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Yikes, I just saw a news thing about the precocious puberty epidemic in American girls. Some girls are getting their periods by age 10. And not just a few, but quite a large percentage. Whatever has caused the average age for the onset of puberty to drop by 4 years!?! The piece didn't really offer any answers. Wow, first all the amphibians dying out and now this...

In other news... Temptation Island. WTF? Have you heard about this?

So all those people who had their houses destroyed by the City of Dallas's negligence (the massive flood from the busted water main) are getting no help. The city is not liable and furthermore won't be paying anyone. Also, apparently some flood insurance doesn't cover man-made floods. So... imagine being out 250 grand because some pea-brains downtown screwed up routine maintenance. What do you do? You still owe tens of thousands of dollars. Fixing up the house and replacing everything will take many tens of thousands of dollars. You can't sell it in its present condition... It's pretty awful to try to live in...

Tonight in IR, I got in an argument with some moron. We were talking about shared ethnicity, ethnic conflict, nationalism, etc. Prof asked if we could describe a characteristic of Americans as a nation that would apply to a majority... Out of nowhere, this guy starts talking about the way George Bush walks, as if his walk is some kind of offensive statement to the rest of the world AND represents a characteristic of Americans... sounds absurd. I said "OH COME ON!" then we started shouting. A bit later he said "Americans always think they're right". I said "so, people of other nations believe they are wrong part of the time?? NO!". So then he resorted to name-calling. I swear... I like the class alot and the professor rocks, but some of the people in there are complete idiots. It's like discussing politics with a 7th grader.

A guy showed up to gym class carrying a helmet. So I asked about his bike. He rides a Yammie V-Star 650, a sort of heavy, long wheelbase, shaft-drive cruiser with an air-cooled, SOHC twin. Kinda slow but anyway. He showed me the other bike parking lot and we decided to go riding one of these days. Yah, finally a bike the 454 can smoke! Heh, it'll be fun though.

I got the brochure. I'm going to start taking advantage of the UNT facilities. There's a pool, three workout rooms, several indoor basketball courts open till 11.

The cool bike pic of the day is here. This is the bike I see every Monday night parked at UNT on my way to class. It's a Ducati SS900. Same color. It's entirely eye-popping in real life. I just can't take my eyes off it.

Click here to hear what a sportbike sounds like on a dyno run.

Bonus pic: For those who think of tiny two-stroke 45cc 30 mph minis when you hear the word "scooter", click here and behold the Yamaha TMax 500. I wouldn't mind having one of these! 105 mph top speed, fast acceleration, automatic transmission, liquid cooling, etc. I think it's pretty sweet. Honda has a 600 coming out, too.

Microsoft is back in court again. Appealin'. I don't know what to think much anymore about it. I have about 5 different opinions on the whole debacle. On the one hand, Microsoft brought badly-needed standardization to the industry. On one hand, the way they do business with competitors--copying or buying out and then leveraging their own inferior product into the dominant market position is reprehensible. On another hand, what the hell right does the government have to tell a private company how to do business? Are we not a capitalist economy? On another hand, Windows is bloated and there's been less need to make it a good OS since enormous market share was assured. On one hand, when Windows does something that pisses me the hell off and I can't understand why they made it that way, I say screw em, they're going to hell anyway. On another hand, will the government's solution be worse for the industry than what currently exists? On one hand, I don't think Bill's such a bad guy, on the other hand, he's had some questionable business tactics throughout MS's life. I've read The Plot to Get Bill Gates.

And there's a bill to disallow Texas public schools from starting school before Labor Day. I think this starting on August 2nd crap is bunk. Make kids go to school in the middle of summer, in 110� weather... Waste all that money and energy trying to keep thousands of schools cool during the hottest weeks. Then use at least half the school year teaching kids the TAAS test. That teaching the TAAS thing really pisses me off because I see the direct result of it. Kids are inhibited from learning during a full school year by each school's worship of the almighty dollar. We have George Bush to thank for this, of course.

Why do I care? Because, these are the people I'm going to interact with for much of my life while I live in Texas. These are going to be the doctors, mechanics, service people, etc. in my community. Not that I can effect any change in the way things are running, but I can stay informed. It also bodes poorly for the future of the public schools, schools my kids (if) may attend. It's also hindering my brother from acheiving what he could. He's a bright kid, but he's in 7th grade and his writing skills are about equal to what mine were in 2nd grade. He can't do math. He can't spell the simplest words, although he comes up with interesting phonetic versions. He couldn't hack it in private school, so he had to drop out. He's a prime example, but certainly not my only one. Alot of the things that helped me learn, LAMP (no idea what it stood for, but I went to it one day a week in 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade--it was a big deal because only a few students in the school district got in it), Camp Goddard, Museum school, Zoo school, ASD (I think it was Accelerated Student Development or some such), Honors classes, being with adults, etc. he doesn't have access to...

And I got my money back from that bitch who said she knows the StarBoyz. I don't give a fuck--isn't it funny how all stories that begin similar to "my boyfriend used to ride tank wheelies on his R1" end in "he wrecked the bike and it was totalled"...

205 days ago I was preparing for the first {KS} clan match against |TuF|, which was the subject of my fourth post to this diary. Those were definitely the good ole days.