Monthly Archives: February 2009

Slate offers up one of their random weirdo articles; a guy who married a vegetarian, who gets to eat meat once to twice a month “on the sly”, whose wife is one of the militant-veggie “our kids will be raised vegetarian” sorts.

In my life, I’ve known a few vegetarian-ish people, of varying degrees. In the Southern Tech University dorms, there was one girl (a cute redhead who’d had anorexia, who became an absolutely STUNNING redhead when she got treatment and regained about 50 pounds) who’d done enough to her body that she sort-of, kind-of became “vegetarian” because she’d destroyed her body’s ability to digest meat properly (go without for too long, you stop producing the enzymes necessary for digestion, you lose the helpful intestinal flora that assist in the digestive process for meat, and you might even get food poisoning because it can then rot in the intestines).

Two others I know currently I’m interested in dating. One has food allergies galore; peanuts (thankfully not the “it can’t even be around me” kind, but bad enough), pork, and a couple less annoying ones. The other is a partial-vegetarian who doesn’t eat “meat” (in the pork/chicken/beef/etc sense) but still eats fish and dairy products.

The odder question from my angle is: at what point does one start altering habits (should it manage to turn into a full-blown, exclusive dating relationship) to coincide with this? Admittedly, in the one case it’s a matter of real danger (plus the whole idea of “congratulations, you ate something I’m allergic to, now go brush your teeth or else no kiss”), while in the other it’s a semi-moralistic/semi-health-conscious thing. Also, in the one case it’s obviously going to need to be one-way (hard to “compromise” on allergies) while in the other?

And, can I really manage to give up my traditional bacon-and-eggs sunday breakfast?

Category: Kitchen

Web’s mention the other day of our rail system reminded me of two pet peeves of mine. The first is arrangements that get to rotate between profitability and public good whenever it’s convenient for them. The second is the absurd lengths that some places will go in order to be considered “World Class”.

It is by far the most ambiguous, empty goal that a city can have. Colosse has it, as did Santomas and I’ve read many articles in other cities talking about it. It’s essentially a blank check. It’s saying that we have to spend all of this money on stuff until we’re New York. And since Colosse will never be New York, the spending need never end! When you can’t justify something on the merits, you simply say it’s necessary to become World Class and suddenly all of the big pockets will spend money on campaigns to make people vote for a bond to make it happen.

There are honestly some drives that have been undertaken under the rubric of World Class that I liked and supported. Colosse’s temporary (and since lost) success at cleaning up downtown and making it a place to go was pretty cool. Mixed feelings about the sports stadia and smoking banss. Not so much on the light rail or some of the public park initiatives or so-called “Smart Growth”. Doesn’t matter, though. I support or oppose things things on the basis of whether or not they are good for the city. Others disagree with me and that’s fine. But any time you make any sort of headway opposing any initiative or that, you’re told that if you love the city you have to support it because if we do this the we can sit at the cool kids table with New York City and London.

Except that first it’s futile. Cities like Colosse will never sit at the cool kids table. Santomas gets to sit there on the basis of charisma and not stature and definitely not because of the light rail system that it doesn’t even have. The only way Colosse gets taken seriously is by being its best self. Taking what makes it successful and expounding upon it. Taking what is unsuccessful and correcting it. Bringing in business thus jobs thus people. Good government. Livability. Clean air.

Available jobs will bring in ten times as many people as will a little toy train that runs from one place most people can’t afford to live to another place that most people can’t afford to live. Pollution and crime will drive far more people away than the absence of that fourth greenbelt around the downtown area. The “World Class Cities” are barely even growing (if they are at all). Colosse is. Santomas is. Phoenix is. Boise is. The cool kids will only take the Colosses of the world seriously when they have to. Bike trails (while nice!) won’t do that. People and money will.

Category: Statehouse

Ever have a case where you’re watching a movie or reading a book or something and you’re finished with the piece before it’s finished with itself? I don’t mean that you don’t like it and don’t want to finish it, but rather you are satisfied with the story at a point prior to its conclusion? And as the pages or minutes roll on you get a sort of disjointed feeling like you’re not supposed to be in the character’s lives anymore?

