the Power of Words

Writing has never been a passion of mine. I lack the creativity and interesting story telling that are needed to be successful and entertaining. I can usually carry on an intelligent conversation through writing, but I tend to make countless grammatical mistakes, spelling mistakes here and there, and what I do say is sometimes just mindless jibber jabber. I now realize that I am missing a lot by not knowing how to write more effectively.

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wise investment

Note to self: invest in your future.

If only I was smart enough to do the research, patent this technology and market it, investing in reproduction of microscopic hair cells in the cochlea located in the inner ears would make me a billionaire. My generation is going to have severe hearing loss when we get older, and the iPods and iPod knockoffs are one of the main causes.

But that’s like saying guns cause death.

Ah, very true. People with guns can cause death, not the guns themselves. So, let me rephrase this:

People who constantly use iPods and iPod knockoffs at high levels will go deaf unless they limit the amount of noise they allow into their ears on a daily basis. I’ve already got hearing loss with my ongoing, annoying tinnitus, most of which wasn’t even caused by my CD/digital music players.

I think this really is the best research to invest in right now and when I manage to figure out way of doing it, I also plan to invest money in this area. I’m definitely going to need the help as I age because hearing loss runs rampant in my family already.

blackout

Much of Los Angeles “went dark” yesterday during the middle of the afternoon. I have to quote this phrase because, well, the sun was shining brightly. But for much of the afternoon, power was off for nearly a million people. Luckily, and strangely enough, we had no interruption here in Santa Monica. People were affected a few miles east of here. By the time I left work, it was like nothing had happened. I got back to my room and the clock light was flashing.

The biggest pain about this power outage was that my web host provider Dreamhost went down for a few hours. In fact, my e-mail was out all day and didn’t get back up until about 9pm or so. I hate losing access to my e-mail like would frequently happen at my previous webhost. But, according to another DreamHost user, this is the first time something major like this has happened since 1998. So I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. In fact, Dreamhost stated they had backup generators in place, but their network providers also went down and they were forced to evacuate the building.

You may continue spamming me now.

this life in which I . . .

Personal update for my life:

Two months at work this Wednesday. I can’t believe it’s been so long already. It has definitely flown by. At the same time, however, it feels like it’s taken forever. Flown by = wow, it’s already September. Taking forever = it’s just now becoming really busy for me at work.

Cookie cakes taste so delicious. I had never made one before so on Friday I decided to try it out. And I’ll tell you what, it was completely worth all the time I put into it. SO good! Have you ever made one? I used the Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the bag, and instead of making cookies, I just threw it all in a pan. After about 15 minutes of baking . . . OH MY GOD was that good! Hot/warm cookie all lumped together. It was like I took out a hot batch of delicious cookies from the oven, bunched them in a ball and just took a huge bite. Hog heaven for sugar addicts like myself!

Creating websites can be such a long process. I’ve been planning on doing some major changes with this website but continue to be too critical of my new design(s). In fact, I know now that I really hate them. The content is great, the design(s) is (are) crap. I keep looking at other people’s websites and think, “God, I can totally do that,” which in reality means, “I know what they did, I can appreciate it, and if I sat myself in front of my computer to try and mimic the same exact thing, I would get nowhere fast”. I mean, it’s not that I don’t have the abilities to design new, innovative, interesting, attractive sites. It’s a combination of lack of motivation, creativity, trying to start a project, and figuring out what work and what doesn’t. I’m talented enough to do this as a living (if I so choose), but I’m not YET creative enough to come up with original pieces for people on a consistent. It takes a true artist to do something completely new and original. I’m more of an artist like Moby. I take what exists, twist it around, add a few things to it, spice it up or tone it down, then call it my own.

Working six days a week definitely can take a toll on me. It’s not that I’m tired either. In fact, I’m very productive with the jobs I work because I’m constantly doing something. The problem is motivating myself to do everything else in between. Do you ever find yourself coming home after work with a go getter attitude, like you’re going to clean your house or kitchen or room? I sometimes pump myself up and tell myself I’m going to do a damn good job on this or that. Then I get home, feel really tired or lazy, and just wanna take it easy. So I do. Working 8 hours a day, or rather spending 8-9 hours in one place doing tasks for a company to help it make money takes away from my own life and getting other tasks accomplished. I’ve never been a go-getter just making things happen. I’m an ambitious dream-chaser. I have an infinite amount of ambition, so many things I would love to do in my life, but know that I need to create ways to make things happen. It’s the biggest challenge of my life.

