May 26, 2017

WTF Montana?

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Assorted Politics, In the News, What the hell? — Katrina @ 8:27 pm

So you may have noticed there seems to be more bad behavior than usual in US politics. I mean, this was painfully realized last November, confirmed in January, and has been a not-sure-whether-to-laugh-or-cry spectacle ever since. The Orange Thing that’s been occupying the White House the past few months has bragged about sexual assault, mocked a disabled person, advocated war crimes, and, dear God, I’d be here for the rest of the decade if I were to even attempt a comprehensive list. But his party and supporters still stick by him. They still excuse this behavior.

But I didn’t mean to talk so much about him. Montana just elected a congressman who literally physically attacked a reporter who was merely asking him questions.

That’s right, elected. This incident happened on Wednesday night, the night before Special Election Day. In any decent or just universe, this would have been the end of him. But sure enough, despite there being some question as the race has been kind of close, Montana voted him right in.

While some have chalked it up to early voting, that many or most Montana voters had already cast their ballots before this happened, surveys taken at polling places yesterday are less than encouraging. People who knew full well that this man, Greg Gianforte, physically assaulted an innocent journalist, Ben Jacobs, still happily voted for him.

Because they believed the liberal journalist deserved it.

You know, yeah, we all know politicians have always been kind of terrible, to varying degrees anyway. You sort of have to be kind of terrible to succeed in it, sadly. But for the most part, they tend to at least pretend they are not terrible. They at least acknowledge there are certain behaviors that are unacceptable, even if so many get caught in their share of scandals. Even when caught, they and those around them might not try to act like it was all cool. They might still support them otherwise, but they acknowledge some wrong was done. That’s how it’s supposed to work anyway.

But whether the Orange Thing or Gianforte or whoever else (including those who aren’t Republicans, not pretending Democrats or others are at all innocent), it’s like some sort of party unity comes before everything else.

It’s like…
“Did you know Candidate hasn’t paid taxes in two decades, is cheating on his wife, and likes to kick puppies?”
“Yeah, but Other Candidate is Other Party and therefore evil. Also, her e-mails.”

Again, this is nothing new. It just seems to be getting a lot more blatant. A lot more shameless.

That there is the problem. Where is the line? The Orange Thing seems to be going out of his way to cross it, and why the hell hasn’t he yet for so many? And Gianforte and who knows how many others seeking elected office are getting the clear message that they can behave badly all they want, that being violent and out of control is the path to success.

We need to hold our leaders and ourselves a LOT more accountable than this. We need to fully understand that, no, the journalist did not deserve to be straight up body slammed just because of his political affiliation and because he was asking a tough question which, you know, any elected official had damn well better have thick enough skin to handle if they expect to get anywhere. We can’t have so many people in this country not understanding that.

The survival of our country depends on us all getting this. Violence like this out of someone wanting to be a congressman, and violence against a member of the press no less, which undermines the First Amendment, is the kind of thing that, if it becomes more commonplace, we can say goodbye to considering ourselves anything close to a free society. As it is, we have a police brutality problem, and there are too many people defending that for sure. How much worse can we let this get? How much more is going to be excused because of authoritarian beliefs or partisan rage?

Because this shit is not even close to okay!

This has been Day 3 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 17.

August 31, 2016

Sweet Sixteen

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Going Places — Katrina @ 11:01 pm

I’m still here! Just hit a wall. Got a lot of stuff to backdate. Meh.

Anyway, hey, look what day it is…

DAY
100


Round 15 ended with a lot of things looking hopeful, and the final four months of 2015 continued this trend. Then this asshole of a year began and things looked bleak, personally and for the world at large. But things are kind of swinging better again.

Day 5: Nationals game! After walking all the way there from Gallery Place because screw the crowded Green Line platform. Just to see them lose to the Cardinals.

Day 11: Well, that was an annoying day that rendered a lot of the previous days’ hassle pointless. -_-

Day 12: No more delays. Just book them.

Day 13: I wonder if the complication has passed. Still can’t tell.

Day 23: When people send you something liquid in a container that very clearly is not meant to hold liquid. :irked:

Day 26: Top of the World Trade Center, at long last. :D

Day 31: UK voters, WTF are you doing?!

Day 33: Pizza!

Day 36: I feel so invaded.

Day 39: Well, the switch seems to have taken effect. Anyway, off to BWI to fly to Las Vegas for some reason.

Day 40: M&Ms Star Wars glasses. Your argument is invalid.

