Monthly Archives: November 2003

Picture: Justice

Full size

I took a picture of my pencil lead and then, on a whim, decided to entitle it “Justice.” Bonus points to anyone who can figure out any real link between the picture and the title.

EDIT (10:29 PM) – Best one gets to be stolen and embellished by yours truly.

Thankfulness Extravaganza 2003

I am thankful for…

  • Insincere vague thanks that people improvise
  • The people working in grocery stores today who took the jobs from people on strike because the American tradition of Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without last-minute shopping
  • All the people starving today because without them, I wouldn’t feel so fortunate
  • All the food that will be thrown away today because somebody might find something good in the trash tomorrow
  • The Native Americans who helped us create the holiday and whom we later killed
  • The poultry industry and everyone else who stands to profit from creating or sustaining holiday traditions
  • The glorious monotony of TV marathons because they keep lesser minds subdued and preoccupied
  • All the Christmas songs that have been constantly playing since before today

Donations: All the Hypocrisy You Can Spare

Campell’s Chunky: Tackling Hunger is just the kind of thing Jesus preached against. Jesus was against charity? No, Jesus was against turning charity into publicity events. Okay, I’m not religious, but you don’t have to be to see the inherent hypocrisy of this.

Take a look at their tagline: “Campbell’s® Chunky™ soup and the NFL™ are teaming up and Tackling Hunger!™” Really, can you have enough trademark symbols? This isn’t charity; it’s corporate whoring.

I find it hypocritical that so many football stars endorse Nike yet still believe they’re charitable by doing publicity stunts like this. Will you help more people by giving them some cans of soup that only last so long, or by helping people earn a living wage?

Buzzwords Describing the Middle-Class

Do you really need to be a proper, trained marketing expert to figure out which words to use? Words not to use: middle class, working class, average people. These convey meanings of mediocrity. People don’t want to be mediocre. They also can convey a sense of class conflict. Many people don’t like to be aware of class conflict and think too much of communism. Words to use: real people. Real is more positive, and also portrays the upper class as phony. I need to think of more words to use and not use.

What’s the relevance of this? It relates to propaganda. I believe that to combat opposing propaganda, you must be successful with your own propaganda. Propaganda isn’t necessarily negative. That’s why I brought up the idea of ads in another entry. So, if I want to help the middle class, and the workers, I need to think of the correct words to use, those which would look more appealing in ads.

Deification of the Corporation

The roots of some of our societal problems today can be traced to the deification of corporations. This is deification as defined as promoting to the status of a deity. Not all deities are benevolent.

We see corporations as these noncorporeal entities seeking to devour all in their path. The deity must feed and grow. It feeds on money. All else does not matter. And yet, we rationalize it. What can you do? It’s a corporation.

I read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, recently. There’s a passage in there about the people taking the land away, and they blame it on the bank. The people losing their farms can’t attack the people taking it away, because they only represent the bank. The people don’t know who to fight.

We still don’t know who to fight. You can try to blame it on the CEOs, but propaganda has turned them into victims. They are victims of the corporation. This new deity that must be fed. What can they do?

The problem arises from apathy. We think we can do nothing. We think these corporations are evil monsters that we can’t fight because what is there to physically fight?

But a corporation is made up of people. It is made of CEOs and other board members. It is made of many employees. It is made of the stockholders. It is made up of people.

The corporation isn’t fueled by money. It is fueled by the consumers. The consumers are people.

These people have choices. They should be held accountable for their choices. They can’t blame it on these new undefeatable deities. They can’t explain away their problems from new mythology based on these deities. They can’t pretend that if they appease the deity, it will grant them miracles. Because a corporation isn’t a deity…

A corporation is created and maintained by people.

I Have DSL Once More

Now that I have my DSL back, I want to tell a story:

One time, there was this guy. He patrolled during lunch. My friend and I only saw him at lunch. My friend and I wondered who he was.

My friend would ask, “Who is that guy?”

I would reply, “I do not know.”

So, we continued to see him and lunch, and continued to wonder. Yet after a while, we did not wonder so much as we used to.

Then, one day, we realized that we no longer saw that guy.

I asked, “Who was that guy?”

My friend replied, “I do not know.”

