Sunday, May 30, 2004

Khobar Hostage Drama 

The Religious Policeman gives a Saudi perspective about the latest battle of what he calls the Saudi Civil War, today's hostage drama in the Saudi city of Khobar. He specifically mentions the mood of the people, and how many have no problem with the attack on foreigners, since it discredits the ruling Royal Family.

So while it would be nice to see Madrid-style mass demonstrations in the streets of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Makkah, Madinah, condemning this terrorism in all its manifestations, forget it, it's not going to happen. We have other priorities. Hitler was obsessed with the racial purity of Greater Germany. We are obsessed with the religious purity of the Arabian Peninsula.

Nice to hear a voice from inside the Kingdom. I just hope he lays low and stays safe.

It looks like Saudi Arabia is going to stay off most peoples' list of travel spots for awhile, and the attack will likely be more bad news for people frustrated by the high price of gasoline.

Now This Is Good News. 

In what must surely be the most popular posting of the week, Living In Europe reports that Danish womens' average cup size is has been increasing, and yes they're real. Insert your own joke here.

Hat tip: Jeff Jarvis.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

A Moment of Silence 

To the relatively few people who read this blog, I would like to request you take a quick moment of silence in memory of my ever faithful Saturn. It seems that sometime in the last couple of days, my car decided that it hasn't been driven enough and needed to go exploring. Sadly, it went exploring without me. And this was only a couple days after I heard this in the news: Saturn SL Is Most-Stolen Vehicle in U.S.

DETROIT (AP) -- The 1995 Saturn SL was the nation's most-stolen vehicle last year based on thefts versus the number of models registered, but hot-selling cars from Asian manufacturers remain popular targets and big sport utility vehicles are gaining ground, a new report shows.

HA!! This has nothing to do with me. Mine was a 1993 Saturn SL, no comparison. That makes me feel SOOOO much better. @$#%@#$&!!!!!

I'm not one to say "Karma will get the peron who did this." I know better. But I have enough friends who've either done Basic Training or have friends in the California ghetto of your choice, so it's damn lucky whoever it was got away without a trace.

Oh yeah, as if having my car stolen wasn't enough to make it an eventful day, I was hired for a new lab position. This means I will see that mysterious glowing orb non-vampires call the sun much more often. Hopefully, I'll even be able to post on a more consistent basis. All I know is the next time I look for a new job, the car goes into storage.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Jumpin' On the Quiz Bandwagon 

Yes, I'm going to try to post the occasional quiz. Hey, it beats thinking of something intelligent to write. So without farther ado here is:

Which M*A*S*H Character Are You? Found on, thanks Caltechgirl.

Click here to take the M*A*S*H quiz!

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Headline Of The Week 

"Bush begins damage limitation exercise as conflict bites into his poll ratings,” from the UK's Independent.

What?!? Damage limitation excercise? Is that the excercise that lowers my cholesterol? I forget.

Found on the Command Post.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

NFL in LA? 

This surprised me, but I guess it shouldn't: NFL eyes Los Angeles team by 2008.

The National Football League would like to have a team back in Los Angeles by 2008, commissioner Paul Tagliabue said Tuesday.

Tagliabue said league owners were pushing for a decision on a stadium site by next spring, giving the NFL the time it needs to return a franchise to the country's second largest television market by 2008.

The strange thing is that since the NFL left LA in 1995, both sides have done very well. The Staples Center is now a downtown LA anchor, the LA Galaxy now play in the Home Depot Center in nearby Carson, arguably one of the better soccer stadiums in the country. LA saved the money that a new or refurbished stadium would have likely required. Meanwhile, the NFL has the best ratings of the four major North American leagues, despite the lack of a team in the nation's second largest metropolitan area. A team in LA would likely be a big hit for the NFL, but as in previous attempts, one or both sides may decide it's not worth the trouble. It would be great to see LA get a team (a natural rival for my 49ers), but I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Generalization of the Day 

For some reason, I'm always interested in different labels that get slapped on a group of people. Being a single Twentysomething, the newest term, courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald, got my attention:

You're in your late 20s, maybe even your 30s, but you think like a teenager. You are without serious commitments - no mortgage, no kids - and you live with your parents, so you have plenty of cash to spend on clothes, phones and music players.

You'd like to be famous, for example, by getting on a show like Big Brother, although you're not much of a TV watcher. You tend to go to the pub or a bistro after work, and when you get home, you're more likely to turn on the internet than the telly.

