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I'm trying to clean up my language.
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Date:2007-10-07 11:19

Ok. I've been sort of reeling from stress and lack of sleep for weeks since I began classes at BU. And I've started doing things that I've never really done before. Like my laundry every week and cleaning my room and whatnot. I know--"normal people" do this stuff normally. Well I'm kind of a slob at heart. Anyway, I've been thinking about a lot of ways that I can simplify and improve my life, "cultivate" if you will, that awesome feeling that everything is good and well. So I'm trying to develope a list of things I can do to accomplish happiness in this way at least. Here goes--

Don't eat after 5 (or I'd say 4-6 hours before you go to bed, this may mean skipping your dinners for early dinners/large breakfasts and/or lunches).
Drink plenty of water.
Exercise every week.
Keep your surroundings neat and clean!
Never forget to brush your teeth before bed.
Stop acting like your appearance doesn't matter. When you look good you feel good too.
Stop being cynical. Everyone has feelings and everyone has problems, and no one is perfect.
Carpe Diem. Try something new everyday, and don't lose those dreams.
No coffee.
No alcohol.
Get to bed on time every night.
Be yourself-hardest thing to do ever. I didn't know what this meant until I realized I was second guessing myself because of others, and I didn't realize this until I found out that I was right all along and I should have just stuck with my gut feeling and my beliefs. This goes up there w/ Stop being cynical.
Don't eat crap. Crap equals junk food of all kinds, like icecream, candy, soda, canned chili (Christ), bags of chips, et cetera. You know what crap is, don't play games with yourself.
Don't overeat. This may mean not finishing every bit of food in front of you, knowing how full you want to feel, and shooting for it ahead of time before you regret eating at all.
Eat your vegetables!!!
Save your money by not buying all that little crap you don't really need, like going out to dinner every night or eating at the food court for lunch, and save it for when you'll really want/need it, like dinner w/ friends on the weekend, or some huge new TV, or perhaps to pay for some random emergency.

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Date:2007-08-14 13:19
Subject:I got an A- in Linguistics 118.

And that makes me happy. Going into BU w/ a good GPA makes me happy. It's all downhill from here.

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Date:2007-08-12 12:02
Subject:I got bored...

My emotions were a torrent of spinning lizards. They flew with wings too short to fly with, and breathed fiery breath and stared with shiny red eyes. They clawed and fought, and raped each other in the night of my mind. My vehicle was a dragon, crushed into this guardrail. She had been shot down by the balistas and trebuchets of mankind. Her name was Lumina, Chevy and she heaved but could not ho in her utter ruin. Her once silver scales were distorted and scraped, her giant mouth now only an open obstacle for her soul to flee in the form of miscellaneous engine gases. My morning coffee had had been splattered and since dried to a nice sugary film on my shirt and neck—my tie was ruined, and my time short. Morning freeway traffic blazed by me like a metal wind beyond the painted shoulder of this road. The sky was beautiful, but the lizards continued to rape. I watched the god of fire open his giant yellow disk of an eye as its brilliance blinded the side of this crag. It began as a sliver, just over the mountainous horizon but bloomed into a sky-wide flower of light, until the day had official begun, and the roosters crowed on some faraway farm.
The metal wind blazed, and the lizards raped each other. Gathering my self up by the handful, I took one last gulp of cold coffee from the half imploded Styrofoam gas station coffee cup, and tossed its empty husk off the crag, beyond the rail. I'll have to call the police, and call my insurance agency, and then...call into work, and then call a taxi...
But my pocket was empty, and I groped around all of my pockets until I realized that the collection of plastic shards and one antenna between Lumina's dashboard and windshield was screaming to me “You're not calling anyone you fool, you'll die out here!”

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Date:2007-08-09 23:13
Subject:I don't know why but...

I go through these interspersed boughts of wanting. During these times I do nothing but lust for a particular item or set of items. Just lately--and I think I'm over this--I've been wanting new musical gear. And this has sort of died away and now I just want (again) a new computer--preferably a macbook pro. I keep telling myself "You don't need it you just want it." And I'm sure this is true on many levels. But along with this want comes my creative flare. I want to fucking update my website again, and scan in pencil work and make comics and all that craziness again.

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Date:2007-08-01 13:09
Subject:8 Ways Soda Fizzles Your Health

We would wager money that many of you are “doing the dew” or “doing what tastes right” this very moment. Before you take another gulp from your soft drink can, here are 8 facts about soda to consider that may drastically affect the quality of your health.

pH of Soda = pH of Vinegar
For one, soda, no matter who makes it, is the most acidic beverage you can buy, with a pH of about 2.5, about the same as vinegar. Why does that matter? Acid oxidizes whatever it comes in contact with. If you put soda or vinegar on metal, it will rust it quickly. Check out this table of acid levels of your favorite sodas.

Drink Soda, Leach Calcium
If you drink soda, which also contains high levels of phosphorous, you will leach calcium from your bones. Dr. Michael Murray from the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine concluded, “It appears that increased soft drink consumption is a major factor that contributes to osteoporosis.” Furthermore, Dr. Elson Haas, author of The Detox Diet states, “Tooth loss, periodontal disease, and gingivitis can be problems, especially with a high phosphorus intake, particularly from soft drinks.”

