems necessary to actually losing weight, but in the past it would just depress me because the fluctuations seemed random, independent of how "good" I thought I was that week. When I was in Weight Watchers in college I did lose weight, but counting points for every single meal and budgeting them and stuff made me pretty miserable.

So! New plan. Back to weekly weighings. At most one soda a day, and not at lunch. Exercise more, somehow, even though it's difficult when we don't get home until 7. Stop mindless snacking.

Unrelated: I'm no fan of Rice's tuition increases, but I'm glad they're at least raising the no-loan threshold and lowering the cap on loans in aid packages.


ThumbnailCopy firefox extension
Mood: happy
Posted on 2009-01-03 12:19:00
Tags: pictures projects programming
Words: 38

So I wrote this ThumbnailCopy extension (see Kurt's post) and in order for it to go public people have to register for an account there and review it. So...anyone mind doing that? :-)

Also, Texas Bowl pictures are up.


happy 2009!
Mood: awake
Posted on 2009-01-02 10:32:00
Tags: links
Words: 168

Games I played for the first time in the last few days: Agricola, Dominion, Stone Age, Fjords, Shadow Hunters. Life is good!

- Outline of "Predictably Irrational" - lots of examples about how we are not rational. Take that, economists!

- Alberto Gonzales Can't Find a Job, Whines includes this amazing quote:

for some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.
This makes me angry. There are many casualties of the war on terror (victims of 9/11, US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan) and you are not one of them!

- Remember all those weird commercials for shows on the Cartoon Network? (djedi does! :-) ) Here's links to a bunch of them, including the ones I remember: "Signal in the Sky" by The Apples In Stereo, "Courage the Cowardly Dog" by They Might Be Giants, and "Back to the Lab" by Prince Paul.


Texas Bowl was awesome!
Mood: excited
Posted on 2008-12-31 14:13:00
Tags: pictures travel essay
Words: 477


That was a lot of fun! We got to the game early and walked to the stadium (avoiding the $20 parking), got some food and sat in our seats. We were literally four rows away from the field, at the 35 yard line. Visibility would have been better had we been a bit higher up, but being that close to the field was pretty fun. Reliant Stadium is huge!

I haven't watched a Rice football game since I graduated, as far as I can remember, so the team was very different. When I was there it was a lot of running, and a pass play almost qualified as a trick play because they happened so rarely. Rice ended up running a decent amount, but their passing game was stellar. Chase Clement (their senior QB) is quite good - he ran for Rice's first touchdown and threw for a few as well. He was good at avoiding the pass rush too - on one particularly nice touchdown throw he did a neat little turn to throw off the rusher and had plenty of time to step and throw.

Jarrett Dillard (Rice's All-American WR) was pretty amazing too - he made some nice catches (my dad says he has a 42" vertical leap!). James Casey sometimes lined up at tight end, sometimes at fullback, and he returned punts and was the holder for the field goal kicker :-)

Rice tried a few trick plays including a flea flicker (QB hands off to the fullback who takes a few steps, tosses it back to the QB who then throws a long pass) which didn't work, and a reverse followed by an attempted pass which would have worked but it was a bad throw. One that did work was with four wide receivers lined up on the left, Clement quickly threw to Dillard and then took off to the right. Dillard took a few steps, stopped and threw it to Clement who waltzed in to the end zone. It was awesome :-)

Here's the game recap - it was never close at all (Rice won 38-14 but went up 38-0 and then started taking out first-string players). The downside was that it wasn't that exciting per se, but it was nice the coach got to take out Clement and Dillard to a standing ovation.

The stadium was reasonably full and there were unsurprisingly a lot of Rice fans, including NI's former VP of R&D who I ran into. We got some good cheers going and stuff :-) I went with my dad and sister (not wonderjess, the other one who refuses to get a LJ account...) and had a lot of fun! Got to use my new camera for the first time and it performed well - took a lot of good pictures that I'll post when I figure out how to download them...

Edit: pictures now up!


just so I feel caught up
Mood: happy
Posted on 2008-12-29 10:52:00
Tags: travel gay politics links
Words: 326

Back from vacation! Christmas and related activities were good and fun and relaxing. Enjoyed spending time with family and got a lot of work done on - only remaining things on my list of "must fix before launching" are dealing with IE and possibly adding tag editing (which will be a pain).