Day 42: Flying home across the country on its special night, it sparkled below me. :)

Day 43: TSA opened my suitcase and didn’t close the damn outer pocket when they were done.

Day 48: I just booked another one! Also, chili.

Day 49: Dairy Queen and Imagine.

Day 50: Meh.

Day 51: I think I just set something in motion.

Day 58: Republican Party, WTF are you doing?

Day 61: Rewatching Big Hero 6!

Day 69: Something about the Newseum, yucca fries, and a Canadian.

Day 73: Book the damn thing already.

Day 74: Booked! Also, Olympics! :D

Day 75: Reading “Albus and Scorpius’s Excellent Adventure”.

Day 81: I do not have enough middle fingers for I-95 traffic in the sweltering heat.

Day 82: Connecticut!

Day 83: Yale Peabody Museum!

Day 88: What is this? Is this an Olympic event? Oh, it’s rhythmic gymnastics. I guess.

Day 89: Mmmm, Indian food.

Day 90: Aww, Olympics are over. But Japanese PM traveled from Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro via Mario pipe. Your argument is invalid.

Day 96: Atlanta! Theme is Turner and aquatic life and lovely Olympic park at night. And way overpriced revolving restaurant in hotel I laughed nervously at and backed away slowly.

Day 97: Atlanta still! This time the theme is civil rights, Southern cuisine, and Coke. And back to the gigantic airport to return home.

Day 99: New roof, I guess.

And…

Day 100: Went to dinner with some people but otherwise unremarkable. But a quiet ending to a truly remarkable run.

As these 100 Days of Summer draw to a close in a turbulent year, though leap years have a way of being turbulent as 2008 and 2012 certainly were, I wonder what is in store for the final four months. I have at least two more trips ahead, as well as a couple other tasks. I wonder what will become of some of what complicated the earlier part of the year. I wonder and hope that this year that began so rough can turn around and be pretty great in the end. Sour and then sweet, like that candy.

Well, I close the book on this round of the 100 Days of Summer, to do it once again for some reason on May 24, 2017, in whatever form the world will be in then. And given how things look, “whatever form” is right!

This has been Day 100 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 16.

August 31, 2015

Equines, Vines, and Mines

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Going Places — Katrina @ 10:57 pm

Hey, look what day it is. Come around for the fifteenth time and once again it is…


DAY

100

Alright, let’s see, what went on that’s remotely interesting and I feel like sharing…

Okay, none of it is all that interesting, but here it is anyway.

Day 4, late birthday cake gathering for me at work, later Trapped Forever by Metro because I didn’t have the exit fare

Day 6, aaaand trying to drive down a very narrow DC street resulted in me destroying someone’s side mirror, clearly going into DC is a bad idea in general.

Day 7, Rush concert! Three hours of music… but they didn’t play Freewill. Sigh. Afterward, Virginia said “oh, going into DC has been nightmarish? challenge accepted!” So in the middle of the night I was stuck in construction traffic on the beltway for THREE HOURS! :irked:

Day 8, a bunch of weird backyard games, but stayed in Maryland, so no driving issues this time!

Day 9, gahhh, jury duty! County is making me miss work… for like two hours. They let us out at like 11am and I was still able to go to work. Cool.

Day 13, mmmm, free donut!

Day 14, AMERICAN PHAROAH [sic] WINS THE TRIPLE CROWN!!!!! :D

Day 21, took little brother to Sugarloaf to climb rocks to his heart’s content. :)

Day 22, yay, rained out barbecue!

Day 25, parents clearing out stuff from old storage trailer, better not throw away stuff I want to keep! :doitnow:

Day 26, work picnic! Oh, and my headlight’s out.

Day 27, trying to get a blood test and get my headlight bulb replaced on the same day was a bad idea.

Day 29, Nationals game!

Day 35, Inside Out!

Day 39, family left town on a train and left the Wii with me, woohoo!

Day 42, ’splosions and chili! :D

Day 43, Team USA wins World Cup!

Day 45, wow, there’s this overgrown vine slowly conquering my backyard… Better start yanking it out… Hey, we have an air conditioner! I remember that thing. :P

Day 47, Donkey Kong Country! Fuck yeah! :D

Day 50, cleaning up a lot of crap, finding a lot of old crap I kept for some reason.

Day 54, crap, I think my laptop is having issues.

Day 55, loud tapas are loud!

Day 56, Minions!

Day 57, family left again… but took the Wii with them this time. D’oh!

Day 61, power outage at work! LOL

Day 64, so hard to pick out a new laptop.