Soda Will Dissolve your Tooth Enamel
Weak bones is just the beginning. According to Dr. James Howenstein. author of A Physician’s Guide to Natural Health Products That Work, the high sugar content of soda is awful. He states, “”In an interesting experiment the sugar from one soft drink was able to damage the white blood cells’ ability to ingest and kill bacteria for seven hours.” Dr. Marion Nestle from his book Food Politics states, “Sugar and acid in soft drinks so easily dissolve tooth enamel.”

Each Additional Soda Increases Risk for Obesity by 1.6 times
So now we’ve got weak bones, weakened immune system, and dissolving teeth. What’s next? Weight gain! Dr. Nestle also concluded, “The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times.”

Children Who Drink Soda Break Bones More Easily
Our children aren’t safe, either. Dr. Nestle states, “Adolescents who consume soft drinks display a risk of bone fractures three to four-fold higher than those who do not.” Dr. William Duffy from the Naval Research Institute states, “The high sugar hides the acid. Children little realize they are drinking this strange mixture of phosphoric acid, sugar, caffeine, coloring, and flavoring matter.” Greg Critser from his book Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World states: “A joint study by Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital researchers in February 2001 concluded that such excess liquid calories inhibited the ability of older children to compensate at mealtime, leading to caloric imbalance and, in time, obesity.”

Diet Soda Isn’t Any Better
For those of you with a diet soda in your hands, the news isn’t any better, in fact it’s worse! Carol Simontacchi from her book The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children states, “One liter of an aspartame-sweetened beverage can produce about fifty-six milligrams of methanol. When several of these beverages are consumed in a short period of time (one day, perhaps), as much as two hundred fifty milligrams of methanol are dumped into the bloodstream, or thirty-two times the EPA limit.” So, you’re poisoning your body, too.

And when it comes to saccharin, which is a noncaloric petroleum derivative estimated to be three hundred to five hundred times sweeter than sugar: “More than a dozen animal tests over the last thirty years have demonstrated the carcinogenic effects of saccharin in the bladder and other sites, particularly female reproductive organs, and in some instances at doses as low as the equivalent of one to two bottles of diet pop daily.”

With diet soda, you’ve gone from high calories to poisonous levels of methanal and an increased chance of developing cancer. Not a very good trade.

Could Caffeine Jeopardize the Human Race?
Then there’s the caffeine. Jean Carper from her book Food: Your Miracle Medicine : How Food Can Prevent and Cure over 100 Symptoms and Problems states, “tests at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine by Roland R. Griffiths, MD, show caffeine withdrawal can strike people who drink a single cup of strongly brewed coffee or drink caffeinated soft drinks everyday. Further, Dr. Griffiths discovered that caffeine-withdrawal symptoms include not only headache, but also fatigue, mild depression, muscle pain and stiffness, flu-like feelings, nausea and vomiting. And for women: “Those consuming at least one cup of a caffeine-containing beverage per day, such as coffee, tea or soft drinks, were more prone to PMS. And the more caffeine they consumed, the more severe their PMS symptoms.”

Caffeine causes withdrawal with symptoms mimicking a flu and for women it makes PMS even worse. But could caffeine really jeopardize the future of the human race? Yes! “A study on the relationship between caffeine and fertility found that… just one caffeinated soft drink per day was associated with a reduced monthly chance of conception of 50 percent.”

If All That Wasn’t Enough Watch Out for a Asthma and a Rash
And finally there’s the preservative used in soda. Dr. Marcia Zimmerman, author of The A.D.D. Nutrition Solution : A Drug-Free 30 Day Plan states, “Sodium benzoate Sodium benzoate is used as a preservative (microbial control) in foods, including soft drinks, fruit juices, margarine, confections, pickles, and jams. Sodium preservatives add sodium to the diet and reduce the availability of potassium. Some reported reactions to sodium benzoate include recurring urticaria (rash), asthma, and eczema.”

Still Drinking that Soda…..?
Hard to believe that so much mayhem can come from a little can or bottle, but there is absolutely nothing good or redeemable about soda. The sooner you can remove it from your diet, the better. If the FDA were doing its job, it wouldn’t be allowed on the market. If you care about your health and the quality of your life, put the Mountain Dew down!

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Date:2007-07-19 15:57
Subject:Everything in its Right Place

Teen claims spiders alerted her to fire
Published Tue, Jul 17, 2007

-- The Associated Press
HEMLOCK, Mich. (AP) A woman who hates spiders is crediting them with helping save her from a house fire. Danielle Vigue, 18, says she awoke early Tuesday to find spiders in her room, and started killing them. When more showed up, she says she went across the hall and got into bed with her 15-year-old sister, Lauren.

"At first there were five, they were all around the light fixture," Danielle Vigue told The Saginaw News. "I hate spiders, they freak me out."

A fire apparently was smoldering in the attic of the home about 90 miles northwest of Detroit.

A few hours later, Vigue's 48-year-old mother, Debra, and 8-year-old sister, Shelby, smelled smoke, and flames greeted the family when they opened the door to the room Danielle Vigue had earlier left.

"I will never kill another spider again," she told WNEM-TV in Saginaw.

Richland Township Fire Chief Gary Wade, a 30-year veteran of the Saginaw County department, was surprised by Vigue's story.

"I've never heard of spiders saving someone from a fire before," Wade said.

