Classes are really hard this year. I am taking only freshman classes at that. I think that since it's an actual declared major, they're trying to get as many kids as possible to drop. They call the kids in my major "pre-history, pre-business, pre-Christian thought". It's scary when by the end of spring semester, you'll lose 1/3 of your class. It's scary when your class is like 90 people to begin with.

I'm a biology major…. I'm sitting in my 9am biology class. This teacher is actually really boring. I kind of wanted him to shut up about… 45 minutes ago. I'm glad he is almost done. I swear, if he didn’t tell those stupid stores that made you ask "what is he talking about, and how does this relate to what we were learning?" we'd be in chapter 14 by now.

Sitting here… listening to this teacher makes me realize the importance of distractions. I enjoy the internet, but unfortunately, there is none in here. I definitely enjoy the card games that came with windows. I am getting better at them. Cannot wait till break. I've been counting the days, only 16 more days.

I'm ahead in my reading finally. This is good news. Tonight I vow to work on my chemistry homework, and sit down with the teacher before it is due so that I actually know what I am doing wrong for once.


This is my life, and it's ending one minute at a time


I am looking forward to going to calculus later today, and getting my test score back, no… wait not really. The last test we (as a class took), the class average was a 61%. How is that acceptable on the part of the teacher?


Grove City College, where your best hasn’t been good enough since 1876.


I'd drop out if I wasn’t more stubborn. I'm not use to not being the smartest person in my class. I'm not use to struggling to keep ahead. Homework? What's that?

If I was at any other school, I wouldn’t have to work for my degree. I wouldn’t have to ….

Open Letter to Microsoft and Steve Ballmer

I recently submitted this to the Contact Us page on microsoft.com

In a recent article on silicon.com*, Steve Ballmer is quoted as saying "The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'."

I would like to ask Mr. Ballmer where he gets his facts from. You don't just go around accusing millions of people of theft without some facts, do you? If I were to publically accuse Ballmer of orchestrating a slate of recent bank robberies, I'd better have some evidence to back it up. Otherwise I would expect a lawsuit. Yet somehow Mr. Ballmer gets away with accusing the majority who get their music free from a Microsoft tax as being thieves.

Frankly, I'm nauseous at the thought of him sitting in his office dreaming up ways to slander the public in an attempt to swindle American business into Microsoft's pocket. Where are his ethics? How about a little less time playing politics and more time running a company. I've got a novel idea for you:

Instead of trying to bamboozle people with a lot of made-up facts and the biggest marketing budget this side of the Bush campaign, why don't you put some money into R&D? The reason iTunes and iPod is winning is because they work without assuming everyone is a criminal. Window Media on the other hand is a heavy-handed, overwrought, monstrosity of a format. I have over 1000 CDs that are rapidly deteriorating. If I want to rip those to MP3 and store them on my computer, then that is fair use, not theft as Mr. Ballmer and the RIAA would have us believe.

I am a technological agnostic. I have dozens of friends and family members who turn to me to influence their tech purchases. In the past I have recommended Windows PCs due to their low cost and general utility. However, I feel that Windows is continually being crippled in an attempt to maintain high profit margins while alternatives such as Mac OS and Linux are constantly improving. You may be able to fool some people in the short term with your incredible spin machine, but in the long term you're going to need technology that people want.

One thing you have to understand about your business is that you don't create the trends. Microsoft has been successful by surfing the wave of technology, not by changing the weather. You've been successful against Apple because they create a luxury product for a niche market. You've kept your head above water against Linux because they had to come a long way from scratch. But unless you get back to your roots of developing the technology people need, you are doomed! Mark my words, Microsoft will flounder without the technology. Please get back to doing something productive and maybe I will some day be able to buy your products again.


Update October 7th, Microsoft responds!

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft.com Customer Support with your feedback.

We apologize for the delayed response. I realize that you are reacting on the article you saw in www.silicon.com and you are offended on a comment made about the music format in Apple's iPod.

We would like to assure you that when Steve Ballmer implied that most of the music on iPods were stolen, he absolutely did not intend to single out iPod owners for criticism. In fact, given that they have access to their very own - and very popular - online music store, they are likely among the most law-abiding consumers of digital music. But the reality is that piracy remains high in terms of illegal downloads of music, and while online music services are getting better and better and winning more customers, piracy is still a major problem both on the PC and on devices.

Microsoft Windows Media digital rights management (DRM) is a great way to limit piracy, and the main point Steve was trying to convey was that it requires a coordinated effort among many industry partners to do it right.

More information on this platform is found on this page: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/drm/faq.aspx

If you have other suggestions or comments, please feel free to send us another e-mail.