Christmas and Thanksgiving might be different for me this year. I’m finally in a real job that only gives me x amount of time off a year. This is bad for trying to visit family. I think there’s a good chance I’m going to stay behind for Thanksgiving. And I do not know what I shall do with Christmas either. The thought of not going back for either is a little depressing, but the realization of knowing that it’s my life and I can do what I want is uncomfortably satisfying.

People have always said the freedom to earn your own paycheck is a reward in itself, that it’s very satisfying. I don’t necessarily find that to be true. Rather, I find it to be monotonous and boring. My job is great. My co-workers are great. I have nothing negative to say about either. I’m just not crazy about waking up early, spending all my time in one place, and not being able to do much else outside (for the reasons I stated earlier). But you know, enough self-loathing. I’m sure I could sit here and bitch all day and night about this and that. But, life’s too short for that. Enjoy the time I have and use my time wisely. That’s the only answer to my problems. I’m taking advantage of every opportunity given to me with this job to make my dreams come true. Even if I don’t live in the perfect world, I’m living the life I want to live. And nothing else matters.

katrina’s response time sucked

All I hear and read in the media recently is about how poorly and slowly President Bush responded to the hurricane. He spent 2 days in Texas that should have been spent in DC or the Gulf Coast. The majority of the National Guard and other forces didn’t arrive until a week ago. Other federal aid took a hell of a long time as well. It was embarrassing and deadly how long everything took.

What I really want to know, however, is why New Orleans or Louisiana didn’t have a decent plan on the local level? Rather, why weren’t they prepared for a disaster of this proportion when they knew it was likely to occur? Sure, federal help for a disaster of this magnitude was essential, but they should have had a plan to help its people within the first couple of days. New Orleans was literally a tragedy waiting to happen. From what I can tell, it seems that the mayor of New Orleans did a lot of complaining. And more complaining. In fact, I have yet to see a photo or read/hear about a story of him actually physically doing something about the mess. He even admitted on the radio last week that he had no idea what the governor was up to. All he could say is where the hell is the federal aid?

Who the heck elected this guy? I’m sure he’s a stand up guy in many respects, but why did he not try to go out and do anything? Or, if he did, why is the media not reporting it? Even after 9/11, New York mayor Rudy Giuliani was right there looking everything over, talking to his people. Mayor Nagin, however, was just bitching away.

New Orleans had plenty of time, PLENTY of warning that something like this could happen. But, time and time again they chose to do other things. It never was a priority because “it’ll never happen to us”. Same reason many people choose not to buy life insurance, health insurance, renters insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance. Same reason thousands of people stayed behind while the hurricane ravaged the city. (yes, I’m aware of the fact that money probably have a lot to do with it. That’s still no excuse for leaving a city completely open to disaster.)

Now the drains are opened and the city is slowly losing all of its toxic, polluted water. Great. Now the Lake and eventually the Gulf of Mexico is going to be swarmed with even more diseases, viruses and toxic infectious organisms.

The local government of New Orleans was a complete failure to rescue their people and plan for a better evacuation. The state government of Louisiana was a complete failure for a lack of quick response to do anything. And the federal government is an embarrassment in their response as well.

For shame, people.

from the depths of hell

. . . arises a blog. A live blog. Someone, in the middle of downtown New Orleans is keeping a blog. Right now.

There is a huge diesel generator that’s given a few guys from Zipa, a webhosting company, the opportunity to let the world in on what’s going on. Who knows how long the power will stay on, but it’s keeping them alive and letting the world hear their voice.

Wired’s report
Michael “The Interdictor” Barnett’s blog
Michael’s photo gallery

just for the record books

I paid $2.659 a gallon this past Sunday. This was the absolute, bottom price I could find at any gas station in my area.

The next time I fill up, I will repost the amount per gallon, hopefully with a photo. I expect that I won’t find it for less than $3.25 a gallon.

If you believe there’s a gas station which is committing the crime of price gouging, be sure to report it to the US Department of Energy.

9/17/05 – After prices went up to about $3.25 in different areas, I have been lucky enough that I haven’t needed gas for a few weeks. But, I filled up my tank yesterday for $2.889 per gallon. Still really high, but not as high as I expected.