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Date:2007-07-19 14:22
Subject:Our Dictator Has Spoken

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

RSS Feed White House News

Fact sheet Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding International Emergency Economic Powers Act

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported,

withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,

(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:

(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or

(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;

(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the

receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Sec. 2. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose

of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 3. For purposes of this order:

(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;

(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and

(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.

Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.

Sec. 5. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that, because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets

instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.

Sec. 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government, consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken.

Sec. 7. Nothing in this order is intended to affect the continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses, or other forms of administrative action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore or hereafter under 31 C.F.R. chapter V, except as expressly terminated, modified, or suspended by or pursuant to this order.

Sec. 8. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.



July 17, 2007.

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Date:2007-07-18 13:30
Subject:React OS


React OS:Here comes the Windows Nemesis!
July 17th, 2007 — Dark Star

React OS is a free and open-sourced operating system based on the Windows architecture, providing support for existing applications and drivers, and an alternative to the current dominant consumer operating system.

ReactOS 0.3.1 Mainly, the work focused on rewriting certain parts of the ReactOS Core (kernel, HAL, bootloader, etc). It’s very hard to sum up the huge Changelog in an outline, but briefly:

* Freeldr was improved
* HAL’s key areas have been significantly improved (irql-related, bus support, kd-functions)
* The Kernel experienced a massive rewrite of incompatible parts (and is still in the process of improvement)
* Run-time library (Rtl) got a lot of improvements and bugfixes
* Bugs were fixed in kernel-mode drivers and a better USB driver was added
* Registry-support has been greatly improved thanks to addition of “cmlib”, a library shared by the boot loader and the kernel to handle binary registry hives; it even supports binary registry hives created by Windows
* More fixes in the Win32 subsystem and user-mode DLLs
* Boot video driver (and a splash screen) was added

Read through the changelog, and you will see the amount of changes in this release!
However, there are a few things worth mentioning. First of all, please don’t forget this is an alpha-stage operating system, which means it is not suitable to replace your main OS (due to stability and compatibility concerns). And second, this release is aimed to be run mostly in virtualizers / emulators (like QEmu, VMWare, Parallels, etc): because of the big amount of changes, our development team was not able to test/fix all problems which arise when running ReactOS on real hardware.

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Date:2007-07-10 04:48
Subject:It's too late to be scared.

You watch those nature documentaries
on the cable?


See the one about lions?

Got this lion.

He's the king of the jungle.
Huge mane, out to here.

He's laying down under a tree,
in the middle of Africa.

He's so big. He's so hot.

He doesn't want to move.

The little lion cubs,
they start messing with him.

Biting his tail, biting his ears.
He doesn't do anything.

The lioness, she starts messing with him...

coming over, making trouble. Still nothing.

Now, the other animals notice this...

and they start to move in, the jackals.


They're barking at him, laughing at him.

They nip his toes
and eat the food that's in his domain.

They do this...

then they get closer and bolder,
till one day...

that lion gets up
and tears the shit out of everybody...

runs like the wind,
eats everything in his path.

'Cause every once in a while,
the lion has to show the jackals...

who he is.

It's too late to be scared. It's time to kill.

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Date:2007-07-04 05:23
Subject:Damn it.

I just spent the last two hours trying to fix Stephanie's PS2. I was playing Guitar Hero 2, and fucking Teddy (my retarded ass dog) ran by and totally snagged the controller cable, hurling the system to the ground. The CD drive was jammed. So I googled how to fix it. Turns out it's a common thing with this system. Long story short...I fix that issue. It took some fudging and no one was here to hold my hand, but I'm officially an experienced PS2 tech. Then when I finally get the fucking thing back together and working properly, I realize that the damned eject button no longer works. Why? Something that's entirely beyond my ability to repair: the ribbon to the button is compromised. It's irreplaceable.

So now it's like 5:30am on the Fourth of July and I'm still awake. I now owe Stephanie an explanation and a new PS2. There's no amount of animal abuse that will make me feel better about this.

EDIT: Well, now it's quarter past six in the morning, and after having messed with it for another hour, I've realized that it's not necessarily the ribbon that was the problem, but the little contacts. See, they were in, fully, but they weren't wrapped around the edge. The power works just fine with them merely in, but not the eject button.

Anyhow, it took me a while to put this together, and to reassemble and get a good system of two-sided tape going, but now the PS2 is fully operational. We've only got one problem now. After a careful inspection of the underside of the GH2 disk, I've noticed what Jeremy and I would refer to as the 360 Effect.

This night just does not end.

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Date:2007-06-28 14:06

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Date:2007-06-25 16:14
Subject:Fuck Yeah.

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Date:2007-06-15 08:54
Subject:This is How Money is Made
Mood: energetic

Me: It seems that either your installation of Windows is corrupt or your hard drive is corrupt. In the first case I can simply back up whatever you need backed up off of it and reinstall windows (because I've never "repaired" a Windows 2000 installation--I don't even think one can). In the second case I can simply get a new hard drive for you and then reinstall an operating system (your choice, Windows 2k, Windows XP, XP Pro, Ubuntu...). First Thing I need to know before proceeding is if there is anything I should back up off of this drive. Second I need to know is if you (or whoever owns this computer) still has the disk that came with it--the Windows 2000 disk and the drivers and software disk for the particular model (TE2000). I can probably find these but it would be best to ask first.