Driving back to Houston tomorrow to watch Rice play in the Texas Bowl, and driving back the next day - glad I have a plan for that now.

There has been some controversy about Obama inviting Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. He's the pastor of Saddleback Community Church and while he has focused on poverty and the plight of AIDS victims, etc., he did endorse Prop 8 in California. It turns out he did so on a Friday 10 days before the election on his church's website (not anywhere more public) and neither he nor his wife donated money to the campaign. Obviously I don't agree with him, but I'm all for engaging people we disagree with, and Rick Warren is no James Dobson or Fred Phelps. Plus, it's just an inauguration - not like he'll be writing policy or anything like that!

Oh, what the heck...some more links:
- 90% of the copies of World of Goo are pirated - yeah, yeah, I know not all of those people would buy the game, but this is kinda depressing. It's cheap ($20), it's DRM-free, and it's a good game!
- The US Census Bureau just released the 2009 version of the Statistical Abstract of the United States = tasty tasty data. Maybe I will do a project in R...
- A Russian professor predicts the breakup of the US in 2010. The map at the bottom is pretty awesome. I definitely think states like Kentucky and Tennessee would be excited about joining the European Union. Sheesh!
- No big surprise: text messages costs carriers nothing - I didn't realize SMS was designed to fit inside a control message, neat!


life is good
Mood: happy
Posted on 2008-12-26 22:05:00
Words: 26

At home, watching TV (first 30 Rock, now How I Met Your Mother) with my family and David on the couch with me. I am happy :-)


Merry Christmas!
Mood: happy
Posted on 2008-12-25 09:52:00
Words: 3

That is all.


big pile o' links
Mood: okay
Posted on 2008-12-19 14:18:00
Tags: politics links
Words: 211

- Brett Favre beats Lizard People - the Minnesota recount goes on, and things get weird.

- The Strange and Bizarre Story of Wallace Scarborough’s Fight Against Democracy - hopefully the South Carolina House of Representatives does the right thing here, as it looks like the guy just lost.

- Scientists debunk the myth that you lose most heat through your head - my mom was wrong!

- Music Industry to Abandon Mass Suits - umm, a few years too late?

- In 2006, a Embraer Legacy 700 hit a Boeing 737 over Brazil. Vanity Fair just printed an article about the crash and how it happened. There was a writer on board the Embraer - here's his story in the NY Times about a week after the crash.

- Austin is the fifth safest city of cities of reasonable size! (500,000+ people) Houston is the 10th most dangerous of those.

- Austin 3G speed test - AT&T wins overall, although it's terrible downtown.

- Typo In Proposition 8 Defines Marriage As Between 'One Man And One Wolfman' - ah, the Onion...

- Air Traffic in 24 hours - seen it before but always interesting to see the pattern of flights as the sun comes up and goes down.

- A three-time wrestler explains why "The Wrestler" is good - interested in seeing this movie although I'm not sure why.


A week of happy recap, and
Mood: okay
Posted on 2008-12-19 10:50:00
Tags: health math projects happiness
Words: 307

So I started the week of happy a week or so ago, and I'm pretty...happy with the results. It turned out to be kind of a tough week, what with the root canal and the painful aftermath, but focusing on the little things that make you happy during the day is good. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that big changes in lifestyle (new bigger house, etc.) don't generally affect one's happiness level in the long run, but little things can if you focus on them. Or something like that.

Dentistry - I gave in and called this morning to make sure it was normal for the pain to last all week. The person I talked to told me to come in, and they took an X-ray and thank goodness everything looks fine. (if I had had to have like another root canal or something I would have been seriously sad) She said the pain can last a while, and as long as it's getting better (it is!) it's OK, and she gave me another prescription for Zipac(sp?) to take in case there's a lingering infection or something. (and she told me to switch to Advil instead of Tylenol for the inflammation) So, yayish!

Last night when I got home quijax was watching Mythbusters, which I don't get to see much but I like! One of the myths they were busting was that buttered toast tends to land buttered side down, and long story short they ended up dropping toast off of a building and observing. Anyway, the results were slightly more in favor of the toast landing buttered side up, and Jamie had a physics explanation (when you butter toast it gets indented) but their numbers weren't convincing. Long story short, I created for an easy chi-squared test for significance. If only I understood more statistics...


