Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sex sells

Am I the only one that sees through The WB's latest publicity stunt? Last night was the premiere of their new series The Bedford Diaries and the news this week has been abuzz about the "uncut" version being aired on the WB website. Despite the fact that the show had already passed the network's censors, it was apparently edited once more at the last minute to remove some provocative lesbian-oriented sexual activities. By deliberately making this change and releasing a big announcement to the news media, The WB has done an outstanding job of getting some free advertising and a larger mindshare on their newest property. The executive producer of the show, Julie Martin, was even quoted as saying, "I don't think there's anything there that hasn't been shown on television before." We all know sex sells and The WB is sure leveraging that fact of advertising.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Fatherhood: A Double Standard?

Whoa, now here's a touchy lawsuit. A man is suing his ex-girlfriend because he doesn't feel he should pay child support to her because she promised him that she was incapable of getting pregnant and he told her he wasn't ready to be a father anyway. I have conflicting opinions on this one, I'm not even completely sure where I stand.

Personally, I think that no matter what either party believes about their reproductive abilities, you can't be too safe. This guy probably thought, "Oh good, she can't get pregnant so I can screw her silly and not feel guilty." Yeah, right. I know a woman who was in the same boat, but she also ended up getting pregnant despite what her doctors said. I'll say it again: you can't be too safe. Whether it was condoms, the pill, spermicide, abstinance, or whatever, they should have been practicing some form of safer sex. Now the deed is done, they are separated, and there is an innocent living and breathing human being involved in this dispute. It's not like the child asked to be conceived into this situation. If either the man or woman isn't willing to face the possible consequences of their carnal actions, then they either need to be safe while having sex or just not have sex at all.

Putting the ignorance of these two aside, I do have to agree with the underlying argument of the case. The courts screw men over in these cases. Granted, women have to deal with nine long and grueling months of pregnancy should they decide to keep the child, so they are more than entitled to the broad range of options available to them. However, mens' options are a lot more limited: stay and get married or leave and pay child support. I don't think every man has the right to skip out on his responsibility--if a man fathers a child, he should make all possible efforts to care and provide for the child unless he is somehow unfit to act as a father. There are going to be extreme circumstances where an exception needs to be made, but the way the laws are set up now, there is little or no room for that exception.

That being said, I don't believe this guy should be excused from paying child support. At the same time, I hope that a precedent is set by this case that does provide men with some sort of help or further option in unusual circumstances and either reduces or eliminates the double-standard currently in place. Unfortunately, this could also end up being a "be careful what you wish for" kind of result. I don't want to see laws put in place that allow for men to force an abortion on an unwilling woman, or anything else so extreme. Keep your eyes on this case, I don't think this will be an easy decision.

Color quiz

Dan's Existing Situation

Sensuous. Inclined to luxuriate in the things which give gratification to the senses, but rejects anything tasteless, vulgar, or coarse.

Dan's Stress Sources

The tenacity and strength of will necessary to contend with existing difficulties has become weakened. Feels overtaxed, worn out, and getting nowhere, but continues to stand his ground. He feels this adverse situation as an actual tangible pressure which is intolerable to him and from which he wants to escape, but he feels unable to make the necessary decision.

Dan's Restrained Characteristics

Wants to broaden his fields of activity and insists that his hopes and ideas are realistic. Distressed by the fear that he may be prevented from doing what he wants; needs both peaceful conditions and quiet reassurance to restore his confidence.

Feels that things stand in his way, that circumstances are forcing him to compromise and forgo some pleasures for the time being.

Dan's Desired Objective

Needs release from stress. Longs for peace, tranquillity, and contentment.

Dan's Actual Problem

Tensions and stresses induced by trying to cope with conditions which are really beyond his capabilities or reserves of strength have led to considerable anxiety, and a sense of personal (but admitted) inadequacy. He seeks to escape into a more peaceful and problem-free situation, in which he will no longer have to assert himself or contend with so much pressure.

Take the ColorQuiz yourself right now!