If that's a description of you, you're an adultescent. If you recognise the description, you may be the parent of an adultescent, wondering when he or she is going to leave home. You're unlikely to be the child of an adultescent, because they don't have children.

The advertising industry estimates that 1.5 million Australians fit the description, and it is in the process of devising ways to separate them from their money

Adultescent? OK, so I'm basically all of those things, except I don't live with my parents. But I have plenty of friends who do. I don't think any worse of them, and I think most people don't spend enough time with their family anyway. And I'm not selfish, either, really I'm not! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to buy an HDTV and see if I can get on the next American Idol.

Stir Crazy 

It's been a few days since I posted, and part of that time I spent with old college friends. One of them came up to visit me, and the next day I traveled to L.A. to see another. It was great hanging out, but breaking out of my day-to-day routine for a couple days was as nearly as rewarding as spending time out with them. I've spent the past few months either looking for work or busy at work, so I haven't traveled hardly any. After awhile I get stir crazy and need to leave town, even if home is a place as nice as the San Francisco Bay Area.

With all the difficult times the whole country has had the last couple of years, it seems like I'm not the only one who is ready to get out of town. People will always need a break from the rat race, or that trip to Grandma's, gas prices be damned. Too bad we all end up traveling at the same time, and have to deal with crowds and stress at a time that should be stress-free. But I guess that's life. Happy traveling this summer season!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Damn toll violaters 

 Posted by Hello

Deer Crosses Golden Gate Bridge.

Doughnuts with your tea? 

In the Sixties, the Beatles kicked off the British Invasion. Now we get even: The first UK Krispy Kreme is set to open in London's Harrod's department store. Poor Brits don't stand a chance, nobody here in the US did.

Representing the Trailer Trash Constituency 

Jerry Springer has been selected as an at-large delegate to the 2004 Democratic Convention. Let him run the show, maybe it would actually make for an interesting political convention for a change.

From VH1's Best Week Ever.

Monday, May 17, 2004

True Colors 

OK, so I haven't posted much over the last few days. Part of that is work, but mostly it's because my brain has been out of focus lately, and I couldn't get my thoughts together well enough to write something worthwhile. Yes, work has been stressing me out, but things there have been getting better and I am starting to get used to it. I think what has my brain in lockdown isn't just work, or all the bad news that keeps coming out of Iraq, but instead a general sense of unease over where I am going in life, career, school, relationships and all that kind of stuff. Having a ten-year high school graduation coming up soon can do this to you.

All of these scattered thoughts are bouncing around in my head, and I was having trouble knowing what to write down here tonight. I was looking to see if there was anything online that would grab my attention, so I was scanning various news sites and blogs of interest looking for anything that stood out over the den of noise. Nothing. It looked like I was to be stuck in my writing and thinking block.

I did come across one posting over at Lex Communis, originally from Mark Shea, about how the American prison guards at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison could be so stupid with their abusive actions. Shea's take is that we are not seeing the prison guards as they really are, but instead we are seeing their sinful actions, and what is needed is repentance. Very Catholic perspective, I know. However, I would like to believe the first picture in Shea's post of the now-famous PFC England, in a nice pose with an Iraqi boy, is the real her instead of the second, more famous picture taken inside the prison.

As for me, I grew agnostic, and bacame Protestant in my high school years. I'll be the first to admit I can let the Christian side of me get a little rusty, but I'm starting to feel the need to amend that. I sometimes feel politics intrudes into religion, and it turns me off. It's too bad really, because dicusssing religion, God, the supernatural, ect. shouldn't have to turn into political warefare.

Sometimes I get frustrated with friends and acquaintances. I need to remember that if they to something to hurt me or something destructive, those actions may well have been wrong, but I'm not seeing the person's true self. Even if you're not a practicing Christian, I think that is a good perspective to keep in mind.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Moving farther away from the past 

Congratulations to South Africa for securing the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the first to be held in Africa.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Happiness Is a Good Playoff Series 

Ahh, I love this time of year. The weather is warming up, summer is on its way, and the sports scene is about as good as it gets. Both the NHL and NBA are in the heat of the playoffs. Right now I'm watching my overacheving San Jose Sharks trying to get a game back versus the Calgary Flames. Earlier, the LA Lakers won one of the most exciting games of the year to take a 3-2 lead over the San Antonio Spurs. I find I'm one of the few people on earth who closely follow both hockey and basketball: most are Basketball People or Hockey People. During the six months I lived in the UCSB dorms, I got to experience this firsthand. My residence hall had one TV room, and the battles over programming were epic. The Basketball People had strength in numbers, but the Hockey People had tenacity on their side, and more often than not won the fights. Of course, all the Sports People would form a temporary alliance to defeat the Friends People, heh heh. That does remind me, I missed the Frasier finale, oh well. I'll probably catch it on DVD someday. Too much good TV in May. Being the TV slave that I am, I met most of my college friends through that TV room: you all know who you are. Go Sharks! Go Lakers!

