As I stand here on the cusp of level 3 I find myself contemplating my first node audit. Perhaps node reconstruction is a better term as I intend to repair rather than just statisize. 67 nodes probably doesn't sound like a lot but from where I'm standing it's like looking up at a teetering mound of unstable semi-satisfactory writeups. I'd better ready the scaffolding. It's gotta be built to last or it won't (um)...last. Complete strangers are gonna be reading this stuff... That's quite a bit of responsibility for someone as consistently irresponsible as myself.

/me cowers in fear

...In other newz...
I got my indy tickets last night! Ok don't all get excited at once, but to me it's worth writing about. If anyone wants any merchandise from the event /msg me and I'll see what I can do (sorry, the miss indy entrants refuse to be sent via post). The whole thing has turned into a bit of a road trip so hopefully i will live to tell the tale.

All else in my life is stagnant and/or immeasurably uninteresting.


Ack! I lost experience, no hang on...there it is.
If there is one thing that goes in the same category as spam email, then it has to be chain emails. It seems strange that otherwise normal people would believe that by sending an email, nothing more than a organised set of 1's and 0's that they can somehow influence their luck.

However I've just discovered there is something worse than the stupid emails that claim you will have 10 years of good luck (or whatever they are offering) by forwarding it to 100 people. It is a petition email.

Here is the story (copied straight from the email):
Someone went into a chat room and saw something that was horrible! Two people were fighting over how black people suck. They called them "niggers" and "jungle babies" and they said that they multiply like crazy just to get a welfare check every month. This is important, I want to get 250 signatures on here. If you are not racist, then please sign it. If you ARE racist, don't sign it. Send it to as many people as you can. If you don't send this, you will not have bad luck, but have to live with the guilt that you hate someone because they are different, or you were too busy at the time. Think before you delete this. Once it has 250 signatures, send it to petal_306@hotmail.com Please send this to at least one person. Copy all the words then paste them on a blank email and add your name. Also make sure not to put your last name for security! Thank you! P.S. Please copy this and go to compose and paste. Thank you again!

This is the stupidest thing that I've ever read. Now I see several problems with this story:

  • Someone went into a chat room: It would be nice to know the exact chat room. Heck, it could have been one at a KKK website for all we know.
  • I want to get 250 signatures on here: Why? I'd like to know what me adding my name to this list will achieve. Apart from telling all my friends that I'm a gullible idiot, it seems pointless to add my name to a list that I doesn't even require my full name. And what will be done with the petition after it has its needed 250 names? Further trouble arises when I found other versions of the email stating that only 200 names were needed.
  • If you don't send this, you will not have bad luck: Oh, it is good to know that this isn't one of those emails that does have the power to do that
  • petal_306@hotmail.com: The best thing is that this email address is not even valid (according to http://www.breakthechain.org/). So after all the effort, nothing will happen when you send it on.
However the email did get better as underneath were the list of names. The email I received had 231 names attached. All seemed well until you reached name number 66. We then started to get the comments, which showed as much coherency as a four year old. I could just imagine some teenage girl saying them. From Maria in Canada, we have the insightful:
Omg, I hate racists, I hope they f*cking die because t's wrong to treat somebody differently just because of their culture, skin color, whatever. Go whoever started this!

And from Megan (who also likes to be called Meges) we get:
i hate RACISM that is just mean just becuz they have differnt color of skin dosnt mean anything ok so dont be rude!!

And my last extract comes from Leanne (who obviously needs to get rid of her cellphone before it ruins any chance of her being able to spell properly and write coherent sentences):
Racists suck!! PPL should think twice about wat they say because the person that is dissing the other person might be different to them...So put urself in other ppls shoes.

Now, I must say now that in no way I am a rascist or condone rascist behaviour. It is just that this email does not seem to provide enough information for me to believe that it will do anything. If I run the chatroom (if it even exists) then how I am to know that the list was not created with a random name generator. It also lacks the seven requirements that http://www.breakthechain.org have for an e-petition:

  • Expiration: There is no time limit
  • Focus: There isn't a well defined target
  • Integrity: Is someone coordinating the petition to make sure it gets to the proper party in the proper format?
  • Privacy
  • Reliability: There is someone to send the email to, but of course the email doesn't work
  • Sponsorship: The organiser is undefined and there is no way of contacting them apart from the email address
  • Validity: There are absolutely no cited facts or sources

I can't believe I'm defending Rush Limbaugh...

For the 2003-4 NFL season, ESPN wanted to do something special to add some spice and interest into their NFL pre-game show, NFL Sunday Countdown. The decision was made and, of all people, Rush Limbaugh was brought in to be a part of the show. While Rush, unlike Chris Berman, Steve Young, Michael Irvin and Tom Jackson, is not known for his sports IQ, they decided he might make a good addition in a limited role. Playing off the recent change in the NFL rulebook of the coach's challenge, Rush was given two flags, which he could throw, that would allow him to enter the discussion for a brief period of time. Say what you want to about the man, but he didn't do a bad job in this limited role.

That is, until this past Sunday. Mr. Limbaugh has come under fire for comments he made on the show during one of these challenges. On the show, he claimed that the media over-rated Philidelphia Eagles' quaterback, Donovan McNabb, because they wanted a black quarterback to succed, "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well"1. Many people, upon hearing this statement became fussy, thinking that Limbaugh somehow equated McNabb as over-rated because of his skin color, where Limbaugh was talking about the media and their hype. Limbaugh continued the statement, adding similar feelings for black coaches as well.