Okay, it's not too far off from the truth. The only thing I'd argue against is the "unable to make the necessary decision" bit... I've got a tangible cause of stress in my life but things are quickly lining up to rectify the situation. The divorce paperwork is filed, the search for a new apartment is drawing to a close, finances are settling into a positive position, and things overall are relatively quiet and stable. I still daydream about living in a place that looks like a old Japanese home, complete with a pond full of koi and a tranquility garden, but that will probably have to remain a daydream for a while.

And yes, I admit that I push myself too far too often. I exhaust myself because I want the best for my kids and for myself. I aim for the stars and hope to hit the moon. I'm a restless perfectionist and hopeless romantic, so I'm rarely content with the present and always trying to exceed my past accomplishments. My disappointments are quite often the results of my own unattainable and overreaching goals. But isn't that the point of life? To be constantly learning and evolving into something better?

Thursday, March 23, 2006


I'm half-deaf and still high off of the excitement of the concert tonight, but I had to log on to say how awesome it was. I managed to get a memento of the show: one of Andy's drum sticks thrown out at the end of the show. I left the concert sweating, with my hair matted, and pulsating with excitement... just the way it should be. Now I'm just hoarse, tired, and sore so I'm getting some well-deserved rest. Here's hoping Ra comes back in town soon!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006



Blessed Ostara to all!  It's time for the spring equinox, time for the balance to be restored and then set forth in the opposite direction.  It's time for a rebirth.  It's time for an awakening.

Feels like my life recently... from a living hell during the winter to free and happy now.  Thanks to the fates and my perseverence, things are finally looking up for me.  For anyone confused about what Ostara is, here is an article on Wikipedia and one on Witchvox, both have lots of great background and history on this sabbat day.

As I said a few days ago, have a fantastic week!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Have fun this week!

Alright everyone, lots of fun stuff is going on this week, so I expect everyone to have fun!

The biggest and most important event on my calendar this week is the Ra concert at the Martini Ranch on Wednesday night.  Tickets are still available for $18 each!

Also of note in the music world this week is the debut release of Hurt entitled Vol. 1.  This week's Best Buy ad has it advertised at only $8.99, so what's your excuse for not getting it?  Their tour will be in town the first week of April, but no venue has been finalized yet.

And last, for us geeks, comes great gaming goodness.  Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence on PS2 (with online play!) is on sale at Fry's Electronics for a low $23.99.  Also, the long-awaited RPG The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion finally sees the light of day this Wednesday for $49.99.

Ah, I can't help but be happy... all this great stuff this week, added to the elation of finally filing my divorce papers last week, and I'm one happy guy!  I hope everyone else has a great week as well!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Bang bang!

100th post! w00t!

Wow, big news for my 100th post here on, nearly one year after I started. Surprisingly enough, this news was even big enough to be published by the Christian Science Monitor... yesterday, after three years of research and information gathering, physicists were able to announce new evidence to support the Big Bang theory. Patterns in the cosmic microwave background can be discerned showing the earliest moments of the universe and how everything we see in the world around us exploded from a minute quantum space to the massive existence we live in today. I'll leave the details and quotes to the newsmedia in the links to the right.

By the way, Happy St. Patty's Day!

Currently listening to:
By Rammstein
Release date: 03 April, 2001

Monday, March 13, 2006


I finally filed the divorce paperwork today!! I feel as if a giant weight were lifted from my chest. The freedom is so close, I can smell it. Ahhh.... =)

Falling is easy
It's getting back up that becomes the problem
Becomes the problem
And if you believe you can find a way out
Then you've solved the problem
You've solved your problem

--from "Falling" by Aaron Lewis (Staind)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A new look

Black Office 2007 UI

Jensen Harris, the head of the team in charge of the user interface of the new Office suite, has unveiled the new look in his blog today. By default it looks like it will more closely mimic the color scheme of Office 2003 with it's blue and oranges, but the more popular option seems to be the alternate black theme to match Vista's theme. Personally, I like the blues and greys of the current Beta 1 theme, but sadly it will be going away with next week's release of the beta refresh. I was pretty excited to get to beta test this in the first place, but this new round of improvements--not to mention the mandatory bugfixes--makes me even more excited to dig into the new version. I think the only time I have ever been this pleased and excited about a Microsoft product was when I first installed the revolutionary Windows 95 over ten years ago. Keep up the great work on Office 2007, guys!!

