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Saturday, August 24, 2002  

177. Fin.

Well, after not being able to put together a computer -- something I've done too many times to count -- I decided to temporarily give up and use some of my pieces to upgrade my girlfriend's computer.

Naturally, I killed that one too.

So I borrowed three hundred bucks that I can't really afford to repay from her mother and replaced her machine, which is what I am typing on now. There are bits of computer splattered all over my kitchen, and the ones that I am able to still take back and get my money for will be returned.

I am very disheartened by all this, as I was just trying to do what it is that I supposedly am an expert at, and I have proven grossly incompetent. As a result, this is going to mark the beginning of an open-ended blogging hiatus (at the very least) for me whilst I go sort myself out.

I expect to return, but don't hold your breath waiting for me.

It's been fun, and please everyone take care of yourselves!

posted by Tacoshop | 2:01 AM


Tuesday, August 20, 2002  

176. The Exception.

So, back in 173, mentioned that there was an exception to the examples of rights I had given in my post. The reason its an exception is because it is the one right that gets treated differently by our law. You personally have the right to forego free speech (although on the surface that seems a difficult concept -- at least for me it did --, I find it ties in neatly with political correctness) self-incrimination, search and seizure, and whatnot. Just because you have these rights does not mean that you must use them.

The exception to me would seem to be the so-called right to life. For a moment, suspend the connotations that the anti-abortion movement has burdened that term with and just think about the right to life. You have a right to be here. I have a right to be here. It supposedly is the ultimate right.

But who gave it to us? The theological answer to that is that God gave us the right to life. Not being religious, I don't buy it. The reason that I don't buy it is that it then becomes a twisted farce when you compare the right to life a woman in America has versus the right to life a woman has in say, Nigeria. By the same token, the right to life of a black man -- a decendent of a people from Africa -- that kills a cop in Seattle does not have the same cachet as the right to life that an Algerian-born cop-killer would have in Marseilles, Frankfurt or The Hague.

Even if you are so devout in your faith as to reject my assertion that God does not bestow the right to life, you can view it differently. God gives the right to 'life' but does not give the right to 'live'. If the right to live exists on it's own or it is in fact just part of the right to life, either way if it exists, it is solely bestowed by society. Man should not be able to undo God's work or will. Either way, I'm going to refer to it from here on as the right to live, in attempt to avoid confusion.

So society (or in essence fallible man) also gives us the right to live. But (in America, at least -- potentially excluding Oregon) that right is not one that you can dispense with. I mean, you can, but you had better be successful, or you'd wind up like Abu Nidal ("Ow! I missed! Ow! I missed!") or face the music of the justice system. Admittedly, typically a person that attempts suicide and fails is seldom ever prosecuted, but the presence of the laws prohibiting it are telling that this is not the average right. Also the people that attempt to assist people that attempt to commit suicide tend to be very harshly dealt with, such as the doctors prescribing lethal doses of medicine for terminally ill patients.

And if society dictates the conditions necessary for the inviolable right to live, such as through death penalties and abortion, then it is no longer inviolable. Since it is not inviolable, it is not absolute. Since it is not absolute, then it is, like my earlier examples also not so much a right as it is a very weighty privilege.

The fact that it is a privilege as opposed to a right (for those that like to make the distinction) is also evidenced by its political expediency. The same segment of society that is pro-abortion is the same segment of society that tends to be against any military action anywhere and the death penalty. Likewise, the same segment of society that is anti-abortion tends to be pro-military and pro-death penalty. The fact that this disparity exists also shines light on the seemingly greater myth that there is indeed a right to live.

The conundrum follows that if there is no right to live then what ultimately is there? Why is there a 'right' to live? 'Because' is insufficient to my mind of scientific bent.

posted by Tacoshop | 4:48 AM


Monday, August 19, 2002  

175. I Could Spend Hours...

...at this site.

posted by Tacoshop | 8:41 PM
 

174. Soup.

I just sent this recipe off to my best friend. She'll probably use less lemon in it.

