Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


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I’m sorry

I did something ridiculously awful. I inconvenienced my neighbors in a way that would shock you. I was uncaring, invasive, and I just kept going. If my neighbors wrote to an advice column about how awful I had been, readers would gleefully jump in and pass judgement on me. They would feel righteously indignant. They would express sympathy for my neighbors who were most decidedly the victims of of some pretty bad neighboring. They would say about me: how could I not know how rude I was being? I must have known and I did it anyway, they would say. And it is so obvious. After all she kept saying she was sorry, but then kept doing the offending thing. She knew. She had to have known.

Well I did know. And yet I didn’t. In fact, I was utterly clueless. I am speechless as to why I was so clueless. It was so obvious. But it wasn’t. How can that happen? How do you apologize for something that you know you did but you couldn’t fathom how on earth you did it? It’s a lame excuse to be unaware and yet until I was told what I had done, I was completely. Unaware.

My husband tried to tell me early on. I brushed him off. He felt security in the fact that I was so secure and so he didn’t think of it again.

I cried when they told me. I was in shock. I felt so ashamed.

I confess I don’t want to be friends with them anymore. Even if they forgive me. I’m too embarrassed to be friends. I don’t want to be that friend that did that awful thing. All of their friends no doubt will think of me as that friend that did that awful thing. There is really no escaping the fact that I will always be that friend that did that thing.

If anything, this experience has made me realize what folly it is to pass judgement on other people. You just can’t know what is inside another person’s head. Even when things seem so clear, they really aren’t. It is truly impossible that I didn’t know, and yet I am proof that it isn’t impossible. I didn’t know.

The internet is full of opportunities to pass judgement on people. I think in a small way I know how that woman felt who tweeted about going to Africa and not getting AIDS because she was white. So many people jumped at the opportunity to call her racist, and yet she really was that clueless. Unaware. Just like me.

Dr. Phil is about passing judgement on people. You see persons who must know how screwed up they are, but you see they don’t. They don’t know and so they need help from Dr. Phil to get back on track. It doesn’t matter if he helps them though. All that matters is that we are watching and we are thinking to ourselves how functional we are because we’re not like those people. They are really screwed up.

I’ll never pass judgement on those folks again now that I know I am one of them.

In case you are wondering, I did apologize to my neighbors.

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As I ponder what direction I would like to take the blog in after my three-week hiatus, I’m thinking more photography, especially more food photography, and perhaps less politics. I’m not certain I’ll be able to prevent myself from the occasional snarky comment, but I just think that I’m indulging myself in those posts and not always entertaining the readers.

I’ve noticed some of the things I’ve blogged about get blogged about by other more popular bloggers after I’ve posted them. This is significant because I try not to post things that I’ve read about somewhere else. I guess my instincts are often right, otherwise others wouldn’t be talking about the same things, but there really is no satisfaction in being unoriginal. Or coming in first in a very insignificant contest. Where no one can tell I’m first anyway.

Besides I’ll never match Balloon-Juice for snarky comments. Man, I love that John Cole. How could I ever write something as good as this. Regarding the Stupak Ammendment in Health Care Reform legislation and the absence of a ban on viagra coverage, Cole writes:

I’m sure a lot of people have “serious moral concerns” about the government paying for erections, and as we know, all you have to say is that you have “serious moral concerns” and then no one can question your position. I know I don’t want my tax dollars paying for Senator Ensign to be able to bang his workers or Rush Limbaugh’s dalliances in the Dominican (although there is a good chance he bought the Viagra the same way he buys the rest of his drugs- on the street). If our Republican leadership and the panty-sniffing Blue Dogs can’t get it up the way God intended, with a dildo in the anus while wearing two wetsuits, I don’t see why the American taxpayer should be subsidizing insurance for the little blue pill. Public or private.

I really wish I could write like that. I probably will occasionally still link to other good pieces about politics.

I still love  talking about film, so that will stay. And I’ll probably still talk about my commute to work in Seattle; I’ve actually taken up running to work on occasion.

In the immediate future I’ll be purchasing a point-and-shoot camera so I can take pictures without lugging my SLR around. This should help on my morning runs which is where I usually see the darnedest things. Keep watching.

Photo of the Burke Gilman trail in Seattle from hopeisalot’s photostream.


