A further example of modern idiocy: This afternoon, in one of our fine Learning Buildings, I approached the automated snack machines in search of sustinance. These machines take either quarters or our U. of A. ID cards. I lacked change, but I did have a one-dollar bill, and so I made the reasonable decision to utilise the change machine to obtain quarters. I insert my bill, and the machine spits out a Sacagawea dollar coin. (As a quick aside, I like the things and I think more people should use them, but now that they've not been minting them for a while, I fear that they will become too rare)

"Allright," I think to myself, "they placed this machine next to the snacks, so I must be able to use these to purchase said snacks."

Nothin' doin'. The snack machine rejected my dollar coin. It also rejected my ID card, which I learned later on that day still had over $140 on it.

Who the hell was responsible for this madness? Probably the same damn dirty soul who infected me with this head cold... arrrr.
"The story of what we've done in the postwar period is remarkable. It is a better and more important story than losing a couple of soldiers every day."

- U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt (R-WA)

Picked this off of MCM's blog (you may remember him as the dude responsible for The Bush Dyslexicon), and you can be sure that I'll be sending Mr. Nethercutt a letter at some point today. It will likely be scathing in nature. If I didn't have my own reasons for being in the Navy, I would seriously reconsider making this committment to such insane assholes as this man.

Seriously reconsider. Although, I would miss out on inspections, which in a sick way are actually kind of fun. Personal grooming and your uniform must be impeccable, and at any moment you may be asked a question like "What's your fifth general order?" and you have to respond "Sir, this midshipman's fifth general order is (insert GO5 here)!" They usually take place in our SDB's, too, and I don't at all mind looking that sharp.


According to the most recent Depressing Poll™ by CNN, no matter who the Dems field this coming election, Bush wins by 3 percentage points. How? I can't even begin to understand. It must be some form of intense self-hatred that's afflicted half this country. Seriously, we deserve better.

Onward to sleep, perchance to awake tomorrow without feeling crappy.


Well, Aisling is upset with me because I called her from a coffee shop using my CELL PHONE. This after she gave me an article about the rudeness of people who call other people from coffee shops using their cell phones. The thing that truly bugs me about other people using them is how loud they seem to think they need to be. I am mindful to carry on any cell phone conversation in a normal tone of voice, so that the disruption to others would be no greater than if I was talking to someone who was physically present. I also limit my time on air to about a minute, and it's never a social call. I need information, I get it, I thank the other end and hang up.

Lost in Translation is well done and sufficiently different from the mainstream that going to see it was a real pleasure. Bill Murray's ability to express complete, boundless sadness is worth every penny they paid him and more.


Everything in it's right place...

I really don't like paying bills. It requires effort that I rarely feel like expending, what with my sick PT schedule and academic responsibilities and the occasional need to sleep. Hm. Out of 512 physical megs of RAM, I have 36.3 remaining. There are 9 applications running including the finder. I have to work an overnighter tomorrow. I told my workstudy that I'd be coming in this evening, but I have to do laundry then go to drill team practice and finish up some calc homework and probably read a lot of my WWII book, too. And call my dad about a tuition payment that's already a week late (not his fault, mine). This morning at remedial PT all I could think about was the Cowboy Bebop episode "Speak Like a Child."

I guess that's about it. I'm floating down the river...


There's a large inter-unit competition coming up at Cornell University in November, and our Anytown unit is gearing up. MEC competitions, Drill Team, etc. It promises to be a good time for all, and this year the boys in charge are riding us to bring home a few trophies. Hu-rah!

Perhaps I should announce when I leave a room, because I've noticed lately that whenever I walk away from someone, they continue to converse with me when I'm not there. Is this rude on my part somehow? I am sort of quiet that way. But honestly, don't you think it'd be worth checking to see if the person you're addressing a comment to is still in a position to hear you? Hmph.

Saw the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" the other night with Tak. It was funny, in ways I didn't expect. I also won a DVD edition of the movie with - no lie - a Blooper/Outtake Reel. That combined with "Shaolin Soccer" shall make an excellent movie night.


I love it. Cigarette makers are sponsoring adverts that state in clear English "Cigarettes are addictive and will give you cancer. You are at high risk for death. Go to this website for more information on your hideous fate if you use our products." But to smokers, it doesn't make a damn bit of difference. Phillip Morris's bottom line won't be hurt in any way. It's the death instinct turned inward. Why don't people understand what they're doing to themselves and others? There are few bigger turn-offs than yellow teeth, bad breath and a hacking cough.


This is damned scary. How does this man O'Reilley still have a show?

This defective organ of mine might just earn me a medical discharge. A few short months into the service, and a minor case of a non-fatal disease could end it. But you know what? There's jack-all I can do to change this fact. BuMed will review my case, and determine if I should continue, and that will be that. No personal appeals, no procrastination, no nuttin' is going to make a bit of difference. So I'll sit here and watch the rain, and continue to live my life.


Ever get the feeling that you're in exactly the right place at the right time in your life? That's me, at Anytown University, right now. It's sort of indescribable, not in the amazing fantastic sense, but the mysterious mystery sense.

Things have certainly quieted down around the ROTC unit as well. 4th class might finally be said to have their feet under them, and while I might have dug myself a bit of a hole academically I feel that I'm in the Swing of Things like marching drills and squad responsibilities. We're actually getting to know each other, too, which makes things far less awkward. Now if only I could get that PT score up...