For my avgolemono soup, you need:

8 c. H2O
4 chicken boullion cubes
(or substitute 8 c. chicken stock)
3 eggs
3 large lemons
some orzo (1 c. to 2 c.)

Boil H2O. Add boullion cubes. When cubes dissolve, add orzo. Boil for 10-20 mins, until orzo is al dente.

Meanwhile, break the three eggs into a blender. Blend them. Squeeze the juice of the lemons into the blender and discard the lemon pieces (or feed the pulp from them to the dog, like I did). Blend mixture. While the mix is blending, fish 1 c. worth of broth out of the pot and pour it into the blending mixture. Blend a bit more. Pour mixture into pot and stir well. Serve.

Bone apeteet.

posted by Tacoshop | 6:16 PM
 

173. Rights?

I've been toying with a bizarre idea over the last few days.

Think about your rights for a minute. No matter where you live, your color, creed or other social condition, you have an idea of your rights. Generally speaking, here in the States an average American has the rights they know about (if they've bothered to read the Constitution) such as your general rights of free-speech, protection against self-incrimination, protection from search and seizure, bearing arms (always a popular one here!) and whatnot. These, we are told are differentiated from 'priveleges', many of which the average American really treats as if they were rights. Driving, cable, twenty-four hour shopping, arming bears, what-have-you. Okay, so I'm a little facetious there, but you get the idea.

So why are these things divided into these categories? Because someone somewhere, or more likely several someones in various somewheres came up with the notion that there are rights that should be guaranteed to people on the basis of being afflicted with the human condition. (These same someones then denied that the human condition didn't apply to most people that happened to have been born black, but that's another horse to beat for another day.)

Time to switch gears on you. This post may be a bit rambling, even by my standards, hopefully you all can follow.

What's a dictionary? My brother and I had an argument about the dictionary. Yes, we argued about the dictionary. It was a strange argument, and we got a lot of strange looks as we wandered aimlessly around the University Village QFC, talking loudly, gesticulating madly and whatnot, but it did signifigantly broaden my horizons.

The gist of it was this: Is the dictionary the be all and end all of the English language (or any language, for that matter)? There are compelling arguments for both the affirmative and negative of this argument. The dictionary is indeed the reference that we use to make sure that we're all relatively understood by each other. This means this, that means that. It's very cut-and-dried. Bam! This is the truth, as is evidenced by what the dictionary says. It is the lighthouse in the literary fog, the fixed point in the ever-shifting terrain of the mysterious land called Connotation. That was my argument, and it seems natural that with the way I think and have been taught to think that I would come to this point of view.

My brother trumped it though. Unlike me, he thinks in philosophical frames than scientific ones. His assertion was that the dictionary was written by men, and was therefore only as infallible as its creator(s).

Back to the concept of rights.

Using the philosophical frame I've outlined with the dictionary example above, I applied it to the concept of individual rights. Rights are ideas and are created and catalogued by men, which automatically makes them fallible. Rights being fallible, I would think, would negate them as being 'rights'. Rather, they then become priveleges with more weight attached to them. We only have the rights I outlined above because some men long ago decided that Americans should have them and then took them. Black Americans, denied rights for years decided that black Americans should also have these rights and effectively took them. Women got the right to vote because they took it. None of these struggles were easy or short in duration and had to survive many a test before they took hold in the greater public conciousness. That's what makes them a weightier form of a privelege and worthy to be called a right.