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RIP Les Paul

I’ve been taking guitar lessons since January and I’ll be honest: I’m not very good. But I have to admit it’s a lot of fun. I never really had a musical background save taking clarinet lessons for one year as a child, so I don’t know that much about music.

My guitar teacher last night could not stop talking about how significant and monumental a figure Les Paul was. The way he talked, the world would be a completely different place if Les Paul never was. I took a look at this New York Times article, and sure enough this man was a total genius. It’s a good read.

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I noticed this.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “LOON WATCH: Right-wing bets against U…“, posted with vodpod

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That won’t stop the department of Homeland Security (I cringe writing that ridiculous name) from taking your laptop. Having had first-hand knowledge of immigration officials, this worries me. They seem to be drunk with power without having the cognitive ability to implement it.

Federal agents may take a traveler’s laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop’s contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Interesting mix of architectural styles at the Pioneer Building in Seattle.

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Clever that The Postal Service is now featured on commercials for UPS (United Parcel Service.) For the commercial, click here. For info on the Postal Service, click here.

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Wounded Girl in IraqAn often used argument for electing women leaders around the world is that women by their nature are not warmongers and that the world would be more peaceful if ruled by women. It is said women and mothers in particular better understand the value of life because they have the ability to give life.

Yet in this election we have a woman, supported by many other women, who seems to be arguing that she should be elected president because she would lead this country, insofar as war is concerned, exactly as a man. Not only did she vote to give the Bush Administration war powers, and vote against delaying war powers were the U.N. to not authorize war, she now seems to be stirring the fires of a war with Iran.

Clinton further displayed tough talk in an interview airing on “Good Morning America” Tuesday. ABC News’ Chris Cuomo asked Clinton what she would do if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons.

“I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran,” Clinton said. “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”

Aren’t we just finishing the eighth year of this macho bullshit of dick waving? Whatever happened to diplomacy? Whatever happened to women being reasonable enough to avoid a commonly considered shortcoming of men — that the answer is always to fight. Have we forgotten the very reason why women would make better leaders?

Photo via dpatterson.blogspot.com.

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A few months ago, we bought a region-free DVD and I was able to catch a film I hadn’t seen in years. Hobson’s Choice with John Mills and directed by David Lean. I risk spoiling a small part of the film just to get you interested and that is why I am showing this clip.

According to Dictionary.com, a Hobson’s choice is:

the choice of taking either that which is offered or nothing; the absence of a real alternative.

[Origin: 1640–50; after Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), of Cambridge, England, who rented horses and gave his customer only one choice, that of the horse nearest the stable door]

In the film, the daughter of a shop owner informs the boot maker of the shop that she’s been looking at him for a while and she’s decided he’ll do quite alright for a husband. She then tells him to meet her at the park which is where this clip starts.

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So I was over at some friends’ house the other day when someone brought up BurgerTime, one of the original video games from the 1980’s. When my friends started describing the game I couldn’t stop laughing. You can’t make this stuff up. Or if you can you’re a very twisted genius. Here are some excerpts from Wikipedia.

The player’s objective is to control his chef to make hamburgers by walking over the layers. When the player has walked along the entire length of a layer, the layer falls down one level. If a layer falls atop another, the lower layer will also fall down by a level. When all of the hamburger layers have fallen onto a tray below, that hamburger becomes complete.

While assembling the burgers, the player must dodge animated “enemy” foods: Mr Hot Dog, Mr Pickle and Mr Egg. Enemies may be temporarily killed by crushing them under falling layers; they will respawn at the edge of the play field within a few seconds. The player can also lure the enemies onto a partially-traversed layer and then finish crossing the layer, thus causing the layer to fall; the added weight of the enemy makes the layer drop by more than one level, and the dropped enemies are stunned for a few seconds.

The player has a limited supply of pepper which he can shake on nearby enemies to stun them and render them harmless for a few seconds.

Click here to play.

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There are oddities in your own culture that you never question or notice because that’s the way it has always been. As an outsider in a foreign land you see things that seem peculiar to you which you can only guess is common to the locals.

From Lonely Planet:

If you’ll be doing a lot of traveling on the JR lines [Japan Rail] (even just the Yamanote line), we strongly suggest buying a JR ‘IO’ card. These work like debit cards that you can insert directly into automated ticket wickets (the correct fare will be dedcuted automatically). IO cards come in denominations of 1,000, 3,000 and 5,000 yen, and can be purchased from ticket machines marked with, er, a large watermelon and a penguin…

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