Today we watched a video that was really scary. It was put together by the crew of a VFA that was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, available on DVD, and it showcased what the men and women of this Hornet squadron did day in and day out. Essentially, they flew planes and dropped bombs. Oh, and fired missiles. This bit was okay - what scared me was the soundtrack. I really wish I had some way to copy these songs into the blogsphere, because each one was like a handcrafted personal Fuck You to human decency and common sense. At certain points in this country song, which included a line that sounded something like "you hit us in the face, but now we can see out of our black eye, we're gonna lite you up like the 4th of July" they interspliced shots of the WTC being hit by jetliners. It sounds really shitty, but parts of it looked exactly like that al-Qaida recruiting video that we're so fond of mocking.

The cheesy war mongering music. Shots of your troops and future commanders in action, sticking it to the enemy. Exhortations from the fearless leader telling you your cause is just and "we will prevail." Flags waving in the background. It's all pretty goddamned insulting, not to mention sick at heart. That shit is not what America stands for, it's not what I stand for, and I'm putting everyone on notice that this is one officer that will not follow blindly along with the popular war mentality of the moment. America deserves more than that from the men and women who would serve her.
Our season of discontent begins. In any endeavour as challenging as training to become an officer in the USN, there will be those who fall out because it just isn't worth their time. 4th class began the year as one of, if not the biggest batch of recruits that our unit had ever seen, and there's been a slow trickle of kids who've left ever since. Many are expressing dissatisfaction with what they've been required to do thus far, still others are simply pissed that all these extra courses they're taking won't count for bubkiss when it comes to their degree. And who can blame them? This isn't a club or an intramural sport, it's a profession and there's a fuck-ton of responsibility that comes with it. You gots to crave responsibility as though you were some sort of zombie seeking the sweet blood-candy of deadlines and missions and authority and accountability and a host of other synonyms. There are times when I question my sanity, but in my darkest heart of hearts I know that I possess this quality, for good or ill.

Which means that I have to start digging myself out of this soul-sucking pit that Calculus has become. Some of the people in my class are doing all right, but a lot of us aren't, and the dividing line seems to be between those who have had calculus before and those who are new to it, as I am. I know that I can pull a C in that class, which will be just barely acceptable to the Navy, but the most frustrating thing about it is the idea that what's been up until now nothing more than an inconvinience (my aforementioned mathematical idiocy) is turning into a real handicap. Curse you, numbers!


Wonderful experience with the campus network this morning. I had to download a file of roughly 8.6 megs. Safari has this neat feature where it starts the installation process as soon as you've finished downloading, so long as the file is something like a dmg archive or install pkg. So I click on the link for the file, and the Safari download window pops up and says "Installing..."

Wait. It hadn't even downloaded the file yet! Or had it? Was it possible that this 8.6 meg package arrived on my desktop and executed itself between the time I let go of the mouse button and my very next breath? Doesn't that violate the laws of time and space in some universe-ending manner?

Wow. BTW, Ahh-nold looks to be the next Guv of CA. I suggested to my pals at workstudy the other day that we just plant a few hydrogen bombs along the San Andreas fault line and sink that rotten appendage to the nation. Next up is Florida, and to compensate I think we should grab Crete and the Grecian isles. We'd gain a permanent base in the Mediterranian, and all the olive oil our nation could ever need.


"What a bunch of worthless fuckwads."

Those were my exact words when, following an anouncement that the water cooler was broken and leaking copiously onto the floor next to a basket full of extension cords, everyone else in the room did nothing. Three other guys heard my numerous calls for help, but The Simpsons was on, and everyone knows that's far more important than anything. That's the first time in a long, long time that I've had any sort of outburst like that and meant it - most of the time I'm just a sarcastic bastard. I'm a little disappointed in everyone, including myself.


The writing bug has bitten, but I must spend it's energies upon a dirty Paper for my Freud class. This in itself would not be so painful if said paper were not due tomorrow, and I would feel a lot better about writing it up if I had an inkling of what my professor actually wanted. "Convince me that you're smart and that you've read and understand the material." Fantastic. No problem.

It's been a while since I went on a caffeine kicker, but that might just be necessary, despite the consequences it might have for my sleep schedule and not to mention the impact upon a certain malfunctioning internal organ. And now, I've wasted enough time stalling. Time for Work.


Anytown, like many towns, has a bus transportation system which purports to take people from a certain point, let us call it "A," to another place entirely, which we shall designate as "B." They use brutal diesel engines to accomplish this, which produce clouds of toxic gas and smoke that can fairly coat the unsuspecting. You can stand on the curb and watch as a thick brown soot issues from the exhaust pipe of one of these beasts. The wind blows it slightly away from you, and you can think "Phew, at least I'm not sucking that directly into my breathing organs." But it's a lie, and you know it. That cloud will do it's level best to kill you, although it is far too weak to cause permanent damage. It's reach extends far into the future.

The purchase of a mobile phone has greatly enhanced my availability, but if there's anyone out there who thinks I need to be more available for, I dunno, stuff, I'm not sure I know them. I like things to be portable; Pallas, my digital brain extension, my telecom gear, even my external speakers are battery powered and lightweight. Does this mean I'm afraid to put down roots for some reason? I'll have to ponder that one.