Her: Hey John, Nothing needs to be backed up on it, it is just a secondary computer for me, so it doesn’t matter if you lose anything. And, I don’t think I got a disk with it, I bought it as a refurbished laptop and it came with Windows on it already. My brother had mentioned looking for the disk, I looked through everything this weekend and could not find one for Windows 2000, I did find the one for my old computer but that is Windows 98………so I say do whatever you think you should to correct it. Let me know if you have anymore questions. Thanks. Jen.

Me:I'm going to install a different OS and then restart it. If it goes through the loop again we'll get you a new hard drive. If not we'll be golden.

Her: Sweet, sounds good to me! Oh yeah if it does work can you also install Microsoft office suite on it?

Me: I can. But if you want to go with Ubuntu (which I recommend even though it means more work for me)--you can't, but it already has OpenOffice.org 2.2 (which JoAnn can tell you about)--it's the same thing. You should ask JoAnn what she thinks of Ubuntu, it's on her laptop and on her desktop now. The nicest thing about it is is I guess it can never get a virus (there are no viruses for it) and it's a bit faster than Windows, also it's opensource (which means it's free--no guilt about running and owning it without paying). I'm downloading a copy of Windows XP Pro right now as we speak just in case you still want that so no pressure.

Her: Sure, whatever you think is better….the only thing is that I am taking online courses for school, so all my stuff usually has to be a word doc or on powerpoint, so if that part of it is still the same I’m cool with it……….

Me: Putting all that aside for now, it seems you need a new hard drive for your notebook. I'm going to give you a list of recommendations and their prices, and then show you the website where they are.

Your last hard drive was 20gbs. The smallest I can find nowadays is twice that size, or 40gbs. Your last harddrive rotated at 4200rpm, I'm recommending you go with something at least 5200rpm, or even 7200rpm. The first two recommendations down there are 5200, and the last two are 7200. --The bigger the number, the faster the drive. This may or may not matter to you. If it doesn't let me know. Any of these drives will be just fine for you. If you don't know what you want, I'd suggest just going with the first one, as it's cheap ($55), twice as large as your last hard drive and faster. It's also Toshiba brand, which really doesn't matter, but heck it would match the rest of your hardware.

Just click on the links.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1697316&CatId=1277 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1127478&CatId=1277 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1597370&CatId=1277 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1638049&CatId=1277

I normally buy from newegg.com but their servers are down right now so tigerdirect is a close second for me. If you want me to do this you'd want to sign up for an account with them, purchase the drive you want, and simply have it shipped to my address. Then when I'm all done I can I'll simply have JoAnn give it back to you.

Let me know if you have any questions!!!

Oh and for possible future reference our address is: xxxxxxxxxxx

Her: OK so I just ordered that first one you had listed and am having it sent to you…….so do you know what could have happened to cause this? Here’s a print of the order, just in case you need any info from it.

Me: Hard drives simply die. They have a lifespan. I've never had one die on me, but the fact that they have moving parts is what usually kills them. Because capacities are always going up, the density of the platters and the speed of the needle is always going up to, and we all know that first generation technology is always the flakiest. This is the second laptop hard drive I've replaced. It could have just been old age, or you could have bumped it one too many times when it was writing or reading. I don't know, but this is the #1 replaced part in laptops. Luckily for us that should change in a few years when NAND flash memory becomes more price-point competitive with hard drives and we start seeing more affordable solid state drives on the market (cheapest one right now is like $500 for 32gb)<< they consume less energy, are much quicker and have no moving parts. Someday...someday.

But no I don't believe it had anything to do with a DVD application being opened twice. Seems to me like that was probably just coincidence.

Her: Cool, so the part should hopefully be there in a couple of days then…………..

Me: Yup. And then I'll do my thing and send it on it's way. I'll let you know when I receive it. Keep you up to date and whatnot. If all goes well you should have your laptop back in working order tomorrow. I might take me a while to get the wireless working and everything installed--so we'll see. I may need another day, but if I do I'll let you know.

Her: SWEET!!! No rush, I have my desktop to use this weekend if you can’t get it up and going. The part came pretty quick!

Me: JoAnn will have your computer tomorrow.

Her: SWEET! Thanks so much, Joann gave it back to me this morning……..

I gave her some $ for you…

.thanks again and I will make sure to recommend you in the future

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Date:2007-06-01 10:43
Subject:So you want to learn Japanese


You've eaten at a few Japanese restaurants, seen some anime, hosted an exchange student, and had a Japanese girlfriend. And now, somewhere in the back of your tiny brain, you think that Japanese would be a good language to learn. Hey, you could translate video games! Or Manga! Or even Anime! Pick up Japanese girls, impress your friends! Maybe you'll even go to Japan and become an anime artist! Yeah! Sounds like a great idea!

So you head down to the library, pick up some books with titles like "How To Teach Yourself Japanes In Just 5 Seconds A Day While Driving Your Car To And From The Post Office" and "Japanese For Complete And Total, Utter Fools Who Should Never Procreate". Hey, you already know a few words from your manga collection/girlfriend/anime. Excited and impressed with your new knowledge, you begin to think: "Hey. Maybe, just maybe, i could do this for a living! Or even major in Japanese! Great Idea, Right?