Day 68, LOL another power outage at work

Day 69, hey, my car hit 69,000 miles today! What timing!

Day 70, Crash Bandicoot!

Day 75, oh, wait, my laptop does still work, Chrome was just eating its RAM for breakfast.

Day 77, hey, it’s 8/8 and I opened an 8 in Minesweeper! Think I’ll bingewatch Sense8.

Day 80, making travel plans.

Day 84, zoo!

Day 86, eep, I’m in trouble… I can fix this.

Day 87, yay, I fixed this!

Day 91, all the numbers!

Day 94, time for car maintenance… going to take a while, I’ll need to take a *shudder* loaner car! I hate the loaner car! I want MY car! :irked:

Day 95, a bunch of very expensive car work later, finally rid of loaner car and got my own car back!

Day 97, shit, my other headlight is out now.

Day 98, stuff that should have happened a long time ago.

Day 99, mmmm, yummy Greek salad.

And finally…

Day 100. Crazy work day and a mysterious intermittent rumbling sound at home. And chicken wings.

Alright.

As these 100 Days of Summer draw to a close, I see that so far 2015 has had a lot going on, which will be gone over on New Year’s Eve. But it’s got four more months to work with. And I’ve got to post on here again because this thing has been kind of neglected.

Goodbye to another 100 Days of Summer. It all starts up again on Day 1 of Round 16 on May 24, 2016, in whatever form the world will be in then. Who knows!

This has been Day 100 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 15.

August 23, 2015

New Hat!

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Check It Out, Inside the Fortress, Minesweeper — Katrina @ 8:16 pm

Hey, check it out. I was playing Minesweeper because, well, I’m me, and look what happened. I won. Well, of course I won. I’m awesome. But I won a field that had every number on it. :D

Okay, it was on the third try, but still counts.

You may also notice something different around here. Sure, Why Not? is totally new and improved! The color scheme and whatnot are… ugly as all hell like usual.

But it’s got a new hat!

And by that I mean new header. The winning Minesweeper field with every number because why not? I was tired of the old one.

Enjoy the brand new Sure, Why Not?. :P

This has been Day 92 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 15.

June 6, 2015

Who Comes After Affirmed?

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Sports! — Katrina @ 9:36 pm

He won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Nothing new. They do that all the time.

And they’re off in the Belmont Stakes.

Crap. He got off to an early lead. That’s certain doom.

Around the far turn. He’s still in the lead, but there’s still a ways to go.

There’s one of the horses coming up on him now. Sigh. Oh, well. Another let down.

Wait a minute…

That horse is quitting.

There’s no one gaining on him now.

Oh, my God…

OH, MY GOD!

HE DID IT!!!!

American Pharoah [sic] won the Triple Crown! It finally happened!!!! :D

I’ve been waiting my whole life to see this!!!

Good job, American Pharoah! Who’s a good horsey with a misspelled name? Who’s a good fast horsey? That’s right. You are! :D

This has been Day 14 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 15.

August 31, 2014

Cent Jours Quatorze

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Going Places, Personal — Katrina @ 10:59 pm

On “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” earlier this year, a show that reaches unheard of heights of what one can ever imagine awesomeness can be (appropriately enough), Neil deGrasse Tyson condensed the life of the universe into a single year. In this cosmic calendar, the sun was created on August 31. That’s today! You know what else today is? That’s right…

DAY
100


It’s the last day of Round 14. So let’s recap.

Day 1, I’m off to New York City. Sound familiar? Well, this time I got dragged along with my family. Got a cool hotel next to the new WTC, though. Amazing views!

Day 2, still in NYC, terrible service at restaurant and mad dash to Penn Station to catch train home.

Day 15, Triple Crown Winner? Come on, California Chrome…. Nope. -_-

Day 21, sweet! World Cup games on big screen at work!

Day 23, Kingdom Hearts!!! Expert mode this time. :D

Day 32, my voter registration wasn’t updated when I changed my address six months ago! I need to vote in the primary but don’t know where! Grrr.

Day 37, Frozen sing-a-long at WES… I WANT TO SEE FROZEN AGAIN!!!! So picked up a copy of it right afterward. Got How to Train Your Dragon, too, because why not?

Day 42, ’splosions!

Day 48, me: “Wow. This fruit salad is spicy.”

Day 49, How to Train Your Dragon 2 in movie theater! Toothless is adorable!!! :D

Day 50, think I’ll spend the midpoint at a state park on the Chesapeake… or not, it’s too damn hot outside and the beltway is backed up because of course it is. Back home. Try again some other time. And start replaying Kingdom Hearts 2.

