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Archive for April, 2005

Roaches, Spiders & Worms, Oh My!

Friday, April 29th, 2005

Everyone has their particular insect or rodent fear; the one creature that will make them throw shoes across rooms and wail for their mama when nothing else can phase them. The fear that will keep them up at nights if there's a chance it may be near - the one thing that will bring them to their knees if faced with it. For me, that fear is cockroaches.

Most people have no concept of what a cockroach truly is. There are the pesky, and hard-to-be-rid-of "little" roaches that usually infest kitchens and dark places en masse. There are the weird looking beetle-roaches that are sometimes used in movies in place of real roaches; what's up with that? But you really don't understand the concept of a frightning, terrifying roach experince until you have come across the Southern variety known as "wood" cockroaches. These suckers are huge.

Growing up the first few years of my life in what used to be a forest, and with the rest of said forest right next door, I saw my fair share of these particular roaches; my personal run-ins with them were enough to scar me for life and to this day the site of a big, shiny roach running around will send shivers up and done my spine and reduce me to a sobbing pile of goo.

One of the strangest phenomenon I have noticed about roaches, other than their Shanna-radar which causes any roach at any distance in a room to somehow end up heading towards me or eventually on my person, is their ability to "show up" after a good cleaning. I spent the better part of this week completely re-arranging and cleaning my desk and the clutter around it; stacks of paper and books were removed. Inevitably, a few days later, a roach appears - apparently I have disturbed wherever he had made his home and he wants revenge on me.

What always freaks me out, though, is where were the damn roaches WHEN I was cleaning?? I never saw a one, nor any hint of one - but a day or two after the mass cleaning has taken place, I wake up to find one scurrying around the exact same areas.

I woke up to such a joy this morning, and since it is somewhere on or around my desk at this moment, that place is temporarily "condemned" and not to be approached. Though I am across the room and on another computer, I realize that I will soon have to move because with roach Shanna-radar being the way it is, he will eventually end up over here on this desk; or worse, on me. JoJo was on the hunt, but gave up - seeming to easily ignore my yelps of "JoJo, kill!!"

And since the roach has disappeared, for the time at least, and I am unable to prematurely end his life with my shoe or JoJo's fangs I will not be comfortable in this room, or at my desk...maybe forever.

This is not how one wants to start off their day.

Cool Questions from EJ

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

I'm a jerk because I asked the lovely and awesome EJ to interview me and then took forever and 20 days to answer her thoughtful questions. Please forgive me, EJ - I know I suck.

But, better late than never...and you know the rules, folks. If you want me to interview you, say so in the comments (but don't be surprised if it takes longer than 20 days for me to get back to you; I promise it won't take forever, though!)

1. If you were given control of the government for what day and could change ONE thing what would it be (and why)?

Ooh, that is a tough one; there are so many things. I think, though, it would have to be completely sanctioned and legal marriages for gays - simply because to not allow it smacks of inequality and equality is supposed to be the very foundation of this country; its in our best interest to allow everyone the same rights as everyone else.

2. You have just been made a super hero and can choose one super power what is it and why?

To be invisible. There are more times than I can count that I'd like to just disappear and not be seen. I think it would be wonderful; not to mention handy for checking up on things you'd not otherwise be privy to.

3. Would you rather be rich and unknown or rich and famous and why?

Rich and unknown. Though I think I could handle fame, and I wouldn't mind it to a degree, I do cherish my privacy. I'm too much of a hermit to be in the public eye all the time. As a general rule, people tend to get on my nerves and I wouldn't want a bevy of them surrounding me at all times.

4. If you were to commit a serious crime what would it most likely be and why?

It wouldn't be anything deliberate; if I got in trouble for something big it would most likely be because I was helping someone or something or some cause I felt very strongly about and whatever-I-felt-I-had-to-do just happened to also be extremely illegal.

5. You've been placed in the witness protection program and they allow you to choose your new name and new residence....what have you chose?

If I ever do end up in the witness protection program, this tidbit of information could royally screw me, eh? When I was little I wanted to change my name to Anna O'Rourke, because I thought it sounded impossibly romantic so I would choose that. As for a new residence, I'm not picky - they could stick me anywhere with fathomless blue skies and that is near endless blue waters.

Many thanks to EJ - these were great fun!

Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Earth DayToday is designated as the day we remember our lovely planet, and make an effort to do something for her. Because, let's face it, without our Mother Earth - we're in some serious trouble.

I try to make every day Earth Day; I recycle, I don't throw my cigarette butts on the ground, and I try to use products that are environmentally friendly.

We've terribly abused our home in the past, and the results are becoming glaringly, sadly and alarmingly obvious. I can never get my mind around those that don't seem to give a toss about our environment or our planet; those that think there is nothing wrong with raping and pillaging the land to give us more. When we destroy our planet, we only hurt ourselves - and more importantly our future generations.

Today is an important day. I urge you to do something good and beautiful for your Mother Earth. Yahoo! has ten simple ideas, Earthday Network and EnviroLink can tell you if there are any Earth Day events in your area, or take a few minutes and learn about the history of Earth Day.

In my little Earth Day post I would like to spread awareness of what has come to be known as "e-waste".

What is e-waste?

In today's fast-paced and increasingly technological world, millions of pieces of technical and electronic equipment are being used, and disposed of, at a rapid rate. This new form of trash is particularly detrimental to our environment; a cell phone lying in a landfill, for example, can emit toxic metals that leak into the air, ground and possibly into any nearby water.