It’s the sort of feeling you can get when you go to a sporting event that goes into overtime or extra-innings. On one hand, for you to still be there at the end of the game it must be of something interest to you. Who can argue with more of what you’re enjoying? Besides, any game that goes past the buzzer is by definition a competitive game. I suppose it could be a boring defensive game, but good fans appreciate those, too. But whenever I’m at a game that goes into overtime, I never think “Sweet! More game, no extra cost!” Instead, I start going through my mind for the things that I should be doing and getting anxious. A sort of feeling like it’s wrong to leave a game before it’s open. If you don’t care how it ends, why go?

I’ve been listening to a good, albeit long, audiobook on my commute. The story concluded about an hour ago, listeningtime. But it just kept going on. I have no complaints with where the story is going. It hasn’t stopped being interesting. But my interest in it has become distracted by the idea that in my mind it should be over and the idea that I should be listening to the next thing on my queue. and I can’t shake it. The last time I felt this sort of tension was the movie The Departed, but in that case not only did the story go on longer than it needed to, but I didn’t like the developments. In this case, it’s character-focused stuff which is usually my favorite part. And would be my favorite part… save for the fact that there are no super-speedsters in red costumes running around in the story like there would be in the audiobook I’d be listening to if the story would just end already.

Finally, I went forward just to see how much time was remaining and discovered that the story that should have ended an hour ago had over two hours left on it. So I decided that if I was going to spend the whole time in an agitated state that I would just go ahead and take the CD out, put in The Flash, and listen to the rest of the audiobook over my next couple lunches at work or something. That way I can enjoy it without the sense that I am supposed to be listening to something else.

Category: Road, Theater

I have a chick-like appreciation for a sale and a good deal. I can’t bypass a 25c coke machine to save my life. I don’t care if it’s a crappy house-brand, it’s 25 cents! Who can pass that up? Even now, as I get all the free coke I want at work with most of my favorite brands in stock, I can’t help myself when it comes to a 25c Dr Cheapo or Mountain Moisture or whatever. It got pretty ridiculous when I used to go to thrift-shops and it’s one of the reasons I try to stay away from places like Woot or

If you’ve ever wanted a Smartphone but didn’t want to shell out a few hundred dollars for one (or otherwise get involved in an odious contract or contract extension), there are a couple of phones that you might be interested in. Because of the cheap price, I’m mighty tempted to myself. Except for the fact that (a) I already have something better and (b) they have some hardware limitation that doesn’t suit my purpose. But they might suit yours!

Since I’m unlikely to get one of these myself, I hope to satiate my need to take advantage of a good deal by spreading the word.

The i-Mate JAMA 101 is a little like what I currently have and sells for $137. It has a 2.4″ screen, Windows Mobile 6, and Bluetooth support. Like most keypadless devices, It’s more Pocket PC than phone. It’s supposed to be pretty slick and hand-friendly, which is nice. i-Mate also has a solid brand-name and they make my Dream Device, which unfortunately costs a lot more than $122 and I can’t justify getting it. On the downside, Bluetooth support is limited to 1.2 rather than 2.x. For a lot of people this isn’t a problem, but for me it is. Older Bluetooth’s sometimes have difficulty transmitting non-phone audio over Bluetooth (though they’re perfectly fine when using a Bluetooth headset to make calls and whatnot). There’s also no Wi-Fi, which I don’t care about because any time I’ve ever tried to use Wi-Fi it blows the battery to smitherines. It also lacks 3G capability, which is a little problematic if you want to transmit data. But, if you want a starter smartphone, it’s a pretty good deal. Here is a more complete review and a video (with a cameo appearance by my current model):

If you don’t presently own a smartphone, the BenQ E72 will probably be a little more familiar and comfortable. Cost: $128. With the i-Mate is more Pocket PC, this is more phone-like. It’s got the keypad and feels and looks a lot like non-flip dumbphones. The downside is that since it’s shaped more like an ordinary phone the screen is only 2″, which is kind of small. But I’ve considered getting this because of my frustration with how irritating it is to use the phone functionality of my curent phone and this would be an improvement in that area. The processor is a bit slow, but unlike the JAMA it does have Bluetooth 2.0 capability. And it comes with some UI improvements over the standard WM interface. The processor is slow, though, and the battery life means that it needs to be charged on a nightly basis. On the upshot, it uses MiniUSB for charging so you can get extra chargers relatively inexpensively. BenQ doesn’t have the brandname that i-Mate does, but this model generally has moderate-to-good reviews. So much so that I haven’t completely counted out getting one for myself or a loved one. If you get it, though, let me know how it goes. Here is a more complete review.