Day 57, Planes 2 with little brother.

Day 64, very old grand-aunt’s memorial service and distant cousins.

Day 78, National Air and Space Museum with little brother! And flight simulator.

Day 90, EVERY SIMPSONS EVER!!!!

Day 93, Nationals game!

And finally…

Day 100. A WES platform with lots of pets! And afterward, some unfinished Day 50 business, even though the day was even hotter but at least no beltway traffic. Calvert Cliffs! After a two hour drive and then a two mile walk. Very nice. :)

I think my memory is getting bad since I’m just not remembering much for these recaps. Or less of interest is happening. Or I’m getting more sensible about what I share publicly. Or I’m realizing this is a whole lot of Shit Nobody Cares About. There was also a conspicuous lack of any NYRA activities, namely an Annual Meeting. I need to do some interesting stuff.

Oh, well. As these 100 Days of Summer draw to a close, well, I guess I need to do more interesting stuff. See you for the fifteenth round beginning May 24, 2015, in whatever form the world will be in then. Probably about the same.

This has been Day 100 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 14.

July 28, 2014

Offend the Offensive

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Think About It! — Katrina @ 7:31 pm

Quick! Define “offensive”.

Okay, okay, okay, shut up…

Whatever it is you just said, my answer would be different. So would everyone else’s. What is offensive is subjective. And, whether some want to admit it or not, absolutely everyone is offended by something.

There are a number of things that tout themselves as being proudly “offensive”. South Park was once a prime example. These days, there are a number of Facebook pages with taglines saying something like “If something on this page offends you, ha ha, too bad! Go punch your parents for having raised a pussy.”

Such messages tell me nothing about what is on that page. Why do they think one might find their content offensive? They say “fuck” sometimes? They mention sex? Irreverent humor? I’m not offended by any of that. Hell, the things that offend me are often found in places that deem themselves inoffensive. The radio station I wake up to is the local generic Clear Channel light pop station (97.1 WASH here in DC), and it offends me quite a bit. This is a station that cuts the word “screwed” out of Gotye’s “Somebody that I Used to Know”, and yet, I still find some of the DJs’ commentary offensive. Almost entirely, what’s offensive is their remarks are grossly anti-youth.

And here’s the other thing. It’s worth looking into WHY something is offensive. Sometimes it in fact is someone being oversensitive, as there are some pretty damn stupid things people find offensive. My being offended at ageism is unusual, in that not too many other people find it offensive, and they might consider me oversensitive. Well, there’s a reason I take offense at ageism, and that is not only that ageism is wrong, but not enough people know that, and hearing ageism promoted so much just encourages and perpetuates it. Of course, the real harm and wrongness of ageism is what a complaint about such commentary would be based on, not simply the fact that I find it offensive.

If someone says something is offensive, the correct response is to ask why, not to simply say “shut up, you’re oversensitive”. That’s the difference between communicating and being an asshole.

Some that say they’re proudly offensive turn out to mean they’re proudly bigoted. Or maybe not necessarily bigoted, but they might frequently use racial or other slurs jokingly in their posts and images. They might take shots at women or the disabled. Basically, anyone who isn’t an able-bodied white straight cis male. Funny how that works out. They think they’re so badass espousing prejudices that most people already have.

In fact, if you were to point this out to these people, you know how they’d react? That’s right. They’d be offended. They’d pretend they aren’t. They say the idiotic well-worn “I’m offended by those who get offended”. But the idea is they would object, so they would be offended. And for less reason, since saying “your group of people is inferior” is a more reasonable thing to be offended by than “I didn’t laugh at your joke”. So, yeah, who’s the oversensitive one again?

Finding something offensive is not in and of itself a reason for something being wrong. There’s a difference between offensive and wrong, of course. If something is wrong, explain why and how it is wrong. But just because something that is wrong is also offensive doesn’t mean that the person pointing it out is simply being “easily offended”. After all, complaining about someone being offended is not a defense of the possibly-offensive thing in question. ;-)

This has been Day 66 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 14.

July 4, 2014

7 Incredibly Stupid Criticisms of the United States

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Assorted Politics, What the hell? — Katrina @ 2:13 pm

The USA has a lot of problems. Dear sweet God, are there a lot of problems! And that’s just what we know about. There’s also problems and major flaws we don’t even know about, and others we just don’t know the extent. So many many flaws this country of ours has!

These are not among them…

“When are you going to switch to the metric system like the rest of the world?”

