Monthly Archives: February 2008

New Minesweeper Record

It has been over 20 months since I last broke one of my records in Minesweeper. It has been over two years since I last cracked my Intermediate time.

This leap day, I have taken my own leap forward. Today, February 29, 2008, I have conquered my old record for Intermediate.

New time for Intermediate: 26.280

Yes, I added decimal points. That’s because I’m using Minesweeper Clone.

A new era has begun.

EDIT: Apparently, my weblog is still on West Coast time.

Too Many People in Prison

The AP reports that America is locking up a record high number of people in prison. About 1 in 100 people are in jail. In fact, we’re the number one incarcerator in the world. (I bet Colbert does a USA chant.)

The news article is regurgitating data from a recently released report by the Pew Center on the States. I can’t criticize the Pew Center report because I haven’t read it, but I find it extremely curious that there is no mention of the “War on Drugs” in the article. It talks about the disparity between races and talks about how states want to get creative with non-violent offenders. It even talks about how stuff like 3 strikes laws have lead to the increase. Yet it does not talk about drugs.

Let’s go back to those 3 strikes laws, mandatory sentencing, and their ilk. According to Human Rights Watch: “Although these policies were championed as protecting the public from serious and violent offenders, they have instead yielded high rates of confinement of nonviolent offenders.” Human Rights Watch then goes on to state that the war on drugs has led to an increase in the number of people in prison. A lot of those non-violent offenders are in there because of drug offenses.

Want to decrease the prison population and help the fiscal crisis in our state of California (and other states)? End the war on drugs.

Six Word Memoir

I was trolling through all the links in Lloyd’s weblog because I was looking for design ideas. (By the way, Cindy’s weblog is gorgeous.) Anyway, when I was looking, I found this post which briefly mentioned six word memoirs. My mind instantly came up with one, so I had to post it.

Here’s mine…

Brilliant or lazy. So far: Lazy.

Yeah. I’m working on changing that. The brilliant or lazy part actually comes from the way a teacher described my creative writing. My work fell into those two categories.

The Post-It Wall

I’m instituting a Post-It Wall system of organization. I’m putting my tasks on post-its and then sticking them on the wall. This system makes my tasks seem more urgent. It bothers me way more to see a post-it on the wall than to see a task written on a piece of notebook paper. This irritation is motivation to actually do the task.

Hopefully the “system” may get a little more elaborate as time goes on. That is, I’ll add ways to prioritize tasks.

It’s decidedly low-tech, but results matter more than technology. We’ll see how it works in the next few weeks.

Getting Back in Minesweeper Form

I had essentially retired from Minesweeper. For a while, I couldn’t even consider playing because of my shoulder problems. Now, however, my shoulders aren’t bothering me as much and I’ve recently picked up Minesweeper again. I haven’t been playing super hardcore like I used to, but it’s eating up more of my time.

Anyway, a few days ago, I managed to tie my Intermediate time. (I’ve been mostly playing Intermediate.) Today, I finally got a sub-100 time for Expert for the first time in who knows how long. Granted, my average for Intermediate is still hovering around 38 and I don’t play Expert enough to have a real average, so I still have a lot of work to do.

I still think that at this pace, I have a good chance of beating my Intermediate record within a few weeks.

Topic Stubs

These are notes of issues I would like to blog about:

-Negative Obama memes – Two claims are popping up. 1) Obama’s following is cult-like. 2) Obama is all rhetoric and no specifics.

-McCain’s capitulation on torture

-The futility of the surge

-Telecom spying amnesty


Chesapeake Primary Day

11:43AM – Weather advisory. It’s snowing right now in Baltimore. This could be bad for turnout.

6:04PM – The weather’s not actually that bad. I was going to help with the Obama campaign today, but I have a horrible sense of direction and didn’t trust myself to get where I needed to go. If I had either a car or a friend to go with me, I would’ve gone. Instead, I’m sitting here phonebanking. So far, I’ve made several calls and nobody has picked up their phone. Heh.

6:20PM – Should I really be blogging about this? I finally got someone to answer, and he was an Obama supporter. He learned from me that the primary is today! I hope he gets to the polling place. I suppose it’s okay to say this as long as people are anonymous.

7:00PM – Finished my call list. Pretty uneventful. Time to check on Virginia returns. Polls are closing now. They close at 8 for here and DC.

7:02PM – Obama projected as winner in Virginia!

9:05PM – Polls are open late in Maryland due to ice and weather issues. I actually went outside recently and my roommate and I had to try very hard not to kill ourselves as we walked around on the icy sidewalks.

DC has been called for Obama. Should be a sweep today. I’m really interested in the margin of victory, though.

Also, I saw a shot of Clinton in El Paso, Texas standing next to a kid in a sombrero. Blatant pandering, anyone?

9:10PM – Next time anyone asks you whether you think Obama’s going to win, trot out these exit poll results from Virginia: Exit polls: Obama stealing Clinton’s base. Obama’s solidifying his support among African-Americans, splitting the white vote with Clinton, and gaining women and Hispanic voters. He beat Clinton among Hispanic voters in Virginia. Granted, they form a small portion of the electorate (5%) in Virginia, but I think this may be a portent for Clinton in Texas.

