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01/30/06 10:51 - 39ºF - ID#36635


Ok. What's the password for "computer?" It's time for a real userpic. I mean, how lame is it that "computer" has defaultface?



Ok, maybe I don't have the rights to either of these pictures. Still! I seem to recall a conversation about a default initial userpic gallery and someone said "anybody can easily make a custom userpic."

p.s. - I don't' really have it in for (e:Paul), it just seems like it lately.

p.p.s. - omGAWD! Would you LOOK at that dead-on soul-piercing gaze! How could you not love him?

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Permalink: userpic.html
Words: 98
Location: San Francisco, CA

01/29/06 03:00 - 40ºF - ID#36634

Losing my religion

Two things I firmly believe. One is, no one person can hold all the answers. We may strive to find the answers through science, religion, intuition, drugs, listening to records backwards, or any combination of the above (including science AND religion). But there are always going to be unsolved mysteries, and I personally like that. You might think immaculate conception is inconceivable (pardon the pun) - and I completely agree. But hell, I think the carnal variety is pretty freaking miraculous too. Oh sure, I understand the whole egg and sperm thing - and I see the results of that experiment walking by me every day. Then again, I still find radio waves and satellite TV amazing and wondrous things, so maybe that's just me.

Suffice to say, I think science goes a staggering way toward illuminating the mysteries around us. I love learning about stuff, even if I don't completely understand it. I think I fall into the "glass half empty" view of science though. Seems to me the more we learn, the more apparent it is how much we don't know. And I actually like that too. I'm more afraid of answers that presume to definitively close a topic than of answers that beg more questions. Again, that's just me.

Which brings me to the second thing I firmly believe. Everyone should be able to express their views/beliefs in a way that does not impose or force them on others. I think estrip is an ideal forum for that. I love reading everyone's journal, even when I fundamentally disagree with some or all of what they're saying. If I had "your" upbringing, education, lucky breaks, tragic losses, supporters, dependents, betrayals, triumphs, regrets - hell, even hormones - I'd have a different point of view than I do now. And my point of view will undoubtedly change over time. Your post may or may not contribute to that, even if I don't think it will right now.

Ok, how many of you have already picked your "side" and started formulating your response to my post? Well, that means you've STOPPED LISTENING and I'M NOT DONE YET!!! Yeah, it's human nature, and I do it too. But I at least try to hear the other point of view. If I have a different point of view, I'm free to voice it and I hope you will too. We may agree or disagree. But if we get hung up on "I'm right and you're wrong" or "the group you affiliate yourself with is wrong for these specific reasons, therefore you're wrong" - that I object to.

Here's my plea:

To the scientists - before you respond to a post, test for these criteria. Does your response hold one person accountable for the specific failings of a larger group, and/or make a blanket judgment on a group based on insufficient/contextural data? If so, reformulate. Don't worry - you'll still piss people off.

To the religionists - before you respond to a post that targets any specific group remember this. Sometimes openly being a member of a group makes you an easy target. I personally don't think that means you're automatically in agreement with or accountable for every action of that group. In other words, don't let someone else make you throw out the baby with the bath water. If anyone is a member of a group that comprehensively embodies exactly what they're about, then either they really are a fanatic/extremist, or they're a member of a group of one. So pick the points you disagree on and expound all you want. If a pissing match ensues, I guess all I can say is, turn the other cheek. And I think you know which cheek I mean.

As for the clairvoyants, druggies and reverse lyricists - contact me directly and I'll see what I can come up with for you. ;-)

I've been reluctant to call anyone on this in the past because I hate to get in the middle of a pissing match. Come to think of it, I could use a really long shower right about now. I have a lot more to say, but I already know it will be taken out of context and used against me. So why bother.