I think Rush has a valid point. The NFL, save for maybe Warren Moon and Randall Cunningham, hasn't had any big name black quarterbacks in their recent past. Sure, Kordell Stewart, McNabb, Duante Culpepper, Steve McNair and Michael Vick have all come up since then and defined the role of the modern black QB, but where are the Dan Marinos? The John Elways? The Joe Montanas and Steve Youngs? The guys that would consistantly go out and win for their teams. That took their teams to greatness. Look back to the 70's and 80's. Where were the black QBs then? And where are the black coaches now? The NFL had to go so far as to install affirmative action in the hiring process for new coaches because there are not many black coaches. Another question, where are the white runningbacks? Why isn't this a big deal that so many skilled backs are black, but it is in the QB situation?

I don't think Limbaugh should have been fired. Sure, his comments dealt with race, but I don't think they were racist at all. However, some other people disagree. Wesley Clark, a general currently running to gain a Democratic bid for the presidancy claimed "There can be no excuse for such statements. Mr. Limbaugh has the right to say whatever he wants, but ABC and ESPN have no obligation to sponsor such hateful and ignorant speech. Mr. Limbaugh should be fired immediately."2 Damn! This guy wants to run the country? Did he even watch the show? Or just the snippet of the quote involving the color black? Did he even hear that? Another canidate, Howard Dean supplied, "To imply that the success of African-American is an undeserved gift from a biased media is absurd and offensive."3 No one can deny McNabb's success as a player in the NFL. He's made it to the NFC championship game for the past two seasons, however he did not take the team that far himself. He's not Michael Jordan nor Barry Bonds. American football is not a game of individuals, it's a team sport. Your all-star running back won't gain yards if the offensive line doesn't make a hole for him to run through. Your quarterback is worthless if the receivers can't catch.

Everyone from the ever-present Al Sharpton to NAACP president and CEO Kweisi Mfume have commented on what Rush has said. They almost all express their desire to see Rush fined or fired. Rush, himself, resigned from the show earlier yesterday morning. However, I don't think that's the big story here. Why are all these black people so jumpy about racism? I understand slavery, that sucked but it's gone. I also understand that after that, they've been shat upon with segregation, Jim Crow laws and other atrocities. About how they didn't have equal rights until late in the 60's and some would even argue now. How are we going to get along equally if everyone, white and black, don't make steps to be cool? If Rush Limbaugh had said that "Donovan McNabb is a terrible quarterback because he's black" that would be obvious racism. Saying he's overrated because the media portrayed him as better than Rush thinks he is, is not racism to my mind. It's a shot at the media. With so many special interest groups and whatnot in America today, can race/skin color/religious preference be talked about anymore? Why is there no controversy about Jewish quarterbacks? It was all the rage when Al Gore was running with Joe-I hate television-Lieberman, where'd that fire go?

I think, as Americans and as humans in general, we all need to relax when it comes to our obvious, and not so obvious, differences. He's black, let it go. He said something about homosexuals, let it go. Do something important with your time instead of bitching about this crap. No one needs to boycott ESPN. If you're organizing a boycott, make sure you know why, before you do. Stop jumping to conclusions and relax. If it's injustice, then call it so, if it's stupid words out of a big-mouthed idiot, something most of us can agree on, let it slide. Didn't you learn anything from Bill & Ted? Be excellent to each other.

"What you don't understand, you can make mean anything" - Chuck Palahniuk

My sister finally got her stuff back from the ex-boyfriend. He put it all in a box and handed it to her. In addition to a few pairs of shoes, some t-shirts and a pair of underwear (no idea how these got there considering that my sister never ever wears underwear), he also threw in every picture that they are in together, every picture with her in it, some shampoo, Q-tips and a few bars of soap, I am guessing stuff that she bought. In addition to the toiletries, he also threw in: a box of pasta salad, some old apples, low fat pop-tarts and some protein bars. Okay. I'm guessing the point he was trying to make was: I don't need you or your stinking pasta salad. A little over dramatic I think but hey, whatever. My question: What statement does this make? I'm guessing, "I don't need you." She was the one that broke off the relationship but saying "My ears are clean enough without you, have your Q-tips back" just doesn't make sense to me? Has he no dignity?

And when do you cross over that line between making a statement and making yourself look stupid? There is also a thin line between heartbroken and restraining order psychosis and he is straddling it. It's kinda sad if you think about it. He's a 38-year-old man and the only statement he chose to make about the end of the entire relationship was, "I don't need your shit bitch! How do you like those rotten apples?" (That was funny. Go ahead laugh at it. No one will see you).

There were quite a few signs pointing to his immaturity and the returned toiletries, spoiled apples, and stalking outings shouldn't come as that big of a shock. He did smear white shoe polish all over a picture of Christy and her ex-boyfriend. He also used to talk to me in [baby talk} whenever I would answer the phone (people that talk in baby talk to adults should be shot).

Maybe it wasn't an immature gesture at all. Maybe he was trying to tell her to, "You smell. Please take your soap back and take a shower." Or maybe, "You can't hear for shit, use these Q-tips." Maybe the pasta salad and Q-tips hold some sort of sentimental value and he wanted her to have them. I really don't know. It's a mystery to me.

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