About.com's E-Waste Fact Sheet says:

Electronic waste, commonly known as "e-waste" includes electronic appliances, products, components, and accessories that, for one reason or another, we have deemed obsolete and have thus discarded.

133,000 computers are thrown out every day; that's not counting old cell phones, printers, fax machines, monitors, etc. All of these contain hazardous materials, usually in the form of plastics, lead, mercury, chromium, and cadmium. When these chemicals leak into the soil they will eventually begin to pollute our water.

What people are not yet aware of is that there is an alternative to throwing old electronic equipment in the trash or leaving it to collect dust in the attic. Recycle!

EBay has taken on the problem of e-waste with their new project, Rethink Initiative which encourages people and helps them to recycle, sell or donate their used electronic junk. You will find an extensive list of places you can drop-off used electronics to.

In a similar fashion, Earth 911 lets you search for electronic recycling centers by zip code.

Wondering where else you can recycle your electronic waste?

RecycleWirelessPhones.org or WirlessRecycling.com are both great places to start; donated phones go to charities so you're helping those in need as well as the environment.

The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation has put together Call2Recycle for the betterment of our environment. You can find locations to drop off used cell phones and rechargeable batteries near you.

Verizon Wireless' HopeLine uses the money made from selling donated phones to fight against domestic violence.

And according to this article, The Body Shop is taking donated cell phones through August 31; some will be distributed to "200 women's shelters where they will be given to women at risk of domestic violence for use in emergencies". Proceeds will also go to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Wireless Foundation. Drop off your phone at any The Body Shop location. You can get more information directly from The Body Shop's page, Donate a Phone, Save a Life.

Stuck with an old, unused pc? Donate it to The National Cristina Foundation, which refurbishes the computers to give to those in need. Their Mission Statement reads:

National Cristina Foundation (NCF) provides computer technology and solutions to give people with disabilities, students at risk and economically disadvantaged persons the opportunity, through training, to lead more independent and productive lives.

PC World also gives a wealth of information and good links on how and where to discard old computers in the article Junk Your Old PC - Safely.

If you would like to know more about the growing problem of e-waste, please visit eWaste Guide, a "knowledge base for the sustainable recycling of eWaste". You can also read the article Drowning in e-waste by Henry Norr.

Have a lovely Earth Day, everyone.

The Good and The Bad

Thursday, April 21st, 2005

Today is the first day in quite some time that I've had to brave Baton Rouge rush hour traffic; or as I like to call it HELL.

I remember now why I used to come home shaking and irritable - why the stress of my day was enhanced tenfold by the seemingly simple act of driving to and from work.

What is wrong with these Baton Rouge drivers? Driving isn't that hard. All it really takes is a healthy dose of concentration and common sense - something people in Baton Rouge are obviously lacking.

I don't understand; I simply don't.

Connecticut legalized civil unions for gays this week; that's 3 down and 47 to go. It's not marriage - yet - but give it time; these are amazing leaps. It makes my heart sing with joy.

Off to write a much more interesting and meaningful post about spammers, direct-linkers and ham. Bear with me through this little period of bloggers-block, please.

Tampons

Monday, April 18th, 2005

To the genius from San Antonio, Texas who found this blog by typing "teen toying herself with a tampon" into Yahoo! search:

I hate to burst your bubble, but that's not what they're used for.

Game Companies Aren’t to Blame

Friday, April 15th, 2005

It's Friday.

It's payday.

It's casual-wear-jeans-at-work day.

For a full-time jobholder that's about as good as it gets. Days like this are the best we can hope for. I'd like to say "days like this make it all worthwhile", but that would be a lie.

Now how about this shit: Bill Would Hold Game Makers Accountable for Players' Actions.

I wish that were a joke, but it isn't.

Washington's "big thinkers" (and I use the term loosely) believe that game makers should be held responsible if someone under the age of 17 commits a crime "because" of their game.

What I'd like to know is, how can this be proven? If a kid is disturbed enough to shoot an innocent person just because he does it in a game how is that the game maker's fault? Maybe his mother smoked too much pot while he was in the womb. Maybe he had really shitty parents to start with. Maybe he had other issues. Maybe he's just using the game as a scapegoat to get a lesser sentence.

Where would the line be drawn? I played many hours of Clue as a kid and I wasn't trying to off people on the street with a candlestick. But if this bill was passed, someone could claim that very thing. It's ridiculous.

Furthermore, it's not like these are games intended for kids in the first place. Who are the people that are allowing these children to own and play games like this? I'm not saying every parent can stop their kid from playing M-rated games; there are other parents and older kids that can supply the goods. But, still. You can't hold responsible the game maker - their games are labeled "M for Mature" for a reason; they're not making games for kids. If kids get a hold of them, that isn't their fault.

What kind of a kid thinks it's okay to emulate the violence they see in a video game? There's obviously other issues here if said kid cannot differentiate between the game world and reality. Shooting up cartoon zombies or running over 3-d hookers is shameful, gory fun - but when you turn off the computer or gaming console, you don't just decide to continue the fun in real life unless you are already seriously fucked in the head. Game makers shouldn't be held responsible for people, kids or not, that were wackjobs to begin with.

Games don't make people psychotic. Do I even need to be saying this?

Thomas Jefferson: One of My Idols

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Thomas Jefferson!!!!!

As a present I can only swear to do my best to make sure your name is not tarnished by lies and used to further causes that would've made you shudder in disgust. I promise to do my best to shine light on the principles and beliefs that you held as Truth - ones that I, myself, hold dear to my own heart.

Happy Birthday.