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Permalink: Losing_my_religion.html
Words: 715
Location: San Francisco, CA

Category: cool stuff

01/28/06 12:29 - 37ºF - ID#36633

I am so happy right now


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Permalink: I_am_so_happy_right_now.html
Words: 2
Location: San Francisco, CA

Category: dreams

01/24/06 12:07 - 41ºF - ID#36632


In my dream my mother and grandmother are still alive. We were all traveling together and something suddenly happened that killed my Dad. We had to travel back home and it was a long and difficult journey. When we were close to home my grandmother said when we get back we should take my mother out to a nice place for dinner - some place where she could wear her white suit. The night we got back my sister had to go for a fitting for a wedding she was in, so I knew she couldn't have dinner with us. For some reason I thought my grandmother couldn't eat until 7PM, and with my sister not being able to eat with us, I decided the best thing would be for a family friend to take my Mom for dinner at a nice place at her regular dinner time. When I picked Grandma up and drove to our restaurant for dinner and my mother wasn't there, it suddenly dawned on me I should be with my mother that night no matter what. My grandmother thought we were meeting my mother there and she kept saying "where's Sonja? We have to be with Sonja now." Which obviously is so true.

I hate dreams like that.

I'm sure there are many personal inadequacies illustrated in that dream, but the one that stands out most for me is my tendency to overthink/overorchestrate things to the point where I miss the heart of the mattter. I don't think I was ever so heartless in real life as I was in my dream. But no doubt if my life were ever audited, the shortcomings would speak for themselveds.

More to come, but my friend Steve just called...

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Permalink: dream.html
Words: 292
Location: San Francisco, CA

Category: housing

01/22/06 03:49 - 36ºF - ID#36631


While I was waiting for my iMac to arrive I decided I'd better paint the freakin' living room.

It's bright!

So the living room is a wake-up color and the bedroom is a more soothing green.

I don't think I posted an exterior shot here before.

Buchanan Street in Japantown.

p.s. - maybe now I should start to think about putting in furniture.

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Permalink: Nesting.html
Words: 72
Location: San Francisco, CA

Category: health

01/19/06 10:51 - 41ºF - ID#36630

mind, body, soul

Since my mind generally has the upper hand 24/7, and Steve Jobs now has my soul covered, I figured I better invest some time in the body department. So I'm back to doing yoga and pilates, etc.

(e:Terry) - make that doctor's appointment [inlink]terry,454[/inlink] (if you haven't already) and get a referral to a specialist (or a second opinion) if your primary care physician doesn't do it justice. You should NOT be in pain.

One other word of advice in addition to that (and this goes for just about everyone) - try a yoga class. Seriously, it's freakin' unbelievable the difference slight adjustments and a heightened awareness can make.

If you have any sway with the feds, I honestly think any corporation whose employees sit at a computer desk all day should be REQUIRED to offer yoga/pilates to offset the damage. We are on the verge of a computer-generated RSI epidemic. I am not kidding.

ok, off the soapbox.

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Permalink: mind_body_soul.html
Words: 160
Location: San Francisco, CA

Category: family

01/19/06 10:15 - 41ºF - ID#36629


aunt lisa me and my mom need help with our itunes


please respond

I love getting emails like that.

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Permalink: help.html
Words: 22
Location: San Francisco, CA

Category: dreams

01/19/06 12:34 - 35ºF - ID#36628


I had a weird dream last night that I finally decided to take advantage of the health care coverage I started shelling $162/mo out for last month. When I went in for my appointment, I chatted with the woman at the front desk for a while, then she gave me a form to fill out. I started filling out the form and realized it was a job application. All the people manning the front desk were busy chatting up other applicants, so I just kept filling it out, thinking maybe I'd end up getting a job with paid health care benefits, then I could make a medical appointment later. This guy comes over and asks me if I want to help test out the new ping pong table - I can finish filling out my form there. I go over and sure enough, 2 people are playing ping pong on one side of the table and they have 3 chairs set up on the other side and one chair is free. I sit down to finish the form and this facilities-type guy asks me if I want a Pod workstation? The guy who invited me to the ping pong table answers '"no, she wants a kneeling workstation like everyone else." I'm thinking wait a minute, what's a Pod workstation? Or a kneeling workstation? Do these guys know I haven't even finished filling out the form yet? I try to go back to the form for the third time and I'm still at the question "Have you been distracted much lately?" At this point we discover there's a hole in the carpet under the table and decide to tear it up to see what's underneath. There are a few other layers of crappy carpets, then what looks like it could be a nice wood floor.