10:20PM – SWEEP!

Also, McCain sweeps. I gave Huckabee a bigger chance than he deserved, having not done the actual math. Well, after today, it’s practically over. Huckabee really needed a win in Virginia to preserve even a sliver of a chance. Now that sliver is a… hm, my metaphor died.


I am sick right now. My sinuses are all clogged up and my brain doesn’t function. The only thing that’s coming out of my head is snot. Inspiration will have to wait for tomorrow.

Super Tuesday 2008

3:01PM – When I was eating ice cream, I turned on CNN and found out that the first person to win a state was Huckabee. He’ll get all 18 delegates from West Virginia. While many people seem to think that McCain would be the most formidable candidate on the Republican side, I actually think Huckabee is the most dangerous (for the Democrat’s hopes). He’s always great in the debates, and a very charming and charismatic individual. Too bad his ideas aren’t as great. It appears that after the first round of voting, people switched from McCain to make sure Romney didn’t win. (This being a convention, not a primary.) The race is still fluid.

4:22PM – Apparently, McCain told his people in West Virginia to vote for Huckabee, says Marc Ambinder.

8:20PM – Nothing surprising yet, except that Obama is close in states Clinton used to own by double-digits. Also, Huckabee is close in Georgia. Who knows? Maybe Huckabee will beat Romney for delegates this Super Tuesday.

8:36PM – Tennessee projected for Clinton. I don’t think this was unexpected, but I wonder if it could’ve changed with a Gore endorsement. Ah well.

8:40PM – The Republican race is really interesting. The so-called base really hates McCain, especially over immigration. Huckabee is also hated by talk radio (he raised taxes in Arkansas). Talk radio does love Romney, but that’s only after he mastered the 180 flip flop. Any way this turns out, expect a lack of enthusiasm from some quarters.

9:05 – Just got a call from my mom saying she voted for Obama. (Even though she usually leans Republican.) I texted my sister earlier today telling her not to forget to vote. Clinton looks like she’s going to win Massachusettes, which is really disappointing considering all the endorsements Obama got — Kennedy and Kerry. Still, the delegates will be divided proportionally, so hopefully Obama keeps this race close. Wolf Blitzer’s annoying voice coming from the other room just informed me that Obama won Delaware. Hope.

9:21 – My roommate (a native) and I scream “Noo” as New Jersey is called for Clinton.

9:30 – The problem with college is that all my friends are geographically dispersed and the number of people I can actually call to remind to vote is very few. Absentee voting — probably one small reason why voting isn’t as it could be among young voters. Still, Maryland’s primary is a week away…

9:36 – McCain is destroying the competition, but we still have to see how things go out in the West. He’s winning in the Northeast. Border states may break towards Romney, who recently discovered a harder stance against it. Huckabee actually isn’t thought of as particularly good on immigration. I think the more interesting race will be who performs better: Huckabee or Romney.

Also, Obama is dominating among young people. Generational conflict is beginning to rear its head. This thing is just getting started. This election won’t end it.

10:06 – Obama wins North Dakota and Utah. Whoo! Also, if Huckabee wins Missouri and Georgia, this race gets even more interesting.

10:20 – Just watched Huckabee give a speech. He’s a great speaker. After his speech, I switched over to MSNBC and Tom Brokaw also was impressed by Huckabee’s speaking ability. He’s formidable. To be honest, I feel a little glee every time he wins, but that’s only because the media never gives him a chance, and I love it when the media looks stupid. Still, I have to remind myself that he wouldn’t make a good president. The FairTax would be a disaster. If it comes down to a two-person race, Huckabee and McCain, I think Huckabee has the potential to wipe the floor with McCain in future debates.

Obama wins Kansas!

11:02 – Huckabee wins Georgia. Still waiting on Missouri. This could be bad for Romney, but if Romney wins California, he’s still in it.

By the way, I forgot to mention this earlier: I saw Bill Richardson on TV and he had pulled an Al Gore. That is, he lost the race and then grew a beard.

I saw Clinton give a speech. It felt like she was just reading it, not speaking to the people. Every time she said “your,” it rang flat. I know it wasn’t just my bias because when she started talking about the tornado victims, she sounded genuine.

Even Romney gave a better speech. Except when he pulled out the old “they haven’t” repeat thing. That’s a really awkward line for the crowd to shout out.

I noticed that Huckabee’s speeches are laden with more imagery. Also, I miss John Edwards. He was a great storyteller and able to pull us away from the abstract and pull us into the real.

A Clean Room

I cleaned my room today. It’s amazing how the external act of cleaning does wonders for one’s internal world as well. My mind feels less cluttered.

I remember when I was working last summer and every morning I cleaned my desk and prepared a list of things to do for the day. This simple act did wonders for my productivity. I began each day fresh.

It would be good to start that again, provided I could get myself to wake up in the morning.