You'll have to excuse me while I indulge in a bit of self-congratulatory backpatting.

So one month ago, AmberFe and I had packed most of our earthly possessions into a 8'x6' U-Haul, given away what we couldn't fit, and set out on the road to North Carolina. There was no real plan, other than that we would be staying with my mom until we were on our feet.

Now, one month later, I'm temporarily using dial-up in our new apartment (which, btw, is far nicer at $50 less rent per month than in Albuquerque) until our DSL gets hooked up. (Speaking of which, we have a home phone, unlimited long distance, two cell phones, and DSL, all for about $160 a month.) I started my new job today (which, btw, pays better than my old job in Albuquerque). After two interviews, they were begging to hire both myself and AmberFe. It's kinda nice to hear that you're "overqualified" for the position. I learned during the interview that I can apparently type at a rate of roughly 80-90 words per minute, which was a shock to me. The interviewer's jaw dropped when she saw that, especially considering that I had achieved that rate with zero spelling errors. Then I informed them that they misspelled "amount" on the test software. I'm such a dick.

In short: We kicked ass, and I'm very proud of us. WOO HOO!

We're working for NCO, but not in debt collections. Interestingly enough, my job is going to be damage notification for UPS. It's funny because UPS managed to damage $650 worth of DJ equipment that was shipped to me, despite the fact that it was packed in a wooden/metal-lined flight case, lined in about three inches of hard foam on all sides. I currently joke that damages occur because of a slight miscalibration in the catapaults that they use for transport. I'm really the only one who finds that funny.

Like I said, our first day of work was good, although very boring. We just filled out paperwork and learned how to log into phones and computers. I once again managed to prove today that my gaydar is completely nonexistent. Seriously. I just don't get it. So then everyone tries to drop subtle hints to let me know, and I still don't get it. Finally, someone will be like, "Jacob, he's gay!", and I'll be like, "Oh, no. I mean, he's really cheerful and all, but I think 'gay' is a bit of a strong word to use." and then I get bitchslapped. It's kind of a sad situation.

So yeah... umm... Saaaan Francisco, San Francisco, San Francisco...

The trip to NC went extremely well. We packed until the evening, and despite being bone-tired, went ahead and started driving, on the premise that we did not want to spend another night in New Mexico. We drove at night, since we didn't have air conditioning. We really probably shouldn't have been towing 2000 pounds on the back of a Nissan Sentra, but we did anyway. It was great. It looked like it was on hydraulics because the back was pushed so far down. We then left Texas, for our next stop: Henrietta, Oklahoma, where we stayed with my friend Zach's parents.

And good lord, what a little slice of heaven that place was. A nice house up on the hill, a deck with a jacuzzi, a fishing pond in the back yard, with a swing in a nearby tree... Trails, two ATVs, a pool... It was so awesome that we had to stay for another day there. It was just beautiful. I took Amber on her first ATV ride. I actually spent most of the day there tearing around the trails and dirt roads at ludicrous rates of speed. I had a blast. Then we showered off, and Amber and I retreated to the hot tub. Zach's parents were just amazingly hospitable. His dad even brought Amber and I a bottle of wine to enjoy in the hot tub. Poured it into glasses for us and everything, before dimming the lights and leaving us for a bit of romance under the stars. I was in awe of their kindness, and they heartily invited us back should we ever pass through the area. I hope I get to take them up on it someday.

Next stop: Nashville, Tennessee. Where my rich uncle lives. Now, when I say rich, I mean, HOLY CRAP! He was like, "Sorry about the mess, they're renovating the bathroom." So we went, "Bathroom? Renovated? We didn't see that."

"Oh no, it's in the other wing."

"You have *WINGS* of your house?"

So we passed out for a while while Mary went to go play tennis with LeeAnn Rimes or something, then we woke up, and he and Mary treated us to a nice restaraunt.

Mexican food.

::beat::

The sentiment was great, but I think they missed the fact that we had just left New MEXICO.

We made it to NC the next day. And now we're well on our way to getting established.

To all you NC noders: drop me a hullo. We're pretty friendly, and Amber and I are all about making new friends out here. If you ever see my UserID on a flyer for a party, that's probably me. I'm worth a listen, or at least yclept thinks so. Maybe I'll host a nodermeet or something when we get the apartment all set up. I'll keep you all updated.