Then a whole bunch of other crazy sh!t happens. But to finally answer the question, YES! I HAVE BEEN A LITTLE DISTRACTED LATELY!!!

Before I get distracted again, let me respond to (e:Jim)'s [inlink]twisted,288[/inlink] comment. Yeah, I did add more memory. Like so many things in life, if I had it all to do again, I would do things differently. Not that I'm unhappy with the ways things turned out so far, but I spent a bunch of time researching the best deal, which probably would have been to use the Macworld value code (MWSF) at Eunitek to get the $1649 promotional price. But when I went to do that, the price came up as only $1,614.05! Wow! But when I actually added the 20" Core Duo to my cart, the price stayed $1,614.05, but the item in my cart was the G5. I called them up and walked them through recreating it, and they told me to call on Monday to place my order. I said the point is, there may be a lot of unhappy customers ordering an iMac Duo but getting a G5, or being charged the wrong amount, or both. He had no answer for that.

Between that and a number of other near-misses, fantastic treatment at the Apple store where they let me try out the wireless mouse even though there's no way to keep one out for demo purposes and have it secured, free shipping from and the $100 rebate for the printer ($50 more than any where else), I ultimately decided I would gladly give Steve Jobs my last cent. Which ironically is pretty much [inlink]twisted,288[/inlink] what happened. Ha! Post-Macworld euphoria might have had something to do with it too.

I had them put in a 1G SODIMM in place of the standard 512MB for an extra $100. Which is crazy I know because I could get the 1G for $100 and end up with 1.5G (my ex gave me the same advice). That is definitely one of the things I would do differently. If I had, my iMac almost certainly would have shipped a day sooner, and I would have gotten the full rebate (I'll still get $50 from Canon), which would have paid for the memory. D'oh! Best laid plans...

I also did not upgrade to the wireless keyboard and mouse, mostly based on reviews/advice to look at other manufacturers or wait for a multibutton wireless mouse from Apple. My ex says a single-button mouse would drive me crazy after being used to multibuttons/scrollwheels with my PC. I'm not so sure. I long for a wireless world in the worst way. The jury is still out on that judgment call.

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Permalink: dream.html
Words: 753
Location: San Francisco, CA

Category: mac love

01/18/06 01:48 - 34ºF - ID#36627

this is the day...

...when things fall into place.

Oh yes indeed. I ordered it. I'm not really sure if this is the day, but my life will surely change. I am so freakin' excited. Can this $1799 item ($1959.92 total including memory upgrade and tax) really make me so very happy? I almost want to suspend this moment of infinite promise. Somehow I think it will. Steve Jobs, I love you.

Which reminds me - Happy Anniversary (e:Jim) and (e:James)!

Not to get philosophical about [inlink]jim,55[/inlink] being philosophical, but my recent happy buying experience on really highlighted how unusual it's become to have everything handled right - even when things go wrong. Case in point - when my iMac was ready to be configured and shipped on Monday, something went terribly, terribly wrong. My credit card took that inopportune time to max out. D'oh! HOW did I let that happen, you ask? Well, since I was technically homeless for a few weeks before I finally got this place, I had to get a PO Box in Alameda - inconveniently located on the wrong side of the Bay from me now - and I guess some bills are still going there. Basically I fucked up, ok?

Anyway, I get a nice email from explaining the problem with helpful suggestions for a solution. After surviving the shock of reading the words "transaction declined" and immediately concluding then dismissing the notion this must be some kind of divine intervention to keep me from making a purchase I maybe shouldn't be making, I pulled myself together and literally sprang into action like my life depended on it. PLEASE wait for me Steve, I swear I'm good for the money.

So the first thing that comes to mind is WHY didn't the nice guy who called from my credit card company on SUNDAY to ask about some "suspicious activity" mention the pre-authorization for the iMac that clearly went through on that day? I know this because he listed the printer I also bought from at the same time to qualify for a rebate. I told him, yes, I had made all those purchases, and there should be a larger transaction for about $1799 for the iMac. All he said was "ok." So now I'm kicking myself that I could have had some forewarning about this, and realizing my $100 rebate for the printer is now in jeopardy if I can't buy the iMac at the same time before the deadline.