A week of happy
Mood: happy
Posted on 2008-12-18 11:05:00
Tags: health happiness
Words: 260

Yesterday kinda sucked. My tooth still hurt a lot and my stomach was starting to hurt, possibly from taking too much Tylenol (I estimate something like 20 pills over the last few days). Buuut I was happy after work - djedi cooked a nice dinner, then I relaxed some on the couch, then we finally put up the Christmas lights and decorations. It's kind of exciting this is our first Christmas in a house, so putting up the outdoor lights seemed like a rite of passage of sorts :-)

While we were putting decorations up inside we had a new episode of "Chuck" on. I love "Chuck" - it's mildly serialized, funny/cute but with a reasonable amount of action. And the characters are very relatable - I feel like I can understand their motivations and why they do what they do, which is not always true on shows like "Fringe". Also, Adam Baldwin is awesome!

Anyway, that was nice, and then after it was over there was another new "Chuck" that we watched on the couch while cuddling. It was a good night!

Today I'm happy because (despite waking up in the middle of the night with stomach issues) my tooth definitely hurts less! This morning I did eventually take some aspirin (yeah, bad on the stomach but maybe it's bad in a different way than Tylenol? I dunno) but I waited until I got in to work, as opposed to downing pills as soon as I got up because it hurt so much. This is more exciting than I can put into words!


links to cheer me up
Mood: grumpy
Posted on 2008-12-17 13:32:00
Tags: links
Words: 61

- The Muppets Sing - Beaker singing Ode to Joy is a must watch!

- A good guide to board games (from Wil Wheaton's blog)

- 10 Useful Techniques To Improve Your User Interface Designs - UI design is hard, sadly.

- Bernard Madoff just got busted for running a Ponzi scheme and taking something on the order of $50 billion, which is a lot of money.


I realize talking about pain gets boring
Mood: irritated
Music: a LOST podcast
Posted on 2008-12-17 10:44:00
Tags: health whereslunch
Words: 76

but boy does my tooth still hurt. I couldn't sleep last night because of it so I got up and programmed while the Tylenol took effect. So now lets you filter restaurants by tags!

After catching up on "Fringe" (see previous complaint) it is in fact getting better. (just like abstractseaweed predicted!) They ended on a nice cliffhanger and I'm looking forward to new episodes after the holidays.

Still need to do some Christmas shopping...


A week of happy...ish
Mood: okay
Posted on 2008-12-16 19:14:00
Tags: health happiness
Words: 76

Today I guess I'm happy because Tylenol exists, since it's holding my tooth pain at bay. I've been spacing my doses a little further apart so hopefully that means it's getting better. Not feeling particularly happy today, although I'm not really unhappy either. Just kinda...being.

Anyone else planning to go to the Texas Bowl (Rice v. Western Michigan) from Austin?

Oh yeah, I'm also happy work went well for the first time in like a week.


A week of happy
Mood: okay
Posted on 2008-12-15 15:44:00
Tags: health happiness
Words: 135

I'm happy my root canal is done and it was successful. I'm also happy I'm at a job where I can take off easily for dentist and doctor's appointments.

I took my last dose of antibiotics yesterday and by last night the tooth was starting to ache again. So when I went in and they did the stuff to numb the tooth it hurt like hell. After that everything was pretty fine, modulo keeping my mouth open for a ridiculously long time (the appointment lasted 1:45, and my mouth was open for most of my jaw is sore). And it smelled terrible, what with doing unspeakable things to my tooth. And now my tooth is sore. But it's over with, and I took some Advil, so hopefully by tomorrow all will be relatively well.


A week of happy
Mood: happy
Posted on 2008-12-14 22:11:00
Tags: happiness
Words: 30

Today I'm happy we were able to be sociable this weekend, despite playing WoW a lot. Also happy we managed to beat around 3/4ths of Naxxramas on the first try!


A week of happy
Mood: okay
Posted on 2008-12-13 16:01:00
Tags: happiness
Words: 73

Today I'm happy because last night I was at a red light waiting to turn left and the guy turned on his reverse light and sped up and backed right into me, but I got out and only my license plate was messed up and eventually the other guy got out and was very apologetic and was happy that there was no real damage.

(I'm also happy I can write in run-on sentences!)