I used to say that it would have to be something unthinkable.

Now, I'm not planning on it. I'm not even expecting it. It's just that I have passed another ideological Rubicon in this strange crusade to power of the Neocons and the Bush administration.

First of all, go read this:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3885663.stm
I'll wait.

This is an article that, regretfully, I have to trust to foreign news services to give the treatment I believe it deserves. Please pay special attention to the last few paragraphs, reproduced below:

No US presidential election has ever been postponed.

Abraham Lincoln was urged by some aides to suspend the election of 1864 - during the US Civil War - but despite the expectation that he would lose, he refused.

"The election is a necessity," Lincoln said. "We cannot have a free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forgo, or postpone, a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered us."

All I can think of to say, in the face of the overwhelming stupidity of this move on the part of the Motherlan...er, Homeland Security department, and through them, the Bush administration, is...no.

No.

In the first, most simple and tactical place - you've lost. The very fact that this has leaked to the media has ceded the initiative. As well stand on rooftops and scream the obvious: "We're frightened of you, and we're ruthless opportunists!" Just making these requests indicates that the possibility has occurred to those in charge; ergo, a free insight into their reactions to attacks by others on the U.S. at that sensitive time. Bravo, boys, hand over the battleplan.

There remains the possibility that this is what they might term a 'clever ploy' and that there will later be a press release of frantic spin, something along the lines of "Yes, we were daring them to make a move during the day of highest alert in order that we might engage."

This doesn't indicate strength. It indicates that not only have you not defeated or even significantly slowed the adversary, but that you don't even know where to look for them and hence must clumsily lay ambuscades - ambuscades not around a dry hole, but around your crown in fact. The election, the act and the event, is the Democracy (O much-invoked name) of the United States of America. If a civil war could not rattle it, then how can this? Can this, truly, be worse than that conflict? I think not. We remain strong, free, prosperous despite the best efforts of the current Presidential administration.

If one was truly worried that Al-Qaeda could produce a disruption equivalent in scale to a full-scale civil war - nay, surpassing that - then perhaps planning is in order - but quietly, secretly, behind the scenes, and NOT planning to give away the store. Planning to ensure that the election comes off no matter what happens - defying hell or high water. Such defiance is what gives this country strength! Defiance of adversity, not craven cowering in bureaucratic delay, ESPECIALLY when said delay threatens the very ideas on which the country is built.

What, then, would you do? When would you consider that the line had been crossed? Suppose, for argument's sake, the election is delayed. Do you, personally, feel that a wrong has been done you? Are you a voter? If so, WHY NOT? They have moved to steal your franchise in the name of the Unseen Enemy.

The Germans have a word for this. Putsch.

Do NOT let this happen here.

I haven't daylogged in a while, so I feel justified in doing this.

But, what do I really have to say? I suppose that's why I haven’t in a while. Well, first, I'm starting my Biology major in the fall, actually 47 days from now. I'm excited.

I'm also happy about my dorm situation in the fall, I am going to be living with a senior in senior housing, which means that I will be sharing a bathroom with two other girls instead of 22. Also that means that we won't have carpeting, and we will be able to move our furniture! In addition the room is about 1/3 larger than my old room.

More importantly than that though, I am going to Stockholm, Sweden for a little while this winter. I'm sincerely looking forward to that. I have never been to Europe, and I think this will be a wonderful opportunity. I'm going to go visit a very good friend of mine, which should prove interesting.

My aunt had twins last Wednesday. Girls. Emma and Erin. I look forward to seeing them, and I look forward to giving my aunt the baby blankets I crocheted for her these last 7 months.

In nine days I'm having my tonsils removed. I'm excited. I don’t think the idea that I'm going under has hit me yet. I have never passed out in my life, so I'm not totally sure what unconsciousness is like. Once I am healed though, this should be worth it.

Also, anyone reading this who likes techno even a little should check out the artist "4 Strings". It's Vocal House (which, I normally don’t really like being a Drum and Bass girl myself), but I especially like the songs "Take Me Away", "Waterfall", "Diving" and "High On Life" from the "Believe" album. Check it out.

