I've been through a lot lately with my health (as many of you know). To add insult to injury I found out that the lactose-free ice cream that I thrive on has been discontinued. Faced with no other easily available frozen treat, I've taken the plunge and bought an ice cream maker.

Over the weekend I bought a Rival model 1.5 quart ice cream maker. It doesn't require salt; just some milk and vanilla ice cream mix (which only contains vanilla, food starch, and salt). The majority of the device must be frozen before use, and this afternoon it was ready to go. I poured in the mixture, added some carob chips, and let it run. Forty minutes later I had ice cream.

The next experiment will be adding carob powder to the mixture to produce carob ice cream. Beyond that I'm not sure what else to try. The machine has a small loading slot on the top for adding fun ingredients to create different flavors and varieties of ice cream. I have a recipe for a safe butterscotch topping I want to try, and I could always add some strawberry syrup to produce strawberry ice cream. If I want to get crazy I can make three seperate loads of ice cream - vanilla, carob, and strawberry - to produce Neopolitan. I might even add Ensure to the mixture to make healthy ice cream.

It's true: if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled war-themed daylog

Dissent is good.

I am reminded of the story of the girl who fell in love with a revolutionary. She stayed by his side and helped in the fight for justice and liberation from a brutal dictatorship that controlled their country with an iron fist. They fought together for many hard years, and when they had won the battle, the revolutionary was elected as the the president of the country. Made hard by his years of fighting and living at the edge of death, once he took control, he set out to silence those who supported the old dictatorship. There were threats to the new government and the plans the revolutionary had. He became intolerant of those who opposed those plans and saw them as standing in the way of progress. Soon there were many who stood against the new regime of the revolutionary and acted to end that regime. Many would be jailed or executed in an effort to preserve the new regime. The new regime became not very much different than the old regime and soon there was a new revolutionary with a new girl at his side.

True democracy requires that its leaders embrace dissent.

Once you dismiss other opinions as misinformed or irrelevant, you become a dictator. When your word is law and all other views are insignificant or wrong, you no longer support freedom and democracy. You only support the righteousness of your own vision and your own beliefs. You have become the tyrant.

It doesn't matter if you are the leader of the world's last remaining superpower, or if you are a journalist, writer or average joe on the street. Once you have stopped listening to or caring about the opinions of others, you have stopped believing in democracy. You have developed tunnel vision and will never see the forest. You will only see your own trees. Don't be shortsighted. Listen. This is a time when we all need to listen. Allow there to be room in your mind for other opinions and other information to influence your views on events that are unfolding. This is a critical time in the evolution of the modern world. No one should remain silent, but not everyone needs to yell. Embrace your brothers and sisters. We are all human beings and we all have the same rights to our opinions and beliefs and we have no right to impose them on others. Unless, of course, you don't believe in democracy.

"Democracy: Social and political equality and respect for the individual within the community."
--American Heritage Dictionary

Chaos is coming.

I walked into wal-mart recently, which I hardly ever do. I needed something...but I don't remember what. I think it was blank CDs. I ended up wondering over to the gun counter. This bright strip of red-orange caught my eye. It was a Crosman wrist rocket, a good one too. This wasn't a forked tree branch with some old inner tubing, it was better. It is better. It had a pistol-grip handle, with a rubber arm brace and metal struts for the elastic tubing. I bought it. I took it home to test it.

I fired off some small stones. It was cool! I could shoot hundreds of feet, I could dent two by fours. If I wanted, I could hit the hapless geese wallowing in my creek. I was having fun...then came the realisation that I wanted more power. It is a quest that has plagued me quite a bit. First, it was designing more powerful air cannons. I used compressed air, not gas vapor explosives, like spud guns. I could get 110 PSI and shoot over 100 yards. Then, I theorized that industrial, flanged steam pipe would work even better...haven't gotten to that yet...to expensive, and I need an industrial air compressor. Anyway, I decided to turn this slingshot into a high-precision thing. I took it down to my basement, which is a mess, but it is my geekish sanctuary of old computer parts, tools, and random clutter.

My first intent was to put a rod going out the front as a sort of aiming guide. I tried with a few plastic and fibreglass rods. Then I noticed that one of the many random objects in my basement would work better. I selected a T-bar from an old snare drum harness. It is two pieces of metal. The first is about an eighth inch thick, 1.5 inches wide, and eight inches long. It was the upper part of the T The second piece is about six inches long and fits perpenducular on the end of the first piece, making a T. I attached this to my slingshot. The base of the T fit right into the top of the handle. I secured it with a hose clamp.