I check my credit card balance online, and sure enough, I'm about $250 shy of what I need for the iMac purchase. THEN it dawns on me, the other "recent transaction" cited was the $240 fee when I joined the local health club on Sunday. WHAT WAS I THINKING! I already splurged and bought myself health care insurance after 5 years without. My health and future aren't worth THAT much. If I had to pick between health insurance; better overall health and fitness; or the new iMac - I would have to go with the iMac. But it's too late now! Somehow I have to pay for them all.

So ANYWAY, I begrudgingly remember I do in fact have another credit card - one that I reluctantly signed up for back in the day when I thought Alamedalink could be a self-sustaining and/or profit-making and/or web design business-generating site. (Ha! I was so naive back then.) So I pull out that card, dust it off, plug in the numbers, and voilà! Transaction seems to go through. I remember to change the billing address first and make a mental note NOT to immediately chuck any mail from that credit card company into the recycle pile next month.

THEN the really scary thing happens. That transaction is denied too. Now I'm panicking, and the divine intervention conspiracy theory is starting to carry some weight. This is already a really long story and I'm nowhere close to finishing so here's the Cliff Notes version of the rest.

I call - explain the change in credit card, and that the new card definitely has more than enough credit to make the purchase. He says he sees the new card, but it's saying transaction declined for that one too. Gives a number of reasons why that could happen and suggests I call the credit card company.

I call the credit card company and get the message "due to the MLK holiday our offices are closed today." D'oh! I call the emergency 800 number and actually get someone. She says the transaction was declined because they tried to submit it too many times. Well, yeah - because after it was declined in the first place he tried it a couple more times while on the phone with me. Anyway, as interested as I am in debugging why this happened - and why to me at this exact point in time - I'm more antsy to get my transaction back on track. So I tell them I NEED this transaction to go through, so they force the authorization and give me an authorization code to give to Apple directly. I call back up, give them the code, and voilà, I'm back in the good graces of Steve Jobs.

This story doesn't really make sense without the contrasting bad experiences I've had recently. But you all know how that goes. It just seems like more often than not, so much is spent on the hype and marketing, but the product rarely lives up to its promise. So then we buy into the hype and promise of something else to make up for it. That's a really bad cycle.

Ok, enough ranting for now. Time to check FedEx tracking to see if I can spare an hour to bike down to the gym for my 11:30am yoga class.

p.s. - come to think of it, the last time I almost maxed out my credit card was for another computer purchase. I had to FAX my life story to a complete stranger that day before getting on an airplane at 8am. THAT was fun. You would think the credit card company would have up'd my credit limit by now. What kind of communist country is this? (Ha! Just kidding.)

p.p.s. - I might have to move this post to - if I had an account there. Not sure if it's interesting enough [inlink]hodown,215[/inlink] for (e:strip). How am I supposed to know that? Doesn't everybody think their own day is more interesting than it actually is? Oh well, there's no law that says you have to read it. I suppose we could add a polling feature and "unworthy" posts could be voted off the 'strip. But I think (e:Paul) has enough going on right now [inlink]paul,4134[/inlink] without coding that. (Much more to debate on this topic, but just playing devil's advocate for now.)

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Permalink: this_is_the_day_.html
Words: 1159
Location: San Francisco, CA

Category: mac love

01/13/06 09:05 - 56ºF - ID#36626


What could be better than waking up in San Francisco, rolling out of bed, and hauling my ass down to Macworld for the third day in a row? Feel the love! Ok, the only thing better would be to take an extra long (1/2 day) "lunch" and do Macworld with (e:j3sse) on company time. But someone had to move to Buffalo. Oh, and we got laid off. D'oh!

I haven't bought a darn thing yet. I almost bought some accessories for my intended iPod, but I can't bring myself to buy gifts for something I don't own yet. Call me superstitious.

I think I have to buy a new Mac instead. But which one?

p.s. - This PC is killing me. If someone were ready to commit suicide and a mere $1,699 (or $1,999?) item would make their life worth living again - that would be a good investment, right?

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Permalink: Afterglow.html
Words: 150
Location: San Francisco, CA



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