We’ll switch to the metric system (which we learned in school alongside imperial measurements, by the way) when the UK, Ireland, Japan, India, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand start driving on the correct side of the road “like the rest of the world”.

“The national anthem mentions war and bombs! It’s the only one in the world that does!”

First of all, do you think Canada is the only other country in the world with a national anthem? Because it’s not, and plenty of national anthems are pretty bloody and belligerent. Also, have you actually listened to the Star Spangled Banner? It’s about our flag not getting torn to shreds in a battle. It’s about surviving being attacked, not us doing the attacking.
(more…)

June 30, 2014

Best and Worst

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Estrogen, Think About It! — Katrina @ 10:18 pm

There’s a popular quote attributed to Marilyn Monroe that goes something like: “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”

And seeing as it has comes off in even the slightest as empowering for women (even though no gender is stated), there’s no shortage of anti-feminist jerks (the so-called “men’s rights activists” but I don’t like to call them that because men’s rights isn’t something they actually care about) whining about it and calling Monroe a drug-addicted slut who therefore had no business wanting respect. Because a woman wanting respect is oppressive to men somehow.

But I digress. There’s that and there’s an actually reasonable criticism of the statement, which involves responding with “Define ‘worst.’”

If “worst” means “abusive”, then surely one shouldn’t be expected to handle that. Or even if “worst” isn’t necessarily abusive but is still extremely draining and leaving very little of any “best” to speak of, yeah, that’s not a great situation.

Or just take it at face value, in which case “worst” might simply mean sad or sick or stressed or scared. Rather normal human lows, that if you’re going to cast off someone for experiencing, you’re kind of an asshole. Or at least it’s not much of a relationship or friendship or whatever.

Humans are imperfect. It’s not a bad thing to remember. But, hey, why get in the way of some accusatory overthinking? :P

This has been Day 38 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 14.

August 31, 2013

Lucky Thirteen

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Going Places, NYRA Happenings, Personal — Katrina @ 10:59 pm

Once more, it’s been ten days times ten, and here we are in yet another…

DAY
100

Alright. So Round 13 is just about in the books. Let’s review.

Day 1, fourth day on job. Yay employment!

Day 9, “Screw work. Let’s build a fort!”

Day 19, worst sushi ever… but with Victoria! :)

Day 25, fun day of baseball, pizza, and video games with little brother!
(more…)

August 21, 2013

World News

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Assorted Politics, Teh Interwebs, Think About It! — Katrina @ 8:20 pm

Just a little while ago, a friend of mine posted to Facebook about the high death toll from some attacks in the Middle East being mostly ignored by mainstream American media. It’s a typical complaint, one that I even agree with. In fact my comment to that status was “That’s because people outside the US aren’t people, especially if they’re yucky brown people. Duh!”

Then I thought about it some more.

While it is in fact a shame that such disasters on other continents get mostly glossed over, and that there are often crypto-racist reasons for it… Have you looked at the world news section over on Google News or something? Every single damn article is about either some political scandal or some explosion or natural disaster or attack somewhere that left a nasty death toll. Imagine if all of those always made the headline news.

We’d be right back at square one, in that you’d just tune it all out after a while.

Then the mold is broken by some news that doesn’t involve tons of devastation, such as Prince George’s birth or something. Nice to have happy news for once, right? And then the response is “Why should I care about that? I’m an American, damn it!”

I’m beginning to think all anyone really cares to talk about with international events is whether or not anyone should be talking about it.

This has been Day 90 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 13.

July 25, 2013

Estimating Earth

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Check It Out, Teh Interwebs, What the hell? — Katrina @ 9:14 pm

I hate this fucking game.

GeoGuessr

Go ahead. Give it a try.

I’m awesome at it. I think my highest score was up over 28,000. I often get over 25,000 anyway and seldom lower than 20,000. I’ve mastered the art of pinpointing the exact spot to within meters. I very rarely check Wikipedia or the like, and when I do, usually it’s a matter of “okay, I know the name of the town and what country it’s in, I’ve just been panning all over the country’s map looking for it and am getting impatient.”

And oh dear God, the constant panning! Dear Lord at the long barren usually-Australian roads. Yeah, I can pinpoint exact locations within meters after a LOT of panning and clicking down a road, hoping that there will be a sign showing the name of a nearby city or at least telling me what language is spoken in this place. Or the number of the road.