I don't care how many anime tapes you've watched, how many Japanese girlfriends you've had, or books you've read, You don't know Japanese. Not only that, majoring in the godforsaken language is NOT fun or even remotely sensible. Iraqi war prisoners are often forced to major in Japanese. The term "Holocaust" comes from the Latin roots "Holi" and "Causm", meaning "to major in Japanese". You get the idea.

And so, sick of seeing so many lambs run eagerly to the slaughter, I have created This Guide to REAL TIPS for Studying Japanese. Or, as is actually the case, NOT studying it.
Reason One: It's Too Hard

This should be an obvious.

Despite what many language books, friends, or online tutorials may have told you, Japanese is NOT simple, easy, or even sensical (Japanese vocabulary is determined by throwing tiny pieces of sushi at a dart board with several random syllables attatched to it). TheJapanese spread these rumours to draw foolish Gaijin into their clutches.

Not only is it not simple, it's probably one of the hardest language you could ever want to learn. With THREE completely different written languages (none of which make sense), multitude of useless, confusing politeness levels, and absolutely insane grammatical structure, Japanese has been crushing the souls of the pathetic Gaijin since it's conception. Let's go over some of these elements mentioned above so you can get a better idea of what I mean.
The Japanese Writing System

The Japanese writing system is broken down into three separate, complete, and insane, parts: Hiragana ("those squiggily letters"), Katakana ("those boxy letters") and Kanji ("roughly 4 million embodiments of your worst nightmares").

Hiragana is used to spell out Japanese words using syllables. It consist of many letters, all of which look completely different and bear absolutely no resemblance to each other whatsoever. Hiragana were devloped by having a bunch of completely blind, deaf, and dumb Japanese people scribble things on pieces of paper while having no idea why they were doing so. The resulting designs were then called "hiaragana". The prince who invented these characters, Yorimushi("stinking monkey-bush-donkey") was promptly bludgeoned to death. But don't worry, because you'll hardly use Hiragana in "real life".

Katakana are used only to spell out foreign words in a thick, crippling japanese accent, so that you'll have no idea what you're saying even though it's in English. However, if you remember one simple rule for Katakana, you'll find reading Japanese much easier: Whenever something is written in Katakana, it's an English word! (note: Katakana is also used for non-english foreign words. And sound effects, and Japanese words). Katakana all look exactly the same, and it's impossible, even for Japanese people, to tell them apart. No need to worry, because you'll hardly ever have to read Katakana in "real life".

Kanji are letters that were stolen from China. Every time the Japanese invaded China (which was very often) they'd just take a few more letters, so now they have an estimated 400 gazillion of them. Kanji each consist of several "strokes", which must be written in a specific order, and convey a specific meaning, like "horse", or "girl". Not only that, but Kanji can combined to form new words. For example, if you combine the Kanji for "small", and "woman", you get the word "carbeurator". Kanji also have different pronounciations depending on where they are in the word, how old you are, and what day it is. When European settlers first came upon Japan, the Japanese scholars suggested that Europse adopt the Japanese written language as a "universal" language understood by all parties. This was the cause of World War 2 several years later. Don't worry, however, since you'll never have to use kanji in "real life", since most Japanese gave up on reading a long, long time ago, and now spend most of their time playing Pokemon.
Politeness Levels

Politness Levels have their root in an ancient Japanese tradition of absolute obedience and conformity, a social caste system, and complete respect for arbitrary heirarchical authority, which many American companies believe will be very helpful when applied as magaerial techniques. They're right, of course, but no one is very happy about it.

Depending on who you are speaking to your politeness level will be very different. Politeness depends on many things, such as age of the speaker, age of the person being spoken Prepare to be laughed at to, time of day, zodiac sign, blood type, sex, whether they are Grass or Rock Pokemon type, color of pants, and so on. For an example of Politness Levels in action, see the example below.
Japanese Teacher: Good morning, Harry.
Harry: Good Morning.
Japanese Classmates: (gasps of horror and shock)

The bottom line is that Politeness Levels are completely beyond your understanding, so don't even try. Just resign yourself to talking like a little girl for the rest of your life and hope to God that no one beats you up.
Grammatical Structure

The Japanese have what could be called an "interesting" grammatical structure, but could also be called "confusing", "random", "bogus" or "evil". To truly understand this, let's examine the differences between Japanese and English grammar.
English Sentence:
Jane went to the school.

Same Sentence In Japanese:
School Jane To Went Monkey Apple Carbeurator.

Japanese grammar is not for the faint of heart or weak of mind. What's more, the Japanese also do not have any words for "me", "them", "him, or "her" that anyone could use without being incredibly insulting (the Japanese word for "you", for example, when written in kanji, translates to"I hope a monkey scratches your face off"). Because of this, the sentence "He just killed her!" and "I just killed her!" sound exactly the same, meaning that most people in Japan have no idea what is going on around them at any given moment. You are supposed to figure these things out from the "context", which is a German word meaning "you're screwed".
Reason Two: Japanese People

When most Americans think of Japanese people, they think: polite, respectful, accomadating. (They could also possibly think: Chinese). However, it is important to learn where the truth ends and our Western stereotyping begins.

Of course, it would be irresponsible of me to make any sweeping generalizations about such alarge group of people, but ALL Japanese people have three characteristics: they "speak" English, they dress very nicely, and they're short.