Sincerely,

Teresa Microsoft.com Customer Support


* http://management.silicon.com/itpro/0,39024675,39124642,00.htm

I turn and walk away
Then I come round again
Looks as though tomorrow
I'll do pretty much the same

He awoke one morning only to discover that the funk he’d been feeling for the past couple of days was starting to get progressively worse. It had started out slowly enough, something akin to that first sneeze that signals the onset of a winter cold or that little pimple on the skin that soon blossoms into a full-blown outbreak of pus bearing sores. He’s not sure how to shake it or cure it and he’s worried about it becoming contagious should it be allowed to run it’s course.

He’s afraid to examine to what’s going inside his head, much like peeling away the layers of an onion, he’s afraid of the tears it might bring. These days, it seems as if routine is his enemy and that the enemy seems to be growing stronger with each passing day. He knows that most people each have their own cross to bear but, for the time being, takes no comfort or solace in the plight of others. For the time being, he must come first, for if he doesn’t, nobody else ever will.

The routine he suffers through, while monotonous ,is not out of the ordinary. As a matter of fact, most people, if asked, would call it a blessing. He knows this is true but this realization does nothing to raise him from the height of his doldrums nor does it help mask the passage of time. In the cosmos of his own mind, he is truly a dunce.

There was a time he took a sort of refuge in the safety of the routine. He compared himself to an actor in a well rehearsed play, reading the same lines to the same audience night after night. He felt inspired and took on an air of confidence knowing that there would be no surprises and no changes to the script. Unlike the real world actor though, he cannot quit his part or change his role and his confidence has begun to ebb.

The pressures of the real world have also begun to take their toll He has assumed what seems a lifetime of debt that at times seems insurmountable and his sleep is broken and fretful. He no longer smiles at the simple things and has become jaded towards those of who love him.

I must turn down your offer
But I'd like to ask a break
You know I'm ready to give anything
For anything I take

He longs for the days when the spell will be broken, when he can once again enjoy the simple pleasures that life had once afforded him. In the back of his mind, he knows the day will come, he just doesn’t know when it might grace his doorstep. He knows that the best magic comes in the simplest of forms and that the magic doesn’t require the skill of the magician and that all it takes is the belief of the audience. We are after all, each and every one of us, magicians in one form or another.

He’ll go home tonight, secure in the knowledge that the blessings bestowed upon him far outweigh any self imposed curse. He hopes to hide his current displeasure with life from those he holds so near and dear so as not to poison them with his problems. He knows it won’t be easy but, for the sake of those same people, he knows it must be done.

He will wear the smile, he will do the job, he will open his arms, his mind and his heart and hope that by doing so, the demons that have taken up temporary residence of his mind will be vanquished, never to return.

He is, after all, only human and that is the best he can hope for.

(The words that partition this w/u are excerpted from the Grateful Dead’s Mission in The Rain – words by Robert Hunter, music by Jerry Garcia. It’s a song that somehow speaks to me)

My personal experience on the Atkins Diet

I suppose that the critics are correct when they suggest that the diet, as they have presented it in atkins diet, is bad for you. But, as in all things, there is another side to the story.

First of all, when I speak about the Atkins diet, I speak from the perspective of someone who has had an overwhelmingly positive experience on the diet. Over the course of the last 9 months, I've lost nearly 50 pounds. I did have carb cravings for the first month. But mostly, it's been easy for me. I've done it eating foods I enjoy, and I haven't had to count calories, measure portions, or feel like I'm starving myself.

Secondly, to the many noders here who say the diet is bad for you, I say 'Worse that what?' Let's do a quick examination of just what I've given up:

1. Bread, pastries, buns

Hmm... these products are made with white flour. Now I'm not a nutritionist, but it's my understanding that white flour is a really highly processed foodstuff with little nutritional value. Some people suggest that it's actually bad for you.

2. French fries

I think there are few people here that would argue against the idea that giving up french fries is a good idea. And, when I'm faced with french fries as a side dish, I always ask the server to substitute steamed veggies. So not only have I eliminated something that most would agree is exceedingly bad for you, but I have substituted something that is exceedingly good for you. I'm eating more broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots then I ever have in the past.

3. Candy, Desert, Sugar, Ice Cream

Foods made with processed sugar are yet another really bad for youtm thing that I've given up on the diet. 'Nuff said about that one.

What else have I done?

The diet suggests that drinking a lot of water on the diet is crucial, so I drink about 80 oz. a day now. I take a high quality vitamin supplement. I feel great, I look great, I have more energy and I've started exercising on a regular basis. As I approach my goal, I will also begin to add 'good' carbs back in, like pasta and fruit. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the changes I've made are in fact very positive, healthy choices. My diet before Atkins was just awful. I'm a health nut now, by comparison.

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