It finally happened. Losing net access at home is the little death. Forget that fear stuff. When it came, I was ready for it. I'm actually liking being in a lab again. Makes being online special, again. The computer is passable. The keyboard is very poor and the screen bears the sign of having been 'ON' for thousands of hours with no screen saver and no convergence adjustability. The line isn't near as quick as the one at UD. But what really got me was staring at kevynwight.diaryland.com. This is IE 5.5 but there are errors all over the page that never showed up on my system.
A few notable things have happened. The Stealth has been sold. The money has been turned over. The RX-7 now has the sign hanging on it. I simply can't afford to do what it takes to keep it running, pay for insurance, register it, keep it in tires, etc. It runs and runs well right now. I'm asking $500. OTD. It's an extremely fun car well worth that asking price. Brakes, steering, engine, handling, shifting are all very strong. AC is almost inoperable.
The Infiniti is now a tax write-off. Thing threw a connecting rod right through its aluminum block. They chose to donate it and turn a small profit on a lost cause.
Quentin is now looking for a motorcycle. He wants a nicer one than the 454 of course (of course). But I told him if he wants to get that fixed up, he can learn on it while shopping for a new one. I don't and won't have the $1000 or so it would cost me to get it fixed, buy my gear, and get everything legal.
That will soon eliminate my second and third vehicles. Now my bicycle, it has TWO flat tires, seen? Not punctured, just blown tubes, in a way. Noticed it coming back carrying two gallons of milk Monday cruising down Bonnie Brae, felt scanny, soft. Op that, I could hear air oozing out by my street. Bicycle is grounded, maybe for a long time.
Night before that, had a run-in with UNT law enforcement. Badge lady was far dupping, didn't like my gloves "nobody wears gloves on a bicycle" "I always wear gloves on my bicycle" "No, nobody wears gloves on a bicycle". Lady asked me why I needed to be out at 1 am. "Nobody just rides around at 1 am" "Exactly". Meaning I can ride around at 1 am and not run into anyone else riding around. The whole deal locked, utterly.
I just finished Otherland Book 3. A real piece of work. I knew the story was shockingly brilliant, I knew the characters and the world were so vital and energetic they practically breathed off the pages, but I didn't foresee how important the series would end up being. How much I'd think about the metaphysical, spiritual, moral, and ethical questions brought up by the end of Book 3. I'm still thinking. And I hope to come up with some conclusions... but here's the thing: Otherland is a FOUR book series, and Book 4 is out, and it's $27 with tax. And as Tad Williams makes NO attempt (and doesn't apologize for it, either) at making each book a cohesive work unto itself, Book 3 ended at page 689 with the MOTHER of all cliffhangers.
The series is playing like a movie in my head. The greatest movie ever made. It has made me cry on several occasions. When Factum Quintus left the party shortly after Renie had the realization that he was ALIVE, just as alive as any of them... I cried. When Orlando, as Achilleus, finally succumbed to that great darkness... I cried. And cried again when Fredericks cried. And laughed, Oh My God how I've laughed. And marveled.
Finally beholding the true, awesome, monolithic nature of things near the end, having mysteries (that I've lived with for over 2 years myself) solved in bundles, having my brain bent and juggled on a page by page basis, I'm simply in awe at what Tad Williams has done. How the.... ?!? Book 3 was unbelievably good in every crack and crevice. Exquisite. Kick you in the head good. Make you think about it for days afterwards good. Turn all your expectations upside down good. And make you fidgit with anticipation good. And boy am I fidgiting right now. How will I afford Book 4? Do they still let you sell plasma? I need the money like THIS MORNING. I need back into the Otherland network, I've GOT to help Renie, !Xabbu, Jonas, Sellars, T4b, and the rest.
Okay. This is the political rant part of this diaryland entry. You have been warned.
First, news came out today about Microsoft. They won their appeal. The court's unanimous ruling was that a new judge would need to hear the case. Judge Action Jackson? Got that bastard. Got him. Meanwhile, MS plans to spend 1 Billion advertising XP and half a Billion marketing X-Box. The juggernaut marches on. I've had mixed feelings about MS in the past, and yes, I understand the business model--buy out competitors or put them out of business with an inferior product, industrial espionage, backstabbing, etc. Still, I think what the court did today is a Good Thing for the industry and for jurisprudence. That little shit Judge Jackson was running a circus, and justice, at least as far as he is concerned, has finally been served. It will be interesting to see where things go now.
Many economists have said that the catalyst for the downturn in the tech sector/NASDAQ (and by association, the whole economy) was the Clinton administration's decision to go after Microsoft. Perhaps today will have the opposite effect.