The Japanese school system is controlled by Japan's central government, which, of course, is not biased in any way (recent Japanese history textbook title: "White Demons Attempt To Take Aaway our Holy Motherland, But Great And Powerful Father-Emperor Deflects Them With Winds From God: The Story Of WW2"). Because of this, all Japanese have been taught the same English-language course, which consists of reading The Canterbury Tales, watching several episodes of M*A*S*H, and reading the English dictionary from cover to cover. Armed with this extensive language knowledge, the children of Japan emerge from school ready to take part in international business and affairs, uttering such remarkable and memorable sentences as "You have no chance to survive make your time", and adding to their own products by inscribing english slogans, such as "Just give this a Paul. It may be the Paul of your life" on the side of a slot machine.

Secondly, all Japanese people dress extremely well. This fits in with the larger Japanese attitude of neatness and order. Everything has to be in it's correct place with the Japanese, or a small section in the right lobe of their brain begins to have seizures and they exhibit erratic violent behavior until the messiness is eradicated. The Japanese even FOLD THEIR DIRTY CLOTHES. Sloppiness is not tolerated in Japanese society, and someone with a small wrinkle in their shirt, which they thought they could hide by wearing a hooded sweatshirt over it (possibly emblazoned with a catchy english phrase like "Spread Beaver, Violence Jack-Off!"), will be promptly beaten to death with tiny cellular phones.

Lastly, the Japanese are all short. Really, really short. It's kind of funny. Not ones to leave being tall to the Europeans or Africans, however, the Japanese have singlehandedly brought shoes with incredibly gigantic soles into style, so that they can finally appear to be of actual human height, when in reality their height suggests that they may indeed be closer in relation to the race of dwarves or Hobbits.

Japanese culture is also very "interesting", by which we mean "confusing" and in several cases "dangerous". Their culture is based on the concept of "In Group/Out Group", in which all Japanese people are one big "In" group, and YOU are the "Out" group. Besides this sense of alienation, Japan also produces cartoons, and a wide variety of other consumer products which are crammed into your face 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Japanese also like cock fighting monsters that live in your pants, taking baths with the elderly, and killing themselves.

Japanese food is what some people would call "exotic", but what most people call "disgusting", or perhaps, in some areas, "whack". Japanese food evolved in ancient days, when the main staple of the diet was rice. People got so sick and tired of eating rice, in fact, that they ate just about anything else they could find, from seaweed to other Japanese people. This has led to the creation of such wonderful foods as "Natto", which I believe is a kind of bean but tastes like battery acid, and "Pocky", which is a stick with different frostings on it, the flavors of which include Sawdust and Strawberry.

Despite this variety of foods, however, the Japanese have succeeded in making every single thing they eat, from tea to plums, taste like smokey beef.
Reason Three: Your Classmates

As if learning the language wasn't hard enough, Japanese classes in America tend to attract the kind of student who makes you wish that a large comet would strike the earth. There are a few basic type of students that you'll always find yourself running into. These include The Anime Freak, The Know It All, and the Deer Caught In Headlights.

The Anime Freak is probably the most common, and one of the most annoying. You can usually spot a few warning signs to let you identify them before it's too late: they wear the same exact Evangelion shirt every day, they have more than one anime key chain on their person, they wear glasses, they say phrases in Japanese that hey obviously don't understand (such as "Yes! I will never forgive you!"), they refer to you as "-chan", make obscure Japanese culture references during class, and usually fail class. You have to be extremely careful not to let them smell pity or fear on you, because if they do they will immeadiately latch onto you and suck up both your time and patience, leaving only a lifeless husk.Your Classmates Desperate for human companionship, they will invite you to club meetings, anime showings, conventions, and all other sorts of various things you don't care about.

The Know It All typically has a Japanese girlfriend or boyfriend, and because of this "inside source" on Japanese culture, has suddenly become an academic expert on all things Japanese, without ever having read a single book on japan in their entire lives. You can usually spot Know It All's by keeping an eye out for these warning signs: a cocky smile, answering more than their share of questions, getting most questions wrong, questioning the teacher on various subjects and then arguing about the answers (a typical exchange: Student: What does "ohayoo" mean?,Teacher: It means "good morning", Student: That's not what my girlfriend said...), being wrong, talking alot about Japanese food and being wrong, giving long, unnecessarily detailed answers which are wrong, and failing class.

The Deer Caught In headlights are those students who took Japanese because either a.) they thought it sounded like fun, b.) they thought it would be easy, or c.) they just need a couple more credits to graduate. These students wear a mask of terror and panic form the moment they walk into class till the moment they leave, because all they can hear inside their head is the high pitched scream their future is making as it is flushed down the toilet. They are usually failing.

Although many of Japanese-language students are smart, funny, hard working people, none of them will be in your class.
The Bottom Line

If you can get past the difficulty, society, and classmates, you will probably find Japanese to be a fun, rewarding language to learn. We wouldn't know, however, since no one has ever gotten that far. But hey, I'm sure You're different.

Author's Note:This whole essay, although sprinkled with truisms here and there, is a joke and should be taken like one. I'm actually a Japanese major myself, and even if I've given it a bit of a hard time, I love the Japanese language, and I think everyone should give it a try.

You should just be ready for a whole lot of pain.