Only twice have I screwed up so badly that I didn’t even pick the right continent. Once wasn’t too long ago. A lot of locations in the game are in Brazil, and usually a sign or something in Portuguese can be spotted before too long telling this, along with rather obviously tropical scenery. Well, sure enough, at one point when I couldn’t identify any town names, was on some endless forest road, and saw some signs in Portuguese and finally guessed a random spot in Brazil and hoped it was close… it was in Portugal! :irked:
(more…)

June 6, 2013

How to Be Religious

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, The Occasional Godliness, Think About It! — Katrina @ 7:37 pm

I reject the notion that religion is inherently evil and causes all the Bad Stuff in the world. For one, that view is incredibly simplistic. Yes, many horrible acts are committed in the name of religion, but then again, so are many good ones. And while, yes, the good ones don’t require religion to be done, neither do the bad ones, really.

So by all means be religious if that’s what you want. Just please be the good kind. How can you do that? Well, here’s a handy guide to the Good and the Bad of faith-based actions!

So if your religion inspires you to…

-Donate food, clothing, and other items to the needy? Good!

-Volunteer for some sort of disaster relief effort, such as rebuilding houses? Good!

-Visit people in hospitals or nursing homes? Good!

-Take someone into your home when they’ve fallen on bad times? Good!

-Sing in your congregation’s choir? Good.

-Fight oppression? Good!

-Spread peace and love? Good!
(more…)

May 31, 2013

Microwave Cookery

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Foodz, What the hell? — Katrina @ 5:24 pm

It occurred to me recently the way people use microwave ovens. How different they can be. How just plain weird and wrong they can be! :doitnow:

You see, when I’m microwaving something, I set the timer to something sensible depending on the item, very rarely more than two minutes for anything unless it’s frozen solid.

And yet, now and then, whether at work or elsewhere with a shared microwave, I see people just heating up some lukewarm soup or chicken or something and setting the timer to something like three minutes! True, the cans and packages sometimes say to microwave for that long, but it’s sort of a general rule that the amount of time they give is more than you need, unless your particular microwave sucks. Then again, packages also give stove top or conventional oven instructions, which nobody who isn’t my mother is dumb enough to pay any attention to.

Hell, I had a burrito once whose conventional oven instructions said to cook for 65 minutes. Not sure if trolling or really fucking crazy.

Anyway, as it sometimes turns out, the people setting their three ounces of clam chowder to microwave for four minutes don’t actually leave it in there the whole time. Oftentimes not even a minute has passed and they decide to stop it and remove their food. Which sort of boggles me further. If the time didn’t even matter, why not, you know, just set the time lower? And, of course, they take the food out and away, and the stupid timer is still blinking with the remaining time. Which the next person has to clear off.

Okay, it makes some sense if they pull it out early to see if it’s warm enough yet, so they could just pop it right back in if it isn’t without having to reset the timer. But they don’t even do that. And why such a ridiculously high time, heating something for four minutes that would be plenty hot in 45 seconds? Is your tongue made of asbestos?

Meh. I don’t know why anybody does anything. :lol:

This has been Day 8 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 13.

August 31, 2012

By the Dozen

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, NYRA Happenings, Personal — Katrina @ 11:47 pm

Like every year so far this century, it began on May 24 and ends today on August 31, for today is…


DAY
100

With Round 12 coming to an end, let’s review!

Day 3, meeting Kathleen in Georgetown, finding place to park. Finding expensive parking meters. A nickel gets you a minute and a half. It says that. Make that finding world’s most sarcastic parking meters.

Day 9, Victoria has come to DC! We welcome her with dinner at Full Kee in Chinatown.

Day 10, to LGBT poetry slam with Kathleen at Busboys and Poets. Girl who won was quite awesome.

Day 13, uh oh, Kathleen needs to go to ER! Going to be a late night.

Day 17, charades! Well, more a game of Taboo we’re calling charades. Sort of both.

Day 21, first board meeting in almost five months. Passed a corporal punishment position paper at last. Then a whole lot of staff issues. And a repealed bylaw change that was foolishly done in closed session where no one could see it was being done. Ugh.
(more…)

August 27, 2012

Education Policy

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Assorted Politics, What the hell?, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:20 pm

Education policy can go to hell.

Really.

You know what it is, when politicians and “experts” and whatever other adults get together and talk about education policy? Exploitation.

True, this is something I’ve talked about before. But even beyond what I wrote there, it goes so much deeper.