Both of these phones share some common drawbacks. They’re somewhat slow if you’re wanting to multitask and use it heavily. They also have 2 Mega-Pixel cameras, which is quite adequate for a lot of uses but if you want to take nice pictures you’ll still need to lug a phone around (the same is true for my 3mp device). No 3G capability, which means that data will be slow if that’s your thing. But you really can’t beat the price and the phones are unlocked so you aren’t stuck with a specific carrier or contract. If I’d known of these devices and weren’t so risk-averse (my current phone was risk-free cause I get to play with a variant of it at work to test interoperability with our product), there’s a pretty good chance I would have gone with one or the other. Really, the only thing that prevents me from getting the first is that it has all of the drawbacks of my (more expensive) current device with fewer of the benefits and the only thing that prevents me from getting the latter is my general satisfaction with what I have and the sense that if I ever need a backup or another one, I’ll probably get another of the same. Unless I can afford The Dream Device, that is.

Category: Market

Phi’s Alpha/Beta post on Jane Austen reminds me of something else I’ve touched on in the past but want to bring up again.

I have a real pet peeve about some romantic comedies (or just comedies with some romance thrown in there cause every movie has got to have it) that can be contorted to fit within the alpha/beta paradigm: Girl is with good, safe guy. Girl meets (or becomes reacquainted with) roguish guy with a rough exterior but a good heart. Guy eventually wins over girl. Audience cheers. Trumwill fumes.

The fact that the first guy is outwardly stable and makes an effort to be pleasant and forthright and honest apparently counts for nothing. The fact that the buttmunch who is a jerk throughout significant stretches of the movie has a glimmer of a good sign to him is super-duper meaningful. The fact that the first guy lacks charisma is evidence that he is unworthy of her. The fact that the other guy lacks class is evidence of… nothing. The calico that toys with the dead mouse is a monster, but the puma whose tail looks like it’s sorta wagging is kind of cute, isn’t it? I’m never good at coming up with examples off-the-fly, but a few examples are below the fold at the end of the post.

What’s a bit interesting in retrospect, though, is how anxious I am to see myself in the position of the fellow getting dumped. In the years since I developed this distaste for this cinematic convention, I’ve discovered that things are a bit more complicated than that. I have been the unhealthy distraction as often as I’ve been the safe harbor being left for exciting waters. I’ve been the guy left for instead of the guy left from. But in those early says, I mostly saw myself in the guy being left because that was what my role in life was at the time. The jerk wins the girl. The nice guy gets the shaft. Whatever I may have in common with the lovable rogue and whatever I may lack in common with the nice guy getting dumped, it was the latter who was my soul-brother.


Category: Coffeehouse, Theater

I stumbled across this video, which is a Christian explanation of the Greek town of Colossae, from which (indirectly) my hometown has been pseudonamed:

No particular point in posting this except for the connection between the city’s name and a religion I’ve done more reading up on than many.

Category: Church

Phi has a worthwhile post on Beta-hatred and Jane Austen. It’s difficult to quote any of it without quoting all of it, but the crux is that in the course of the novel, Elizabeth Bennett rejects the advances of the oafish-but-earnest Mr Collins. When Elizabeth finds out that her friend is going to marry Collins, she hits the roof and all but threatens to disown her friend. She doesn’t merely reject Collins herself, but rejects the very notion that Collins is worthy or capable of finding happiness with or providing happiness to anyone.

It is, in short, the perfect example of the hatred that women have for men that do not fit a certain charismatic type or exude a certain presence.

I have a few thoughts on the subject, most that I will share here and one unrelated enough that it gets its own post.

What strikes me about the above situation is that it plays muchly on my paranoid fears but doesn’t jibe with my experience.

On the fear front, it’s never been the case that I have asked out two female friends. I was never good at asking out anybody, but this was unofficial policy. My speculation was that if I asked out Girl A and she said no, there was no way in tarnation Girl B would consider going out with me. Why would she stoop to a level below her friend? My assumption is that Girl A and Girl B and Girl C and Girl D sat around talking about me and how pathetic it is that I had this crazy idea that Girl A might go out with me that whatever nascent interest Girl B, C, or D might have had in my dissipated when she had to laugh at me with everyone else due to the social protocols of girl-talk, which can involve nothing if not talking up hot guys and talking down everybody else.