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Date:2007-05-25 11:07
Subject:This Post Sucks (supposed to be posted last night)

This weekend is gonna suck. Tomorrow morning I'm getting up early to help clean up my parents' house because "people" are coming to look at it (it's for sale). I have no idea why this wasn't done by them a week ago, or why I'm helping--maybe my step dad just wants to spend some time with me. And then I guess my sister wants me to help clean out the garage for the rest of the weekend. Yay. And the apartment I'll be living in I guess we'll be cleaning out too...(not sure why she has to drag me into helping he with the garage...but I suppose I owe it to her).

Matthew Barret has a driver's license now.

Pirate's III is out, and I've yet to see it. I thoroughly plan on seeing it before this weekend is up. Today I applied at Hot Topic because my sister says I need a job. I don't really think I do right now, but she's right it would be good to start hoarding nuts for the winter, so to speak.

This summer is ...

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Date:2007-05-10 16:04
Subject:Guitar Hero 80's Tracks Announced!!!!

* I Wanna Rock (by Twisted Sister)
* I Ran (by Flock of Seagulls)
* Round and Round (as made famous by Ratt)
* I Want Candy (as made famous by Bow Wow Wow)
* Metal Health (as made famous by Quiet Riot)
* Holy Diver (as made famous by Dio)
* Heat Of The Moment (as made famous by Asia)

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Date:2007-05-10 10:51
Subject:Ethics Finale

Choose an ethical theory we have studied and discuss how that ethic would respond to terrorism?
Quantitative Utilitarianism--that of Jeremy Bentham could respond to terrorism on several levels. However, the very idea of the original Utilitarianism, that is, the most pleasure for the most amount of people and throw it at the root idea of terrorism, i.e., inciting terror to further some means, is strange. Immediately one would say, Terror, that is not very Pleasurable. And one would be right. However, let's look at some scenarios that involve intention. Six or so men kill themselves and around five thousand people to weaken a gigantic super evil, thus coming closer to establishing freedom from it for billions of others. This, mathematically would get a big thumbs up. Of course this is from a terrorist's point of view, certainly a lot of people don't share it. Let's take another scenario. Frodo Baggins storms into Mordor and lobs the Ring (to rule them all) into the Fires of Mordor thus destroying it. Frodo is a terrorist. So is Samwise, his compatriot. In this scenario, we have not only destroyed anyone's ability to ever use the ring again (certainly a pleasure), but we have also killed/destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of orcs, and made life much harder for every evil creature in the land. Let's assume that this number is actually one greater than all the creatures and elves, dwarves and humans who would have only been enslaved by Sauron and his ilk. I'd say that Bentham would call it glorious, but numbers-wise, it goes against the actions of Frodo and Samwise for declaring a Utilitarian victory. It seems that Quantitative Utilitarianism is a good fit for terrorism as I've defined it--usually from the point of view is not shared by all, however.

"Bullshit is a form of lying. It is harmful and inevitable." Agree or disagree.
Disagree. Bullshit is not a form of lying. To say so would be a lie and would poison the meaning of the word bullshit, and the word lie. To lie, one must (at least think they) know the truth, and deliberately seek out it's opposite. To lie one must craft an alternate reality that is most assuredly not what the bullshitter conceives of as reality. Bullshit is not untrue, or true as a rule. Bullshit avoids making distinctions, it walks the gray area, and seeks only to misrepresent either the bullshitter, itself or another subject altogether; however the best (and by best I mean most reliable, easiest to craft) bullshit is the bullshit that is true, but misleading. Bullshit is harmful? No. Not as a rule. It can be completely benign, and it can also be helpful. So can lying, interestingly enough. Usually, in my experience, bullshit, and lying, are harmful--and toxic. They are planted as seeds and grow into actual people who live a life heaped upon bullshit and or lies and eventually have a hard time adjusting to reality, whether it be in the form of life in general or those stressors we call people. Single lies can stretch thin over time sandwiched between a man and his family, and one day grow as a not a lie but almost as an impassible rift over the years. But because nine thousand lies end in ruin, I don't think the one good one should go unnoticed. I don't think the bullshit that saved the day should be forgotten as the hero to the few it saved and stoned to death tied to a stake. I bullshit women, who want to know if their feet are too big (for those shoes? No. Just because your sister can fit into them doesn't mean you have big feet. As a matter of fact, she has midget feet!). I bullshit telemarketers, “Is Mr. Fancouching available?” I reply deftly “Fan couching! I haven't in months! Would you like to? I'm not sure who you are but we could simply find all sorts of fans in my couch!” These are pretty silly examples.

Bullshit is however, inevitable—at least in this culture. We are a community of polite people, who claim blunt is rude, and the truth is usually catastrophic.