We wondered about his disappearance, and who he was in the first place. No ideas we came up with were satisfactory. We decided that we should find out should the opportunity arise.

If I were to see him again, I would ask that guy, “Who are you?” My friend would also do the same.

Then, we still never saw him. So, I guess it will always remain a mystery.

But if you, or any of your loved ones, can provide any clues to help solve this unsolved mystery, please tell me. Your message can be anonymous. Perhaps you can help me finally figure out, “Who was that guy?”

DSL Down and Out

For those of you who haven’t seen the announcement at, I do not currently have a DSL provider. Since last Wednesday, MSN is no longer providing DSL in my area. So, we signed up for SBC-Yahoo! DSL. They assured us it would be up in 1-5 business days. We install everything on our end on Friday. And of course, it’s not up yet. Call in, we’re going to get service on the 21st of November. One… two… skip the weekend… three… four… five… six… seven. Hm.

Right now, I’m running a free trial AOL 56k service. My modem is really dusty, and when I heard the modem noises, it brought back memories (none of them that great). I haven’t been on Instant Messenger or updating because: 1) I don’t like 56k 2) We only have a limited time that’s free 3) I need a break from the general internet 4) I added a new hard-drive and messed up the partitions, so I can’t access AIM until I fix it.

Beyond Anti-Smoking Ads

Not going to directly talk about them, but the anti-smoking ads do exist. I just wonder if the same type of thing can be done for other issues. You smoke, it’s a vice, and it isn’t guaranteed to kill you. Sweatshops on the other hand…

I doubt states would ever do this, but perhaps if someone had enough capital, they could buy up ad space.

Or maybe, many people could contribute to help buy the ad space — maybe during the next Superbowl.

The first step toward action is awareness.

Answering a Comment Regarding Talking to Strangers

Carol Anne said this about my entry regarding talking to strangers:

I am the victim of theft because I talked to a stranger.

So remember what your mother told you: “Never talk to strangers!”

I am lucky to be alive today to remind all my friends and relatives why one should never talk to strangers.

You say you are the victim of theft because you talked to a stranger. The way you state it, you were directly robbed because you talked to a stranger. Now, I don’t know the situation, but somehow, I doubt that happened directly.

  • Scenario 1: The so-called stranger would have burgled you anyway, even if you had not talked to him.
  • Scenario 2: You placed yourself in a situation where you were more easily burgled after talking to the stranger.
  • Scenario 3: Perhaps it wasn’t theft. Perhaps you were swindled by the thief. In that case, it could have been your gullibility.

Just because you talk to someone, does not mean you trust that person. Young children are told not to talk to strangers because kids are stupid and gullible. Granted some adults are too, but that doesn’t mean everyone should not talk to those they do not know.

Is the old lady sitting by you in the dentist’s waiting room going to rob you? Is the guy standing behind you in line at the bank going to rob you whilst security cameras and a security guard watch?

Simply talking to someone is not an invitation to robbery. At the same time, talking to someone does not mean that person is automatically your friend. If you’re not smart enough to realize that, then maybe you shouldn’t talk to strangers.

Answering a Comment Regarding the Pledge

In response to this entry regarding the Pledge of Allegiance, Selam Fente, 13 said:

I think that “under God” should not be taken out of the pledge of allegiance because our nation was FOUNDED UNDER GOD. The Pilgrims and Seperatists came to America to escape religious persucution. No one is forced to believe in the Christian God, but just because this is now and that was then doesn’t mean that just because our nation has many varieties of people we should forget why America was founded.

As for public schools, I don’t get why in the world you are not allowed to teach to teach Christianity when you can in fact teach evolution. When public schools were founded, the main subject that was taught was the Bible. Now you can’t even tell people about God. That is insane!!!

First off, your two paragraphs address two entirely different subjects. The second paragraph isn’t quite about the Pledge of Allegiance, but I’ll address it anyway. Evolution is a scientific theory. Evolution has evidence. God has no evidence. There is no evidence for any god. Evolution is based on the scientific method. Evolution is an important part of life sciences. Want to be a biologist, but don’t “believe” in evolution? Forget about it, unless you get a job as a pseudo-scientist. Also, I’m not saying schools shouldn’t teach morality, but you don’t need any god to enforce this morality, to make people accept it, or else.