There is one exception to this, and that's for later this week. I'm off to bed, as is my right.

posted by Tacoshop | 8:42 AM


Sunday, August 18, 2002  

172. I Know the Difference...


Is it GODZILLA?

brought to you by Quizilla

posted by Tacoshop | 2:17 PM
 

171. And They Say Americans are Geographically Challenged...

"...Australia, criticized by some of its slowly sinking Pacific neighbors for its role as Asia's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases..." (italix mine)

From this article.

posted by Tacoshop | 5:43 AM
 

170. And I Waxed Enetation...

In favor of Haloscan now.

posted by Tacoshop | 4:56 AM
 

169. I Feel Somewhat Better Now...

But it's going to be Wednesday before I can get my computer up and running. And I have spent more building this machine than I could have spent on a single, already put-together and assembled box.

posted by Tacoshop | 4:41 AM


Thursday, August 15, 2002  

168. Beginning of the End?

This may be one of my last posts. I am so incredibly discouraged and fed up. Putting this computer together has been such a discouraging morass, I am considering attempting to go though life without touching one of these pieces of shit again.

I have tried three different motherboards, two power supplies, two processors, four different sticks of RAM, three different hard drives, and three video cards. I cannot make anything work. This is the third spectacular failure I've had with computers in three months, and maybe the time is here to just fucking give up.

It is not supposed to be this fucking hard. I've only been doing this for, what, twelve fucking years now?

posted by Tacoshop | 10:50 PM


Tuesday, August 13, 2002  

167. Computer? Com-pew-ter? Oh, Computer...

Before I get to the point of this post, my girlfriend got this result on a nice personality quiz:





I'm Jo, which ambiguous dyke are you? Quiz by Turi.


So I decided to forego rent for a couple of days and get a computer running. I bought this case (well, a case similar to that one, mine is in chrome and is snazzier), an MSI motherboard, a Duron 1.2 GHz chip and 128 megabytes of RAM. And none of it works. I suspect the power supply in the case was bad and took out the motherboard and processor. I've replaced the power supply and the motherboard and tomorrow I go back to replace the processor.

posted by Tacoshop | 12:45 AM


Thursday, August 08, 2002  

166. Delinquency.

Things have been hectic here lately. I actually had a huge post about halfway done and forgot I hadn't saved it to anything when I rebooted the computer. My brother comes back today, so I will probably lose my daytime computer access until at least next week. More blogging at night, when I'm at my craziest.

Anita, the short answer to your most recent question is that what needs to change is me. There is a long answer, but alas, that was the post I rebooted in the middle of.

Toodles.

posted by Tacoshop | 8:12 AM


Sunday, August 04, 2002  

165. Dogs Make Funny Noises...

...when you feed them meat slathered in habanero sauce.

The dog is more of a man than I am in this respect, though. He refused water when I offered it to him and got mad when I didn't give him anymore steak.

Who do you suppose is going to shoot me first for this? My girlfriend because it's her dog, or my best friend because she's a veterinarian? Hmm...

posted by Tacoshop | 7:04 PM


Friday, August 02, 2002  

164. Fat On Biscuits.

If anyone ever tells you that they make biscuits better than mine, then they're smoking good stuff. Ask them for a hit, if you're so inclined.

Just got off the phone with the gf (still in Utah) and she has surveyed her future living arrangements down there. We discussed it, and she's aiming to be in her Provo digs next Spring, and failing that, we'll shoot for the following Autumn. Her future roommate is going to fly up and help her drive down with her truck, and I am going to (rather than a rental) have a hitch put on the van and at most pull a trailer down. Spring may well be a pain in the ass, as some passes might be closed and we'll then be forced to drop down to I-80 and go through Reno and the Nevada desert.

So Anita has been querying me regarding my relationships with the two women in my life. This is the next installment in that soap opera, so you're forewarned.

I'm not sure I can put into words what I feel for either, as each relationship is very complex. I think it stems from the different points of departure that each relationship took. In some respects, my girlfriend and best friend fit a certain broadly-defined mold. They're both redheads and they're short (the tallest woman I've ever had a romantic involvement is 5'2") and they have (relatively speaking) deep lusty voices. I love listening to each of them when they speak, the melodiousness of the words falling off of their tongues after bouncing off of their teeth and jaws. Really the reason I was first attracted to my gf is that the rest of what she is is so dissimilar from Wilma. She was into the whole punk music scene here in Seattle, and I think I've met two women with more tattoos -- my gf has twenty-five.