I just saw a Facebook posting by a nice organization called Our Time, sort of a youth rights org geared primarily at young adults. It was a little cartoon showing Chinese and Indian students studying hard (due to their countries supposedly investing more in education) while the American student is just listening to his iPod and chewing gum. They proceeded to ask whether education should be made a bigger priority here like in those countries, asking those who didn’t think so to explain in the comments.

So I did:

I’m wary of simply comparing ourselves to other countries without taking a good hard look at what the cultural and other differences actually are that result in the findings, or even whether the right aspects are being measured. Too often the political solution to wanting to compete with other nations not only fails to truly look for what’s being done differently (and when it’s a cultural thing, it’s not something any political decisions can do anything about anyway), but it usually translates to “work our students harder” which leads to third graders getting six hours of homework every night, and other egregious ways the lives of those under 18 are being made to have no other meaning or importance than their schooling. Behind the global comparisons and hand wringing over education policy (where only adults are discussing it) are the REAL individual lives of the students who are at their mercy.

It was while I was typing that I had a realization. Several realizations actually.
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August 13, 2012

Tanner Upstaged

Now for a feminine pubescent edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

Anyone who says anything along the lines of “Girls today are starting puberty at younger ages!” And goes on to treat it like some utter catastrophe. A serious problem for today’s kids. Something we must absolutely do something about to protect little girl innocence! Eeeek!

*facepalm* *sigh*

Oh, concern trolling, such a frequent opponent to youth rights feminism!

Okay, time for some unpacking of bullshit.

1. Not only is the claim that the age of female puberty is steadily getting younger questionable, but those shrieking about this “problem” often either don’t specify ages or the ages they do specify, usually around 10 or 11, are still within the normal range of puberty (ages 8 to 16). And even so, they’re usually talking about onset, which is the development of breasts (which doesn’t exactly happen overnight), as opposed to first period, which is often a couple years later. Breasts budding at 10 or 11 means the period shows up around 12 or 13, which is totally fucking normal! And even the ones who get their periods at 10 or 11 might be earlier than average but it’s not abnormal, and for every one of them, there are girls who start it at 14 or 15.
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July 11, 2012

Smooth Jazz Bicycle Guy

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Random Crap — Katrina @ 8:08 pm

So I was walking around a nearby lake earlier, eating my traditional Day 49 Dairy Queen “Brownie Earthquake”. Tradition because I happened to eat that same treat from that same Dairy Queen 11 years ago today, during the original 100 Days of Summer. So now on Day 49 I go to Dairy Queen. Haven’t done it every year but I try to. I also listen to John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Because I think it was playing on the radio when I visited that Dairy Queen on July 11, 2001. Really no deeper reason for the tradition than that.

Anyway! Where was I? Ah, yes, I was walking around the lake. It’s a nice day, so lots of people were out walking their dogs and riding their bikes. When I parked my car and started the walk, I began to hear some inexplicable music coming from somewhere, and the sound got closer. Then some middle aged guy on a bike appeared, and attached to his bike was a little music player and speaker, playing some kind of instrumental smooth jazz. He whooshed on by and the sound faded. A few minutes later, as my walk progressed, he passed by me again, as he was circling the lake the opposite direction as I was. And a few minutes after that, I hear the music again and there he was again. This happened a total of six times before I was all the way around and back to my car.

I got into my car and drove away, when I came to a realization… that everything that just happened was like something straight out of a… math problem!

The walk around the lake takes me about 20 minutes. I passed Smooth Jazz Bicycle Guy six times, so the interim time was about 3 to 4 minutes.

Well, that’s the only data I have. Unless I bothered to look at the total distance of the path around the lake, which, going by the little markers drawn on the path here and there, is probably about a mile. But if I had more data, think of all I could calculate! My walking speed, though I suppose if 20 minutes to walk a mile, it was 3 miles an hour. Then there’d be SJBG’s biking speed, taking into account the distance he biked each time he passed me was slightly shorter than the total distance around the lake. That distance is one mile, so I’d have traveled one-sixth of a mile in the interim, so he traveled five-sixths of a mile in about 3.3 minutes, so his speed would be about 15 miles an hour.

Math is fun!

Oh, but there are other things to calculate! If I had the data. The volume of the smooth jazz, taking into account my aural sensitivity and from what distance I could still hear it. At one point, someone in a nearby backyard was running a chain saw, and during this was one of the times SJBG passed by, so I didn’t hear the music that far ahead of his appearing. So considering the previous theoretical data, one could calculate the volume of the chain saw. Or how far away it was. Or maybe only one of those if the other is known. Then might have to account for the trees in between and maybe air pressure.