UPDATE: Sharks win Game 3, 3-0! Wo-hoo, at least they won't go down without a fight!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

If Memory Serves Me Right.... 

Why didn't I think of this?!? Accidental Verbosity points us to a potentially great concept: The Iron Blog. For those out of the loop, Iron Chef is a TV show on Food Network, pitting a challenging chef agains one of the in-house Iron Chefs in a one hour cooking battle. The Iron Blog picks a topic, then has bloggers of different political viewpoints go at it. Should be good for readers who like a good political debate. Up now: Don Rumsfeld, stay or go? I am undecided, but leaning towards keeping him, so I'll be interested in seeing what both sides have to say.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Fighting Nature 

It's been a few days since my last entry. Five straight days of 12-hour workdays will do that to you. Add the fact that those work hours go from 7:00pm to 7:00am, and you can see how I can be a little slow in catching up with non-work business. One of my co-workers put it best in regards to working the grave shift: "We are fighting nature," trying to sleep during the hours the rest of the world goes about its business. So, this evening is the first of three days off, and I get to sort through five days of backlogged mail. I got my weekly US News & World Report, which included an article about the necessity of getting enough sleep:

What's still wanting, however, is a public-health rally like the ones that brought attention to the ravages of tobacco, the dangers of obesity, and the need for daily exercise. Let's face it: We arise every morning and do our jobs, but for want of sleep, not always as healthily or as safely as we could. It's time for a wake-up call to nudge our sleepy nation.

I volunteer to lead a Million Sleepyheads March on Wasahington. Just make sure the rally starts no earlier than 10:00am, ok?

Friday, May 07, 2004

New Heroes 

Yesterday, NASA announced its 2004 astronaut candidates class. I am so very proud that two of them are UC-Santa Barbara Gaucho alumns! Congratulations to Mission Specialist-Educator Joseph Acaba, Mission Specialist Jose Hernandez, and the other nine candidates in this year's class. I can't wait to see you restart America's manned space program. God bless you.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Life of a Vampire  

Well, it's 11:50 on the West Coast, and I just woke up. It messes with your system when David Letterman is your wake-up show, but that's life when you work grave shift. This is actually a good day, I am on break. Usually I work from 7pm to 7am around the weekend at Alza, helping to manufacture the birth-control patch. I would prefer not to work the time of the week when the rest of the world is letting their hair down, but that's life and it will do for the immediate future. Makes it damn hard to have a social life, or even go grocery shopping sometimes. Oh well. Hope anyone who stumbles by and reads this had a happy and festive Cinco de Mayo. Viva Mexico!

Too Close To Home 

Looks like one of those US National Guard prison guards comes from my current city of residence:

WALNUT CREEK -- A former National Guard commander is accused of taking naked pictures of female U.S. soldiers while they showered last year at the Abu Ghraib prison in
Iraq, a newspaper reported.
Capt. Leo V. Merck, 32, of Fremont faces a court-martial, the Contra Costa Times reported in today's editions.

So much for being able to feel distance from the story. First, Iraqi detainees, now fellow soldiers. If it's as bad as it looks, the military should throw the book at these guys.

Too Much Free Time 

Yes, I joined the rest of the world and started a blog, which probably means I have too much free time. I don't know if it will be a "What I had for lunch" kind of blog, or a "What I think about current events" blog. Probably a little of both, and various other random rants and musings.

About me: A typical boring existence as a Twentysomething spoiled white male American living in Fremont, California. I'm sure millions (billions) of people around the would give anything for "boring." I graduated from UC-Santa Barbara a few years back, so Exgaucho (a reference to the school mascot) is as good a name for me to take as any. I have a degree in Aquatic (aka Marine) Biology, but I'm currently working in the real world in the biotech/pharma industry (more on all that later). Politically, I am a dying breed that refuses to be a slave to either party or ideology: a (gasp) centrist! I think that is more than plenty from a blogging novice for the time being.......