In a lot of respects, I have far more in common with my gf than I do with Wilma. By all rights, my gf should really be my best friend, and probably would be had I not already had such a strong relationship with the one I have. I am fiercely loyal though, so I could never directly exchange one's role in my life with the other's.

If I were to say that any relationship I have with a member of the opposite sex is x% platonic, y% romantic and z% annoyance, there is certainly a fair mix of x, y and z in both. I think it's fair to say that the relationships were built in different orders with a different mix of those spicy ingredients.

I'm gonna pause here for a moment. Let me ask you, do you think that they were trying to allude anything by the fact that the woman married to Mr. Fantastic was the Invisible Woman? How come it took me thirty-two years to get this? This is what I think about because of Hollywood Squares.

Back to the ingredients. Following the food analogy, each relationship has been like a big crock of chili. In the bowl I shared with my gf, we through all those spicy ingredients in there really spiced it up with that habanero pepper that is good fun sex, and it was a great bowl of chili, but we can't eat any more. Too stuffed.

The other crock had a lot less pepper in it, but we let it simmer for a loooong time. The ingredients got really mixed up together and simmered down a ways. It is a very tasty chili, and it is quite addictive to repeatedly sup from this bowl. But because spicy foods affect people differently, this relationship chili I share with my best friend has left me with the most horrible case of heartburn. I need a relationship Pepcid.

I can't pretend to know what part of what relationship is platonic, romantic and annoying. I can tell you that I get two kinds of what I guess are romanticish schemes in my head and they're either concocted with a person in mind or in a more generalized wish-fantasy-sorta-thing. If I have the specialized ones, then they are with my girlfriend in mind. I have an idea of something that she'll enjoy or will bring a smile to her face or something. Those are the little things that we all do when we're in a relationship with someone we care for deeply. But on the other hand, when I daydream, the kind of dreams where I'm say - travelling and seeing something mysterious, wonderful and/or exotic, my companion in these daydreams (like my answer number 8 in this Eight from the Eighties) is always exclusively Wilma.

posted by Tacoshop | 8:00 PM
 

163. Just For the Record.

Remember those apricot ale biscuits I talked about in the comments of my post where I asked you what your favorite beer was? Well, they're really really good. I think I'm gonna go make another dozen now...

posted by Tacoshop | 2:42 PM


Thursday, August 01, 2002  

162. I Am So Wrecked.

Yesterday was a busy day. I went to another worker retraining session, this time at Shoreline Community College. I want to take their Oracle Certified Professional program (no, this doesn't mean I've changed my mind about professional certifications) because I know nothing about SQL. I mean nothing. I cannot, however, afford the tuition, even with my GI Bill, as it runs $5,800 for two quarters. My todo list today is to pay both past-due phone bills, throw some money at the power company so my brother and girlfriend have electricity when they come home, maybe buy groceries (or maybe not, depends on how much is left) and then line up potential sources of funding for tuition.

I mention this, not to complain, but to dispell any myths anyone may have about me being rich -- which is something I've seen alluded to twice in two days. I don't want anyone to get any ideas.

In my copious amounts of spare unemployed time, I have started volunteering. I have passed my background checks with the county sherrif's so that I can become a trainee for the search and rescue program. That was my other shindig yesterday, the monthly meeting for my SAR unit. I got my picture taken for my identification cards, and I enrolled in the two weekend long SAR academy going in September and October. Also, in two weeks I have a three-day HAM radio class, and I will get my HAM license -- which is something I've wanted to get since I was busy reading Hardy Boys books over two decades ago. So, even if I do not have a ton of money, it is a very exciting time in my life.

posted by Tacoshop | 9:35 AM
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