It’s not just a math problem. It’s a PHYSICS PROBLEM!!!!

Aww, fuck it. It was a nice walk on a nice day, passing by some weird man on a bike blaring smooth jazz.

This has been Day 49 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 12.

June 28, 2012

Making Sure They Behave

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, In the News, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 12:16 pm

Ever notice that the most common thing anyone tells a child is “behave!”? Is he/she behaving? Are they being good? Are they doing as they are told?

Because that’s the single most important thing ever regarding children, of course! :roll:

The trouble there is the expectation that this person is going to descend into “insufferable little bastard” mode at any moment.

It goes beyond that, of course. The other day I saw this article in the Guardian about cops stationed in school, and how this – surprise, surprise! – leads to students being arrested for the tiniest offenses, such as putting on perfume or not picking something up off the floor fast enough. They’re stationed there over constant concerns that, even if unlikely, some student might shoot someone, and you just can’t be too careful!

So the cops are a good thing, right? They just need to exercise better discretion and not arrest students for drawing on a desk or other stupid shit like that?

Yeah… I don’t think so.
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June 21, 2012

Protect the Squeamish Ageist Adults!

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer, Idiot Box, What the hell?, Youth Rights — Katrina @ 3:20 pm

Nothing like sitting through an R-rated movie being played on basic cable, with half the dialogue either changed or silenced because of “offensive language”. When I think about it, it’s really offensive to me that it’s censored at all. How stupid do you think I am, that I can’t handle the word fuck? That you need to protect my gentle ears from hearing it.

Oh, what’s that? I’m 29 so I’m not one of the people being protected by this? Well, I must be, because it’s still censored. I’d have to either watch this movie on a premium movie channel (which I don’t get) or rent or buy it. Hmm. Maybe it’s a marketing move in that way. Even though I have no real interest in buying the movie anyway.

Ah, but the official reason is that the censorship is to “protect the children” from hearing these naughty words.

First of all, as I say frequently, so what if they hear (or say) these words?

Second of all, it’s interesting what words are and aren’t okay. Watch Forrest Gump on TNT. They have to blur out the “Shit Happens” bumper sticker, yet in a few scenes the N-word is said and is visibly written in the background, totally uncensored. An almost meaningless word for feces is unacceptable, yet they greenlight a racial slur? Um, racial slurs are the ACTUAL bad offensive words! Should they be censored? No. But if censoring offensive things is the idea, you’d think that’d be the first thing!

Third of all, my 8-year-old brother and I were watching Family Guy recently, and there was one line where a word was bleeped. He promptly turned to me and said “I know what he said! He said fuck!” Yeah, even the people you’re hiding the words from totally know what words go there. So… fail.

And… how many children do you know who have been contacting the FCC complaining that something on the TV was too mature for their fragile little minds? Oh, there are children who buy into the “bad words are bad for kids” thing. Hell, I grudgingly admit that when I was 11 I was sort of one of them. The reason wasn’t that I actually believed that, though. I only held the idea because I knew such a belief was pleasing to the adults around me. It was prior to my realization that my age kept the adults from respecting me no matter what I did, that beliefs like this just made them happy I was being their lap dog. And so many kids buy into that at their peers’ expense. But that’s what it comes down to. The desire to please adults is why some kids are against “swear words”, not that they have some personal conviction (well, some might).

No, the people who scream back and forth over appropriateness of media content is entirely adults. It is the supposedly mature adults who can’t handle the idea of kids hearing someone say “bullshit” or seeing an accidental half-time show nipple slip. You know who can handle it just fine? The kids themselves!

Seriously, that nipple thing. Everybody has nipples! Half of them have the dreaded baby-feeding female nipples! They need only look down to see nipples. Children are only a few years past being the ones feeding from those nipples, and I hope somebody told the little girls they’ll be growing those things before too long. Censoring body parts? Do these complaining people not shower, because they might realize they have these evil parts? And the ones who are parents, how did that happen, as that happens through having sex which involves – gasp! – being naked!

Conveniently, it seems it’s only adult nudity they’re (usually) all that pissy about. Interesting.

Let’s be honest. There is no censorship that protects children. It only protects adults. Or, no, not really. It protects no one.

And the “protect the children” thing is just an excuse anyway. They only say that because “hide words and things that make squeamish adults cry” sounds less noble. Maybe we should stick to calling it what it is.

In other news, a Michigan legislator just recently got in trouble for saying “vagina” on the House floor. And people think teens aren’t mature enough to vote?!

This has been Day 29 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 12.

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