Discuss the Four Noble Truths and how they apply to deciding a specific ethical problem.
It's not that I hate to poop. I love to poop! I just hate the idea of getting fat. So every time I eat, I sneak off to vomit in whatever receptacle I can find. There's a name for my affliction, I just can't think of it right now. My blood-sugar is too low. Life Means Suffering. So no matter what I was meant to suffer? There's absolutely no avoiding it? It's not just me either? The origin of suffering is attachment. I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and dog-gone-it, people like me! Ha! Well not when we don't care whether you really are smart enough, good enough, or whether anyone likes you! But I do so badly. I don't want anyone to see how fat I really am. I am attached to these people, and to the idea of being attractive, and that malnutritioned equals beautiful. The cessation of suffering is attainable. The unmaking of sensual craving and conceptual attachment. I suppose I could unmake my conceptual attachments. Those attachments to my unhealthy habit and the craving for love and beauty, even the acceptance that drives it. The path to the cessation of suffering. Or the Eight Fold Path, talks of the middle road, and riding the fence between hedonism and self mortification. So maybe I can still puke a little? Just not too much? I don't really think that's the whole answer that Buddhism offers. Perhaps...perhaps it also means that, I shouldn't kill myself over these issues of mine, because in reality I am not one, but merely a part of the whole, that walks around independently but shouldn't worry about acceptance at all! Because there's really nothing in here, inside to judge. It is a nothingness of individuality, that I am only a temporary vessel for this power and I will return to the whole when I die. A part of everyone and everything that I admire. I am no better or worse and the hate I feel for myself is silly. Jeez, that's a load off my chest.

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Date:2007-05-08 22:56
Subject:Mental Health

My live has been a waste. I'm almost 26. The last 10 years has flown by. What the hell is wrong with me? Have I chased too many rainbows? Closed my door to too many who would have gladly kept me warm at night? Am I meant to be like this? Is there something wrong with me? WHAT SHOULD I DO! I grit my teeth and I can't help it. I'm always sucking in, and over eating. I hate myself on many different levels. I feel disconnected from others and from situations. I always feel as though I'm on the outside looking in on what it is I'm doing. I can't hold a job. Or a friend it may seem. I think I sabotage all of my relationships because I can't allow anyone to be close to me. Lately, I've been literally wondering if I'm retarded. I'm serious. I think that everyone pretends and takes pity. It feels it.

Maybe I need more time to myself.

Maybe I need to meet some new people.

I don't know what to do but I feel change is waaay overdue.

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Date:2007-05-02 15:15
Subject:Breaking Ground Breaks Little Ground, But Makes A Good Bathroom Reader

Breaking Ground isn't entirely trash (unlike last year's Days Become Echoes which I will admit I was published in). You know, the BCC "Literary Magazine," that may or may not come out every year or so. I'm not in it this year, which is fine. I usually don't feel remorse at not having a projection of myself lost among a tirade of tired and all too personal and not too original poetic recounts of abuse. That's what usually passes for literature at Freshman and Sophmore institutions like Community College.

The Good
Interesting would be best to sum

The Bad
In Nineteen Haiku you essentially have nineteen haikus strung together describing one thing. Which defeats the purpose of a haiku. If one were to read Bashō, one would find very few actual verbs, because he used nouns and adjectives in a very abbreviated way to give the sense of action. For example:

The crescent lights
The misty ground.
Buckwheat flowers.

However, in many poems Bashō does use verbs, however he uses the verbs not as a current action, but as a general rule of the subject:

Summer zashiki
Make move and enter
The mountain and the garden.

Despite syntax, the brevity versus the rich idea that this particular author plants in one's mind is really what one should strive for with haiku, not merely 5-5-7 measure. Nineteen haikus to me, is not haiku, but actually a form of freestyle.

The Ugly

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Date:2007-05-02 13:23
Subject:Real Men Eat Snack Packs

I am currently a level four Theif, in the Theives Guild (Prowler Rank). I am also a Journeyman in sneaking--and I've definately taken a hint from Kathryn J. Fotorny III, that theivery is where it's at. I love sneaking around and spying, and sniping shit and whatnot. During character creation I chose the "Agent" class, to give you an idea of what kind of stats I have. I've also been using alchemy like a mad man with this character--because I wanted to make a character that could eventually live "off the wilderness," so-to-speak. Kind of sad that I'm playing a wilderness survival sim game when there are trees right outside my town. I've only hunted two deer thus far (on foot). The amount of venison you get from a deer isn't really worth the trouble, but it's damned fun to nail those fuckers. My goal is to snipe one while sneaking, so I can take it out in one shot. I'm going to go start nailing some archery targets near a barracks next time I sit down to play.

A Novice (marksman < 25) suffers normal fatigue loss when drawing a bow.
An Apprentice (marksman 25-49) suffers no fatigue loss when drawing a bow.
A Journeyman (marksman 50-74) has the ability to zoom when drawing a bow by holding the block button.
An Expert's (marksman 75-99) successful hit has a chance of knockdown.
A Master's (marksman 100) successful hit has a chance of paralysis.

First rule of the Theives Guild is do not talk the Theives Guild
Second rule of the Theives Guild is do not talk the Theives Guild

I love the theives guild in Oblivion--way more than any other iteration because it feels more like Fight Club to me than anything else (except no fighting). But they live in poverty, and exist upon principle alone, and this also means that killing on the job is forbidden. Honor Among Theives would be the token phrase here.

Edit: Sniper Tips
Be patient: don’t try and make a shot if the target is wandering about. Wait until you know their routine, how long they stop walking for, and what way they’re facing. That perfect shot is just waiting to happen.
Remain undetected: wait until your target is far enough away from other enemies that firing your shot will not attract anyone else's attention.
Use enchantments: combine an elementally enchanted bow with damage-enchanted arrows for best effect.
Use poisons: brew your own damage health poisons to use on your arrows.
Remember that you can combine the sneak bonus, arrow enchantment, bow enchantment and multi-effect poison for huge damage.

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