I am trying to study math this summer on my own. I originally enrolled for a math class at CSU for over this summer, but then dropped it when I found out how much they were charging for a 5 week course. $1070 doesn’t seem worth it, especially since they split the class into two parts to be able to charge more for it. So, I found out what the book was (which would have cost me another $114), and bought it online for under $20. I decided I could teach it to myself for cheaper, since I didn’t need the class for credit, simply to warm myself up to math for this fall semester.

I have two jobs now. I am still working at the banquet hall, but now I also clean an office building once a week. It's a really small office of about four people which supports a furniture importing and exporting operation. It's nice. It's a little tedious. This will be the third time I've done it, and thank goodness I don’t have that much longer to do it as I will be going back to school.

I am getting tired of having bad jobs. I'd quit the main one I have currently, but it pays well and I don’t think I'd be able to find another job so close to the end of the summer. I'd go back to Boston Market, but working more hours for less pay doesn’t sound that appealing. Plus it isn’t better, simply different. Also, since I'm working on this math stuff, I am going to be busy during the day working on that. Sigh.

I had a great Fourth of July. A thank you must go out to the people who were there, you know who you are.

< June 11, 2004 | index | January 25, 2005 >

Well, it's gotta be time for an update. I haven't been doing a lot, actually. I'm in the gap between 2nd and 3rd years at Uni and, although I have got a job, it doesn't start till next week.

Every summer I get a temp job working at the local college helping out in admissions; this started 'cos my wife already works there, but I tend to get invited back every year, now. The work usually involves adding the info about new students into the database using the horrifically awkward front end system they have. Last year I was taking photos of people and printing out ID cards as well.

Every year, someone has a great idea on how they will interview and admit about three thousand students in a matter of days, and it never works. Huge queues are everywhere, I build piles of incorrectly filled in forms for students that I can't track down, new kids have to do without ID cards and can't get on to the computers in the lab upstairs, etc. etc. etc... This year, once again, they wanna do it all in less than two weeks, starting week after next. So what am I doing for the first week? Well, I went in to see yesterday... what I'll be doing is: "Checking the woman in charge's email and deleteing spam 'cos she's away for the week and doesn't want to come back to hundreds of useless messages." O.K. So that'll take up five minutes a day, and then.... well I guess I'll be noding. This time last year, I was obsessed with blogging, but my weblog has died and gone to hell now, so E2 will become the target of my boredom during this summer....


Oooooh, fuck I'm ill. Not like really ill. Y'know, I'm not in hospital or anything, but I'm surrounded by Obas Oil, snot-filled tissues amd things containing paracetamol. It started on Sunday night whilst we were up at the Pub Quiz at the Kents Tavern with an incredibly sore throat. Then I woke up yesterday morning feeling like I was made of a mixture of lead and dog shit. Today, I do actually feel a bit better, and I think I'll be OKish by tomorrow.

So I'm at home, alone, ill, and bored. What to do, but node? Traditionally, when I'm ill I sit on the sofa with all my aforementioned supplies, plus lots of Coke and blueberry muffins watching lots of BBC News 24 and Ghostbusters on DVD. Well, since I wrote my last node last night... I think I'll have a game of Lords of Chaos... Is that nodevertising? Nah.... just a statement of fact, surely... and who the hell as actually read this far into my drivel-filled daylog? Cheers, peeps!

I know E2 isn't setup to respond to noders and nodes, but I will post this daylog as my thoughts about TheCustodian and the discussions about what happens if there is a terrorist attack at/during election time.

Think it through this way. Let say there is an event in a major city, it disruptes power, communication, ways to get to voting booths, etc. How do you deal with the people that did not get an opportunity to vote? How do you know if the voting machines were moved due to the emergency were not tampered with or fixed? Do you let one location vote on the next day? The day when everything is fixed? Who decides?

Lets follow this situation out further. If it is another close election like last year, how do you deal with all of the problems? If the electoral vote and not the popular vote is the deciding factor in the election, we will then have to deal with another round of lawsuites, hanging chads, and other crap that makes our election system look like a joke. If the John Kerry wins the now "disputed" election, will the Repubilicans react the same way as the Democrats did in 2000?

Better yet, will anyone care about the election? The last I heard was there were multiple attacks being planned for election time once again trying to cause the most damage possible. So these attaccks happen, we, as Americans, beome glued to cable news and all we want to know is did our love ones make it? Who all died, are there more comming? I for one won't care what states vote for who and by how many votes person X won vs person Y.

