Archive for July 2005

An Early Birthday Present

Friday, July 29th, 2005

It wasn’t something I really was expecting, but I found myself with an early birthday present this week. With my old computer on its last legs (it was having trouble booting into Windows normally), I finally decided that it was on life support long enough, and decided to pull the plug.

I found myself in Circuit City, where I got myself a new HP Media Center PC with Windows XP Media Center Edition on it. Right now I’ve got all my stuff migrated over and haven’t really had a chance to play with it and see what it can do. But here’s what it looks like.

Ain’t she a beaut?

Depressed? Just Call Directory Assistance

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

From the “what could they possibly have been thinking?” department, this in from Boston (via The Moderate Voice):

Just a week after the Herald revealed that anti-suicide signs on the Tobin Bridge had been removed by a state road crew, the signs are back – but with a wrong number.

Massport spokeswoman Danny Levy said yesterday the agency received six new signs from The Samaritans of Greater Boston and put them up on the bridge Tuesday.

But the phone number on the new signs – aimed at offering a potential lifeline to troubled souls considering suicide – is disconnected.

Good thing we don’t have a bridge connecting Honolulu and San Francisco.

P.S.: Yes, Lynn, this is a real story. :)

Near Death Experiences

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

My friend John’s dad suffered a stroke yesterday afternoon. About the time that I was working to save my computer, Joy writes that she and John and were at Straub, no doubt along with their whole clan, standing vigil at the ICU.

Eric just let me know that Mr. N is stable…will probably have to stay in the ICU for a while but is on the road to recovery.

Joy recently lost her father and the whole experience brought back memories for her, pouring salt in a wound that is still healing. And having lost a parent myself to illness, it hit home as well. The full story of what I went through during my father’s illness will have to wait for another entry, but for now I pray that John’s father recovers.

My thoughts are with you, John and Joy, during this time. If there’s anything I can do, just ask.

Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat

Friday, July 22nd, 2005

Not so close…I’ve got something…a bad fever. I get it every year about this time. I have marathon fever again.

It starts during the summer. A twitching in the legs. Deeper breathing. An obsession with mileage. An urge to wake up much earlier on weekends than I normally do for work. As the condition progresses, I feel the compulsive urge to run for hours and miles at a time, which helps ease the symptoms but doesn’t eliminate them.

Only a extended, all-consuming, 26-mile run can cure it. In many cases, this is enough for the patient to develop lifelong immunity. But some people, like me, get chronic cases that flare-up annually.

Garden Isle Getaway

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

There’s probably an unwritten state law somewhere that says that all Hawaii residents must visit each of the four largest islands in their lifetimes. Of course, I live here on Oahu, and I have a large part of my family on Maui. And like many people my age, I’ve visited the Big Island in fourth grade.

But the one island that eluded me was Kauai. The Garden Isle was always the island to the west that I had only heard about and seen in pictures, but never experienced firsthand.

That is, until Saturday, when I decided to play the role of tourist and with a minimum of luggage, hop a plane and spend a day on Kauai.

Now Why Didn’t We Do This A Few Months Ago?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2005

It was Abraham Lincoln who said that a house divided against itself cannot stand. If that’s true, it’s a wonder that a certain body of the U.S. Congress is still standing.

Now, wasn’t it just a few short months ago when the Democrats and Republicans were ready to resort to “nuclear war” over judicial nominees and the right to filibuster same? Battle lines were already drawn, bomb shelters were being prepared, and it took a group of negotiators from both sides to hammer out what was the equivalent of SALT to bring the situation to an uneasy truce. So the Democrats agreed not to utilize the filibuster against a judicial nominee except under extraordinary circumstances, and the GOP gave up pushing for all of their nominees to be confirmed.

Then came the surprise announcement that Sandra Day O’Connor was bidding the court a fond farewell. And suddenly, we’re not talking the potential for “nuclear war,” we’re talking “nuclear holocaust.” But now, things appear right now to be going much differently (via Joe at The Moderate Voice).

Stiff Upper Lip

Friday, July 8th, 2005

Winston Churchill, October 29, 1941:

Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Tony Blair, July 7, 2005:

We will show, by our spirit and dignity, and by our quiet but true strength that there is in the British people, that our values will long outlast theirs. The purpose of terrorism is just that, it is to terrorize people, and we will not be terrorized.

Stiff upper lip, boys. That’s the spirit.

Digital Downloads – Delightful or Depraved?

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

Alchera Project, Project 34, Option 5. A lot is changing in the music industry. We can now buy our music digitally, store it on a small device and carry it with us wherever we go…Write about this change, about how it’s effected you, how you’ve responded, what you support and don’t support, et cetera.

Laurie couldn’t have come up with this topic at a more opportune time, now that the Supreme Court’s decision against Grokster has become news.

Personally, I think the digital music revolution has brought great benefits. However, I can’t say that I endorse the way that it’s being used. I’m probably swimming against the tide on this, but I cannot condone the culture of copyright infringement that has resulted from it. Plus, I don’t utilize the new technology to the extent that others have, owing in large part to the legal questions that still surround it.