Everyone should pay taxes. Everyone. And here's why. Because as more people are moved into "tax brackets" that allow them to pay little or no taxes (or worse, receive more in "refunds" than they pay in--welfare), we creep closer and closer to being a nation where the majority of the voters don't pay taxes. With a majority of voters paying NO taxes, the greedy Democrats have an easy way to scare them into voting for Democrats--just tell the people that the GOP wants to "Ugh" make them pay taxes!! The horror!! How could you make the bottom 60% (the "poor" people) pay taxes!! (meanwhile, the productive, achieving people in society are paying for EVERYTHING and receiving very little benefit in return). But that's what could happen. Some (not I) have suggested that only those who pay taxes should have voting rights. Hmmm.
The Georgia Democrats' website features the inspiring quote "Be all they'll let you be".
What do you believe? That government should take care of its people? Or that government should LET the people take care of themselves? Do you belong to your government? Or do they belong to the people?
On Andrea Yates: I've found it maddening to try and discuss this with anyone. On the one hand you have reactionary Republicans, who, anytime you even MENTION a reason she might have killed her 5 kids, automatically think you're trying to make some excuse, some plea of temporary insanity or drug interaction--and on the other you have the bleeding heart, sniveling little liberals who DO want to make excuses for her, to almost treat her like a hero or martyr, to say that she shouldn't be put on trial for anything...
Look, she's guilty as original sin, she should fry, or better yet, be brutally drowned. I'm saying she's guilty, no question, post partem depression and drug effects whatever, she knows right from wrong and acted under her own cognizance. NOW... Now, let's ask the question, "WHY did she do it?" Jeez, I called David Gold last week (filling in for Charley), the guy couldn't seem to grasp the concept. I'm saying, she did this, what made her do this? What made her snap? How did she go from being a loving mother and wife to being a murderer? Speculating as to the cause of the murderous acts does NOT mean I'm trying to acquit her or defend her.
John Stossil has a special on tonight about the propoganda spread by extreme leftist environmental groups. I'm having it recorded. He talked to a group of 12 year olds about what they've been told in school. He asked things like "have you been told that there are some scientists who don't believe that humans are the cause of global warming?" So 2 months after the interviews, the parents are approached by this big group of environmental whackos (you know the ones, they advocate disconnecting your electricity and never using a motor vehicle). This group convinced them that what John Stossil (a strong, STRONG Libertarian and one of the smartest men in the media) asked of their children was unethical and leading and damaging. So now the spineless wonders at ABCNews have removed those segments from the special. The whacko groups are upset about a whole lot more than just that bit, of course, since the show actually questions all the propoganda regarding the environment and actually seeks the truth.
This "patient's bill of rights" is a dangerous bit of legislation. Proposed by the liberals. It gives employees new freedom to sue health insurance companies. Some would say it encourages employees to sue health insurance companies. Employers will drop insurance and give their employees a raise as rates rise sky-high (it's already happening in preparation for this bill). That raise will be taxed of course. Employees will be forced to find private insurance outside of their employers. The whole underlying idea is to screw up the current system so much that the public becomes more receptive to socialized health care. We DON'T want socialized health care.
Look, alot of things, bad things, will have to happen here before I seriously consider moving to another country. But socialized medicine is one of the awfully big ones. Why would the Democrats want to institute socialized medicine? Is it so everyone, rich and poor, big and small, black and white and purple can have healthcare? It's about POWER. Rip away the ability to choose your own doctor, make extinct the private physician, run the entire healthcare industry just like every other bureaucracy in the government, turn every healthcare facility into the all-encompassing equivalent of a VA hospital (the model for innefficiency and unaccountability (suing insurance companies? forget suing the government though!) and lack of choice and incompetence and underpaid, underqualified doctors)... and you suddenly have EVERY citizen eating out of the hands of the government. You've made EVERYBODY a ward of the state. Government knows best right? The citizens are too stupid to take care of themselves and make their own decisions, right?
I hope, I pray it never happens. You will remember, though, that back in '93 and '94 the Clintons, in all their communistic wisdom, proposed the mother of all socialized healthcare plans, and to their credit, the Congressional Democrats helped defeat it--it was just outrageous, just like something out of a movie. Of course, I've studied the health care industry somewhat, as the issue hits close to home. It's something I know much about. Democrats want to destroy my father. Basically. They want to take away that career path. They want to shepherd all those people who choose to go to a private doctor for a non-emergency visit into their communist doctors' offices. Resoundingly bad idea.