Guys do this. A guy that is dumped by his good friend is not likely to be asked out for a variety of reasons, but one of which is the fear of “sloppy seconds”. To go out with someone that our friend dumped is to suggest that we are worthy of their left-overs. It’s a pretty brutal way to look at it, and I don’t think that it would prevent us from asking out someone that we were really enthralled with, but absent that enthrallment guys do pay attention to these things. Hubert was in a relationship with an attractive young lady who is exactly the type I would have asked out under a lot of circumstances, but since he dumped her (that was the story, anyway), it was never going to happen. What’s funny, though, is that despite all of these gears turning behind our eyes, I don’t think that I would ever denigrate someone for dating someone that I dumped. I was pleased as punch for Tony when he took up with my ex-girlfriend Julie.

So a lot of this can be chalked up to paranoia.

Paranoia aside, though, the above behavior of Elizabeth Bennett doesn’t really seem to fit. Historically, when I’ve made my interest known to somebody that didn’t reciprocate, they’ve been nothing if not thrilled to see me interested in and/or partnering with someone else. By-and-large, few young ladies that rejected me (after the Original Nine, at any rate) actually wished me any ill. Most of the Original Nine didn’t give me enough care to wish me ill. I suspect most wished me well. Or at the very least wished me out of their hair, which my interest in someone else accomplished pretty nicely.

It’s possible that they were outwardly kind while quietly sabotaging any attempts I made at finding romance and happiness, but that doesn’t entirely square, either. I’ve been the friend and confidant of many (ahem… too many) young ladies in my life. They’re rarely hostile to guys asking them out. They really don’t seem to go out of their way to say awful things about them. There’s no real tactful way to say this, but when they do go out of their way to run-down the guy, he’s often got it coming. Sometimes he’s actually a nice guy, but his dealings with her have brought out the petty and embittered parts of his personality that make his behavior towards her seem manipulative and/or antagonistic.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. I think that most of the above is true because, apart from the Original Nine, I have generally asked out nice and good people. If I went around throwing myself at people that were not that way or if I’d befriended them and listened to them prattle on… well then the story might be different.

So in that vein, it could well be said that Collins’s problem is that he was interested in Bennett in the first place.

Category: Coffeehouse

The first time I ever saw CSI, I got a date out of the deal. I made a trip to Ephesus to (among other things) finally make my move with Sally. She had recently been emancipated from the relationship that she was in and everything was falling into place. Unfortunately, her ex-boyfriend Tommy was unconvinced that they were finished. They spent the evening arguing in her bedroom, so I was stuck out in the den with Abby. CSI was on TV and we watched it together. It thoroughly entertaining. We speculated about the twists and turns, got in a conversation afterwards, and she and I ultimately spent Valentine’s Day together wherein I turned in one of the two worst date performances of my life and we never went out again.

Even though that didn’t last, I still have a soft spot for that show cause it helped break a dry spell and prevented me from making a mistake with Sally.

I haven’t seen CSI proper since that episode as far as I can recall. However, after SEC college football CBS would often play an episode of CSI: Miami. That is, I venture to say, the worst cop show I have ever seen. So bad is it that I think David Caruso was better off as a has-been than associated with that show. It’s dreck. It made me think that the one episode of CSI I liked was an outlier or otherwise was only enjoyed because it was a collaborative viewing with an attractive young lady.

Caruso came up in a conversation with Clint when I was visiting him in Shaston a couple months back. I made a comment about how much I hate CSI and he said that it really wasn’t bad and asked which one I had been watching. I told him Miami and he said “Ah-ha. That’s the problem.” Apparently, CSI: Miami is the bad sibling. He said that he liked CSI proper and I think said a nice thing or two about CSI: New York (or maybe a nice thing about Gary Sinese, I can’t recall).

So do any of you watch all three shows? Are they all different? What I don’t like about CSI is that it seems to be built around poses and sweeping visuals at the expense of anything interesting. Are the other two CSIs like that at all? If CSI proper is the more straight techno-procedural and Miami is Sexxy Actors in Sexxy Poses, what’s New York like?