The t-bar greatly improved the balance of it, and since it was now heavier, my aim was steadier, thus more consistant. I noticed that it also aided in the draw, as the weight aided in a smooth, slower draw. This all leads to consistancy, which is the basis on which all else having to do with the art of slingshots is built. I could go hunting for christmas dinner now...How about Goose, Canadian goose? My neighbor told me I should, as they like to nip at the fingers of children who's idiotic parents don't understand that wildlife can exist in suburbia.

I had succeeded in making my slingshot into a better tool. Yeah, I now consider it a tool. It is not a weapon, because I don't use it as one. It is more a source of entertainment. Slingshots don't hurt people, people hurt people. Especially those with bad aim...especially females...actually, I retract that, my girlfriend has very good aim. I took it back out and tested it. It had a nice, weighty feel, almost erotic in nature.

So, I had the strangest chat with a random 'female' online. She swore we had sex at a party I wasn't even at. She tried to talk me into having HAD sex with her. That's right, past tense! Well, let's just take a look at the talk itself!

Bold: AIM user name (I'm CrAzE Pat)
Regular: What was said by user before statement
Italics: Commentary and thoughts by me
grin483: you are, really really neato
Ha! Like I didn't know that already!
Auto response from CrAzE PAT: Every time that I look at myself, I can't believe how awsome I am!
See! I know I'm cool!
grin483: i just thought, you should know
For some reason this made me think this was a random noder or Clair. I have no idea why
CrAzE PAT: what?
I just got back to the computer, little bit off set by someone thinking I'm cool.
grin483: hey there puddin!
So it's a girl, or atleast I hope it is.
CrAzE PAT: pudin?
CrAzE PAT: er... puddin even
I spell good. I didn't spell check this W/U cause it's a direct quote from a chat.
CrAzE PAT: right then, might I inquire to who this may be?
grin483: oh this is molly!
Dionne introduced me to a Molly online. I guess it's her. I guess she's here to mock me (because Dionne hates me now).
CrAzE PAT: /me thinks
CrAzE PAT: Oh, hi Molly
Still clueless but being nice.
CrAzE PAT: Do I know this "mo-lee"?
Explains itself soon enough.
grin483: mo lee?
CrAzE PAT: Yes, that would be me saying "molly" by sylable
grin483: i see
grin483: that's fun!
And that's creepy and fake sounding!
CrAzE PAT: right... but the question was something to the effect of "do I know who you are"
Just answer the damn question! I'm starting to think this is some sort of ploy.
CrAzE PAT: I'm actually drawing a blank
grin483: yeah! you dont remember me?
No shit! What gave you that idea? Stop beating around the question!
CrAzE PAT: Can't think of it
grin483: oh :-(
Awww... aren't smiley faces lame in text?
CrAzE PAT: perhaps you could remind me in vivid detail
CrAzE PAT: seeing that I have a very large inability to remember much of anything
Just fucking tell me!
grin483: drunk
CrAzE PAT: drunk?
I'm not a bad drunk. I've never been hung over. I always remember where I was and what I did. I suspect this might be Briglass making fun of me.
grin483: yeha
grin483: i guess uw ere drunk at the time
CrAzE PAT: very unlikely
I know this isn't real now, but I wanna know who it is still.
CrAzE PAT: I can vividly remember everytime I've been in such a state
CrAzE PAT: perhaps you would like to enlighten me with where this was?
5 minute gap
CrAzE PAT: um...
2 minute gap
CrAzE PAT: wow, thanks
2 minute gap. I assume they're thinking of a lie.
grin483: oh sorry!
grin483: im typing a paper
Okay, I guess that is possible. That doesn't make you a real person.
CrAzE PAT: okay
CrAzE PAT: I'd wouldn't be telling the truth if I said I'm still curious as how I know you... or better yet how you know me and I have no clue who you are
CrAzE speak good!
CrAzE PAT: perhaps this is a ruse of sorts
I just watched Clerks, and I think this person's dicking with me!
CrAzE PAT: So, do share, where did we meet?
grin483: at the party a couple weeks ago
CrAzE PAT: hm... who's place?
Just fucking tell me you inconsiderate fuck
grin483: im not really sure, im not really friends with them...hm maybe steve lebac?
Steve is a fat, lame, loser boy who could never thow a party. That, and he doesn't drink, or smoke.
CrAzE PAT: humorous
CrAzE PAT: honestly
Liar. LIAR!
grin483: ok? you are kind of odd
And you are a liar fishing for something or dicking with me to be an ass.
CrAzE PAT: Steve would never have a party
The debunking.
CrAzE PAT: what school do you go to?
grin483: marquette
Okay, they know me. They know things about my area. I suspect Dionne a lot nad perhaps Briglass.
CrAzE PAT: grade?
grin483: 11
I think it is Dionne a little more. She thinks I "abuse younger girls sexually" because she found out I ate out a girl at a party once. She actually liked it, a lot... and told me so. I was not pleased in a sexual manner by this girl.
CrAzE PAT: do you have a picture? I am better with faces
Let's see if you can pull off finding a fake picture real fast.
CrAzE PAT: perhaps you knew what they were drinking at the party?
CrAzE PAT: or remotely what area it was in?
grin483: i dont have a pic, sorry
Test failed
grin483: around clayton it was?
Uncertain are we? In St. Louis, Missouri, Clayton is a rather big road.
CrAzE PAT: clayton
CrAzE PAT: no
CrAzE PAT: no not really
I haven't been to any parties off clayton.
grin483: ok
CrAzE PAT: this is odd, you are telling me of a place I have not been. Claim to be a person I do not know. Seemingly only remember one thing from the party I was at, and that is my screen name.
Letting 'her' know I smell bs.
grin483: like i said, i wasnt driving
When did you say that?
CrAzE PAT: Perhaps you can remember how you got the name?
I don't give out my screen name to people, I give phone numbers. Above that, I try to get their number instead.
grin483: you gave it to me, ass
Oh yeah! Wait... no I didn't!
CrAzE PAT: hm... thinking thinking
CrAzE PAT: Hm...
CrAzE PAT: I honestly can't remember
grin483: well, thanks a lot, you are such a jerk
CrAzE PAT: becasue I can't remember?
grin483: because we did some stuff, and you give me your screen name and you dont even remember
Stuff! How juicey! And isn't it romantic of me to give her my screen name so we can hook up again?
CrAzE PAT: Oh fuck you
CrAzE PAT: that is a blatent fabrication
That is an obvious lie... bitch whore.
CrAzE PAT: who is this?
Guess who?
grin483: fine, whatever you dont care
grin483: go screw over some other girl
I thought you didn't care.
grin483 signed off at 10:42:15 PM.
I now hate Dionne. I know she hated me, but this is just crap. Middle School type bull shit.
/msg me with thoughts, tip offs, or suggestions!
The rest of my life: Day 2

