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Let's get right to it.

Bike pic of the day: Here and here. It's a previous generation Katana. It looks rather nice. But what scenery. Imagine living out in the country like that. It would be so great. I never really considered living out away from a city (at least in the past few years) until my interest in motorcycles started to come back. I remember the guy who had the Nighthawk 650 for sale and how awesome his property and the surrounding roads were.

Geforce3, say it with me: 800 Billion instructions per second... Finally saw some eye candy on Firingsquad and read up. Holy crap! Screw PS2! Screw VF4, screw even the X-Box!! At a certain point, pixel quality DOES start to be either a limiting factor or the outstanding characteristic that sets the graphical quality free. And the G3 has pixel quality spilling out all over. Witness: this, this, this, this, this, this, and this.

As I said, pixel quality. As in, instead of the PS2's 640X480 un-antialiased interlaced 30-40 fps image, you get 1024X768 with 4 sample anti-aliasing on every single pixel, progressive scanned and running at over 70 fps. Reeeeemarkable.

So Charley has this Epinion Poll thing he does during the show in addition to in-studio email... I'm trying to convince him to set up his own EZB or UBB with 24 hour access. What an awesome board that would be.

Every day for several days during the day I have gotten some kind of sales call. It is beginning to be annoying. How many times can I tell the same credit card company I don't want their card? Or AT&T I don't want their service?

Oh, before the speech which I had to take notes on, I caught Buffy. It was really, really good. No music the whole show. Very thoughtful directing. Buffy's mom died and it just followed the events of that day. It was riveting.

You know, I was walking home today in the freezing drizzle wearing my gym shorts and I looked at the football field and I wondered what it feels like to travel one football field (300 feet) per second in the open air (on a bike). I tried to see an imaginary bike crossing that field as one second elapsed. And then I thought where it would be five seconds later. 17 seconds later it would be a mile away. That's too fast. I'd settle for 250 feet per second.

A bill has been presented in local government to institute a "living wage" of $9.45 per hour. I think this is a bad idea for a number of reasons. First of all, I think you should let the free market determine wages--if a company is unable to attract employees at $8.00/hour, because it's worth an employee's while to work elsewhere for $10.00/hour, this company has some decisions to make in its own interest. If you set a "floor", competition is discouraged--competition for workers. A number of companies will lower their starting pay down to $9.45/hour. I'm not sure where they arrive at this arbitrary $9.45/hour. See, I'm of the opinion that we don't need to cater to poor people. We don't need huge welfare. We don't need to ensure everyone has some certain higher quality of living. Instead, we should encourage people to strive toward bettering themselves, toward learning skills necessary to earn a better living, to move up. The idea is to shrink the lower class not by laws and government handouts, but by empowering people to become part of the growing middle class.

By the same token, and believe me, I am far from exempt from this, I believe those languishing in poverty have mostly themselves to blame. Again, don't jump on me, next week I'm going to buy groceries for the month and Ramen noodles will make up the vast majority of my diet. I have only myself to blame, although my "suffering" is of a much shorter-term nature. Getting back to the living wage issue, this smacks of good bleeding heart intentions--and will ultimately end up hurting the people it's intended to rescue.

Look, I've always thought that if you are working in a place and you don't believe they are paying you enough, or you aren't making enough to survive or buy a bunch of toys or eat at nice restaurants every night, it is on you to pull yourself up--or, to realize that you've done this to yourself. And anyone who tells you you aren't smart enough or good enough to become a doctor or start a business or earn a diploma and you therefore deserve some kind of dispensation has probably been listening to liberals for too long. Don't like where you are? Hate the rich folk who drive Porsches and Lexuses? Struggling to put food on the table? TOUGH SHIT!!!

I can hear the flamethrowers charging up already. I'll say it again, no one I know currently, online or in RL, is as guilty of underachieving as I am. No, I don't like where I am, career-wise, financially, education-wise, etc. But you know what?? IT'S ALL MY FAULT!! Nobody held a gun to my head and told me I couldn't go to medical school. Acceptance to medical school virtually guarantees you'll be able to pay for medical school. Nobody twisted my arm and prevented me from getting a job (any job) sometime in the last 7 months. You make your bed, then you rot in it. Had I done things differently, I could be making $75 grand a year and living my life right now. Rather than trying to catch up.

Okay, I got away from the living wage thing. It's not a good thing. I'll leave it.

What else can I rant about?

Oh, how about those Mardi Gras morons? Looting, fighting, defecating on cars, throwing bottles, etc. I was over my childlike desire to attend Mardi Gras by 1994.

How about this lady who left her 3 year old and 1 year old alone for hours while she went to work? Okay, I don't want to sound Red China here or anything, but PARENTING LICENSES anyone?? Yes, I believe you should have to prove your worthiness before you can raise kids. It's too bad everyone's mating like rats. Hey, would M and I have passed? Hell NO! We had no business being parents. As for the lady above--she will lose custody, probably forever. She is also being indicted on 2 counts of child endangerment, negligence, etc. Jailtime, lots of it. I'm talking about this specific case, but I hear about these on a pretty regular basis. Governmental regulation of those who can and can't bear and raise their own children goes against nearly everything I believe in, of course, but in theory, I feel so strongly that some people should NOT be parents (not not ever, just currently) that I think about this sometimes and feel it's the best solution. Of course, it is all theory, what are you going to do, monitor whether every 13 year old has become pregnant, administer abortions to those who can't pass the licensing test, make people's children wards of the state, etc.?

Wow, this is some hard ranting I've done here this afternoon. Guess I need to hit the books. It was 33� and raining when I stepped out of the house this morning. What I really need is an 80� day and my motorcycle fixed. And a job.

Oh, well, I'll just keep on rolling...