Is this idea a problem because of who is in office and not that this might be a possible solution? If it wasn't Bush, would people be making comparisons (again) to Hitler and things he tried? Let's say Kerry was President and this decision was made, would people be discussing it as much as they are now? I don't know but I hope so.

Remember this is nothing but a plan in case of a major terrorist attack like September 11th.

My own life is empty and pathetic, so I'm going to return to what I know -- bitching about someone else's. Heh.

My ex-wife (whom I'm stuck living with again now thanks to two more people ripping me off) used some of the money she got from selling my house to buy herself a used car. It was an SUV.

Two weeks ago a drunk driver ran a red light and plowed into the back of her car while it was moving about 30 miles per hour. This caused the vehicle to slide uncontrolled into a traffic pole, totalling the vehicle. At least the impact destroyed the guy's car too. He went to jail.

Last Thursday, she got a big fat check from the insurance company. And that's just to replace the car; her injury lawsuit (hurrah for ambulance chasers) is still pending.

I am now convinced more than ever that her mind is still as broken as when I left her in January. This is because she bought a 1979 Corvette. Fire engine red.

The seller disclosed the vehicle has at least the following problems:

  • The air conditioning doesn't work. This is believed to be an electrical problem in the console and not an issue with the compressor. We live in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • The vehicle is prone to overheating, despite having been fitted with an oversized radiator, oversized cooling fan, and a supplemental electric cooling fan. The seller warned her not to drive the vehicle long distances when it's hot outside. Did I mention we live in Las Vegas, Nevada?
  • The interior is in need of repair -- the upholstry is nearly destroyed in some sections and the driver side door is missing part of the handle on the inside.
  • It will only start after two attempts -- though it does this predictably and reliably, it will never start on the first attempt.
  • It leaks oil. The seller claims that as long as the oil is changed every 3,000 miles (like every good little consumer should do), it does not leak enough to matter.
  • The overflow container (for coolant) has no cap. This makes it prone to leaking coolant.
  • The original t-top tops leak. The aftermarket ones do not.
  • The rear differential sometimes makes "noise" on sharp turns.
Also worth noting is that she doesn't quite make enough money in her current job to pay her monthly bills -- the deficit is about $200 per month.

An old Corvette is not exactly a no-maintenance car.

Many people told her this before she bought this, including the seller. She bought it anyway.

Today, at 6:00am, she was afraid to drive it to work because it might overheat. Before we blame the car for this, let's just look at how stupid she's being about it -- at 6:00am, it's not hot yet in Vegas. Even in July. She gets off work at 1:00pm today, and it's less than 4 miles home from there. That's not enough to overheat the car unless it's drained of coolant entirely.

In other news, I continue to be amazed at how many distinctly different snoring sounds she can produce from that same wretched face. This is particularly entertaining because her snoring never wakes her up, yet when she goes to bed before I do I must maintain absolute silence, as she can hear me sit down on a couch or on the floor, hears the refrigerator open, hears the cats sneeze (blames me for that), hears sniffles and coughs, hears typing on a quiet keyboard, hears labored breathing, and of course somehow hears everything else I do no matter what it is. When she wakes up, she gets up and scolds me for it, even if it was a cat that did it.

Also, she remains unable to learn new things or learn from mistakes -- she is as bad at Dance Dance Revolution now as she was when she bought the game, somehow oblivious to the fact that you're meant to step to a beat (she continues to claim she hears no beat as the game, uh, makes apparently random sounds come out of the speakers) and misses nearly every step. She also continues to try to hug and cuddle with me despite our decision not to try dating anymore and despite the fact that I never reciprocate. I even explain why. Oh yeah, she still wants the other guy too. She tells me this regularly. Then expects me to play anyway. Despite all this, she still acts hurt every time she does exactly the same thing (try to cuddle) and gets exactly the same result (nothing happens). Every time she tries it, I get the sense that she honestly thinks it's the first time she's tried it.

I've seen animals do this. My cats are perfect examples -- they will repeatedly try the same thing over and over to achieve some goal. The effort turns out fruitless, yielding nothing. But they try the same thing again. They don't learn. I don't understand how that is possible -- how can you keep trying the same damned thing again and again when it has never succeeded in the first place?

She must just be stupid. That can be the only explanation.

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