As for the first paragraph, America is not a theocracy. It was founded on the principles of democracy and republicanism. The people you mentioned did not found the United States of America. The USA is a sovereign nation, separate from Britain. I’d suggest you also check your history. Not everyone came to the British colonies to escape religious persecution. In fact, not everyone aboard the Mayflower was a “Pilgrim” and the voyage itself was funded by those with commercial interests. I’m not here to give a history lesson, so I’ll leave more details up to you to find.

The Declaration of Independence mentions inalienable rights. These are the basis of our separation from Britain; America was not founded to escape religious persecution from Britain. Read the actual Declaration of Independence. Do you see anything about religious persecution? The colonies were also rebelling against a King. It states the King’s transgressions. And the King supposedly had his rights handed down to him from God. Do you believe our presidents are chosen by God or the people?

Besides, the Constitution is the foundation of our laws and the basis for how our country is run. Not the Declaration of Independence. Nowhere in the Constitution will you find any mention of any god. Nowhere will you find that this nation was “founded under God.” Our government is not a theocracy.

Since this is a national pledge, according to the Constitution, the words “under God” shouldn’t be there. Read the Constitution. Justify it, using the Constitution. You can’t.

Christianity is not the official religion of the United States of America. According to the CIA World Factbook, 10% report having no religion. This isn’t a tiny number, considering the number of people in America.

From Jefferson’s inaugural address: “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”

These rights are defined by the Constitution. Although you consider yourself of the majority, you cannot infringe on my right to freely exercise whatever religious ideals I wish to have. The Pledge of Allegiance cannot force the people of America to submit to any god, even your “God.”

I suggest you don’t ignore why the United States of America was founded.

[12/05/03 – EDIT: I answered the comment here with this entry]

Halloween Costume 2003

Here is the promised picture of my Halloween costume:

You were expecting me wearing the costume? You ask too much. No, really, I was just too lazy. I’m lucky I even got this picture up.

And, yes, that is a smile drawn in black Sharpie on the mask. Actually, it was a dry-erase marker, which is why it isn’t so crisp.


My costume consisted of a mirror hanging around my neck, and a reflective face-mask object. I was you for Halloween. At school, the most-used word to describe it was “clever.” It’s an apt word. It’s not uber-hilarious, but it’s still mildly humorous. Shelley, one of Moreau’s APs, thought it was funny. Some people didn’t get it at first. They had to prompt me.

“What’s your costume?”

“I’m you.”

“Oh, I get it. That’s clever.”

Some memorable costumes: Richard in a homemade Mickey Mouse outfit, Ryan as Mr. Rogers, Hans as a Mexican pro-wrestler (El Pollo Loco), Mr. Parker as an oompa-loompah (however you spell it), and Mr. Vargas as Gandhi.

There were only two trick-or-treaters at my house this year, and they were together. Guess why! Guess! It’s because I live on a hill, and those fat-asses are too damn lazy to climb up that far. Each year, we get less and less. At this rate, we’ll have no trick-or-treaters next year. Oh well, more candy for me.

Picture of my costume coming later, probably tomorrow.

[11/05/03 – EDIT: The picture of my costume is found on November 5th’s entry]

100,000 Hits for Psycho-ward

In the month of April, I wrote how my website,, had broke 50,000 hits for one month. October was another landmark: 100,000 hits. My hits have doubled in the six-month period.

So, it does seem as if referals grow exponentially. I’m still getting a fair amount of searches for “goldfish jingles” but I’ve got more for TI-83+ Calculator downloads. School brought in new kids curious about my calculators. Oddly enough, I get searches for “games” for the calculator, but I don’t have any on my website, nor do I mention them. I think it’s picking up on “Games” from my main menu.

I also did end up joining buzzComix, and ended up doing fairly well. Then, I switched to Majestic, but then I took a break for the duration of September. When I came back, TWC was done, so many comics came to bCx, and my ranking suffered. I’m now switching back to TPV on the top list since I didn’t update Majestic last month. I lost a piece and I couldn’t continue without it. Anyway, even being lower on the list, I still get more “outs” from bCx than from TWC.

A link to October’s stats in case you’d like to see more numbers.

Here’s hoping for 200,000 hits in one month.