The Real Change Exchange!
Mood: excited
Posted on 2008-12-12 10:05:00
Tags: dollarcoins
Words: 61

The truck where I fell in love with the $1 coins and got a free T-shirt to boot is going to be around this weekend! Per their ad in the paper:

Today: 2-8:30 at Gateway Shopping Center (9607 Research Blvd)
Tomorrow: 10-6 at Barton Creek Square (2901 S. Capital of Texas Hwy.)
Sunday: 12-6 at Lakeline Mall (11200 Lakeline Mall Dr.)


A week of happy
Mood: happy
Posted on 2008-12-11 15:41:00
Tags: meme happiness
Words: 91

From copperwolf - what a great idea!
1. Post about something that made you happy today even if it's just a small thing.
2. Do this every day for a week without fail.
3. Tag 8 of your friends to do the same.

Today's happy thing: my tooth is only aching mildly, as opposed to the pain Tuesday night. Absence of pain is something that's hard to appreciate, but it's pretty clear in this case since the pain was so recent.

Hmm...I'll tag djedi, wonderjess, wildrice13, llemma, onefishclappin. Don't feel obligated, though :-)


links links links links links links links links
Mood: cheerful
Posted on 2008-12-11 14:31:00
Tags: travel gay politics links
Words: 87

I'm trying out Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 - the new fancy Javascript engine makes things (like, which I really should work on more) much faster!

- A collection of tourist scams that I found interesting.

- James Franco and Sean Penn kiss on camera in "Milk" and get lots and lots of questions about it.

- Obama is crazy popular these days, way more popular than Bush or Clinton were when they came into office. 79% say they won't miss Bush and 48% say he's been worse than most presidents.


less ow
Mood: tired
Posted on 2008-12-10 14:51:00
Tags: health
Words: 54

Started taking antibiotics, set up an appointment to get my root canal on Monday. I know I should have gotten a second opinion or something, but I am incapable of handling teeth problems like an adult. So oh well, Monday will suck but my teeth will stop hurting and that's good enough for me.


Mood: okay
Posted on 2008-12-09 22:11:00
Tags: health
Words: 28

Re my teeth: that tooth is really starting to hurt. I guess I'll start taking antibiotics tomorrow? And see if I can make an appointment sometime? Blah. Ow.

1 comment

"Blagojevich" is hard to spell
Mood: okay
Posted on 2008-12-09 14:56:00
Tags: politics
Words: 304

Here's the FBI press release about the arrests (PDF file). Innocent until proven guilty, etc., but the press release is pretty damning. Some of the more interesting bits:

As recently as December 4, in separate conversations with Advisor B and Fundraiser A, Blagojevich said that he was "elevating" Senate Candidate 5 on the list of candidates because, among other reasons, if Blagojevich ran for re-election, Senate Candidate 5 would "raise [] money" for him. Blagojevich said that he might be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provided Blagojevich with something "tangible up front."
Blagojevich told Deputy Governor A on November 3 that if he is not going to get anything of value for the open seat, then he will take it for himself: "if ... they're not going to offer anything of any value, then I might just take it." (skipping) He added later that the seat "is a [expletive] valuable thing, you don't just give it away for nothing."
Throughout the intercepted conversations, Blagojevich also allegedly spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat and expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including: frustration at being "stuck" as governor, a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor, a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016, ...
(bolding mine) Wow. I guess he knew he was going to be caught soon or something. Soo glad they did this before he chose someone for the seat.
There's some more stuff in there about pay-to-play and getting editorial writers on the Chicago Tribune critical of him fired in exchange for a tax break. Hooray for the FBI and catching scum like this!


$1 coins available at a bank near you!
Mood: surprised
Posted on 2008-12-09 13:49:00
Tags: dollarcoins
Words: 44

At least if the bank near you is the Bank of America at Parmer and Mopac. The clerk happily gave me 20 $1 coins for a $20 bill. (although she did have to find out where they were kept) I'll be spreading them around!


this week in corruption
Mood: sick
Posted on 2008-12-09 09:58:00
Tags: politics
Words: 97

- In a shocking upset, Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA) lost his reelection bid on Saturday in a very Democratic district. He had been indicted on corruption charges before but still managed to win his primary. The FBI famously found $90,000 of cash in his freezer. Hooray to the voters in LA-2 who finally saw the light!

- Just in: Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff were just arrested by the FBI on corruption charges. They're alleging they "conspired to gain financial benefits in appointing President-elect Barack Obama's Senate replacement", which obviously is pretty embarrassing for Obama.


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