Currently listening to:
Witching Hour
By Ladytron
Release date: 04 October, 2005

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The truth in the fortune cookie

Well for once, my Panda Express fortune cookie was right. The last one I got said, "The kindness of a friend will surprise you." Yesterday I received my surprise in an offer of gas money until I get paid on Friday--I didn't even have to ask and my coworker's kindness and generosity were presented to me. Granted, I had made a statement earlier in the week about having to bike to and from work, but from the lack of fatigue and sore muscles after yesterday's ride (I think I'm actually getting used to the 26-mile trek!), I was sure that biking to work for the rest of the week wouldn't be a problem. Now if only some of those other fortunes would come true... I'll gladly "Take a trip with a friend" or welcome "True love will find it's way to you in the near future".

Currently listening to:
The Nine Worlds
By Achillea
Release date: 02 August, 2005

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Poor transportation

I have the strangest neighbors. I was coming back from my mailbox this afternoon when some guy proudly totes his new trophy out of his apartment... a sad-looking bicycle that vaguely resembled a Harley, only made out of gold-plated parts that were so loose that the entire contraption rattled and clanked up a storm as he trotted it down the sidewalk to the parking lot. Even more sad was his appearance, clothed in what looked like someone else's disposed clothing full of holes and stains, as if he spent his entire $20 a month allowance on his tarnished gold transportation and nothing else.

Shortly afterwards, the school bus made it's daily return and dropped off two high school boys that spent the better part of an hour attempting skateboarding tricks in the parking lot. The both of them had coughs that sounded as if they either had bronchitis or had smoked too much pot in their short lifetimes and cussed like sailors at every failed attempt of their skateboarding act. Sadly, this was about eighteen or nineteen out of every twenty tries... seemingly on par for the epidemic of unskilled skateboard wannabes that seem to infest the streets nowadays (honestly, when was the last time you ever saw a really good skateboarder practicing in the parking lot?).

During this little hour-long comedic show, there was also the mandatory ghetto low-rider cruising by, blaring mariachi music at ear-bleeding levels. It was an amazingly idiotic combination of shiny $1000 tires and rims with a $700 bass-focused sound system all in a beaten-up car that couldn't possibly have been worth more than a couple hundred dollars by itself. The immense amount of bass coming out of this piece of crap threatened to literally shake the car apart, but somehow it still managed to stay in one mostly-whole piece.

By the time the too-loud music had faded, along comes a girl weaving left and right through the parking lot--narrowly avoiding the skaters multiple times--on a bicycle that was too small for her. She was riding with her knees pointed 90 degrees outwards and was barely able to pedal the tiny bike under her fat ass, I was surprised she had managed to make it around the parking lot without passing out from exhaustion or giving up in frustration.

Last, but not least was the miniature red motorcycle that was apparently the center of attention of a group of kids on the other side of the complex. Each time the motorcycle made it's trip around the complex, a different rider wore a huge smile as it crawled by at a quiet 10 miles per hour. Some of the riders looked barely able to walk and some looked just as comical as the fat girl on the bicycle from earlier... since none of them were old enough to drive a car, they hadn't had the pleasurable experience of flooring the gas on a decent car and going 100+ miles an hour down the freeway, so 10 MPH must have seemed pretty fast.

This all gets summed up pretty decently in a recent Count Your Sheep comic strip. It's sad that today's society puts so much emphasis on having a car, but even more sad that our youth has to settle for poor substitutes and whatever trash they can get their hands on.

Currently listening to:
It Dreams
By Jakalope
Release date: 30 November, 2004