Category: Theater

How to Map a Network Drive (from a Windows Share) in Linux

  1. Create a directory within the Linux file-system. Depending on whether the directory is in the user’s area, this can be done either in the GUI (the same way you would create a folder for Windows, more-or-less) or by going into the terminal and typing “sudo mkdir /path/name”. Then type password.
  2. Install an application called WINBIND. Go into a repository and work your way all the way down to “winbind”. Note that typing a search may or may not find it, but it is definitely there. Click on the box to install and click “Yes” and “Okay” as many tims as required.
  3. Update something called the NSSWITCH file by typing “sudo nano /etc/nsswitch.conf” at the Terminal and then, in the document that opens, put the word “wins” prior to the word “dns” on the “hosts:” line. Save document and exit.
  4. Go into the terminal and type “sudo smbmount //servername/sharename /mountdirectory -o username=username,password=password”. You may have to type in your password again.
  5. Update something called the FSTAB. From the terminal type “sudo gedit /etc/fstab” (password may be required). Create an entry by typing “//servername/sharename /mountdirectory smbfs username=userename,password=password 0 0”
  6. For each additional share that you would like to map, repeat steps 4 and 5.

How to map a Windows network drive in Windows 2000 and XP:

  1. Find drive and share in Network Neighborhood
  2. Right-click folder, click “Map network drive”, and assign drive letter.
  3. Repeat steps for each drive that you wish to map.

Category: Server Room

Evangeline and I had some pretty substantial overlap in our taste in music, but it was never complete. I had recently picked up a country music habit that she couldn’t really embrace and she was further down the “alternative” of alternative rock than I was. After our first split, I became interested in the local country rock scene (think Skynyrd) and she in more R&B-infused pop rock.

We each came into our first round with one favorite band that we both loved and each of us having one that the other had either never heard of or was only vaguely familiar with. On one hand, there was some hesitation on each of our parts to embrace the other’s favorite band. If I embraced the Flaming Wrecks and she didn’t embrace Troy Thomason that meant that any time the two were in town she would get her way and I wouldn’t get mine and vice-versa. And the reasons that she could relate to the Wrecks’ music were the things about her that made me ill-at-ease and vice-versa. Thirdly, it felt like she wasn’t even giving Thomason a chance and I would be darned if I put more effort into liking her music than she put into liking mine!

On the other hand, who doesn’t like to like more music? Other than music snobs, that is, which neither of us were. And I don’t know about her, but I really did want to embrace the Flaming Wrecks because of some mushy desire to understand her more fully and all that (as much as it terrified me). But even that worked against my listening to the band because I felt like I was under a lot of pressure to like them and I couldn’t just enjoy the music. I told myself that was really why I was having trouble. Not because of the pettiness of the previous paragraph and definitely not because I couldn’t relate to what so obviously touched this person that I was so obviously meant to be with.

It naturally follows that as things started falling apart and the pressures I was feeling elsewhere overwhelmed whatever pressures that a band could apply, I came to really enjoy the Wrecks. They became one of my all-time favorite bands for a while. I’ve purchased every CD they’ve put out since more-or-less right after it came out. When they got national airplay and a video on VH1 (or whatever channel it is that actually plays music videos these days) I celebrated. They’re really good.

And for her part, Eva started to actually listen to the Thomason CDs that I was always sure that she was never actually listening to. She started going to Thomason shows just as I had started going to Wrecks shows. With rare exception, we always missed each other. She would drag her ex-boyfriend that absolutely hated me (something to do with my prying her away from him…) so that she wouldn’t be alone at a Troy show. where I might be there and see her. I came close to hiring an escort on one occasion and on another paid for three tickets so that I would have a couple friends go with me to a Wrecks show. In short, we started going to these shows despite one another rather than because of one another.

Secretly, I think we both spent a significant portion of the shows glancing wayward to see if the other person was there. Outwardly hoping they weren’t, inwardly wanting to be invisible so that we might see the other person there but without having to go through the trouble of acknowledging one another’s presence or going to all of the effort not to acknowledge thus.

Meanwhile, close to the beginning of all this there was another band named Kalispell. Kalispell was another local act that originally hailed from Deseret. They were one of the first local country rock acts I got into. I found a website devoted to them. It was better than their official website because it had the lyrics to all of their songs. It was run by a guy that I would a couple years later meet named Rick. He didn’t transcribe the lyrics, though. That chore was done by a medical student across the state by the name of Clancy Himmelreich.

I’d meet her a couple years later, too.

Category: Ghostland, Theater