Today was a fairly exciting day. The only thing I actually accomplished was getting my oil changed and renewing my auto insurance, but even that is better than nothing.

We had a great bible study meeting, which was kind of funny, because we didn't actually study anything this week. Last week we had finished up the series we had been doing, and it was time to pick something new (the one we had been doing was terrible, and no one liked it, it was called "Men of the Bible"). We voted between 3 different study guides (all from the same series). The choices were Ephesians, John, and Revelation. I voted for Ephesians because I couldn't remember what was in it at all. But almost everyone else voted for Revelation, so I guess it is going to be 7 eyed beasts with six horns for the next three months.

I was selected as the person who has to go to the bookstore and get the study guides. Mainly because everyone knows that Sarah works at the bookstore, and they all know how much I like her.

When I got to work I found myself being asked out (sort of), by Heather. I accepted, and we are going to Dave & Busters thursday night. I am not really sure if it is a real date, but I am going anyway, since I haven't been on anything that even loosely resembled a date in over a year.

I could tell from the minute I woke up/It was gonna be a lonely lonely day/rise and shine/rub the sleep out of my eyes/try to tell myself i can't go back to bed

Ah, Phantom Planet, I never knew you until last week. Now you're the soundtrack to my melancholy.

Wow that last sentence sounded angsty. I don't know if I meant it or not. I certainly feel like people I love don't share my emotion, but this has been an ongoing problem for many months. Sure one of my best friends has been ignoring me all night, but he's got work to do. And yes, the homework is lying on the couch beside me with accusing bedroom eyes-- "Why are you cheating on me with the laptop? Where's the love?"-- but for the first time in my life I feel a sense of truly impending doom, along with a strangely muffled sense of excitement, a weird day-long adrenaline rush. What the fuck?

Going to school in Washington, D.C. is weird. In many ways, this is the closest to a European city that America will ever get-- you can feel the history, almost feel the dead beneath your feet (literally feel them beneath your feet beneath some Catholic cathedral here, or so the story goes), crying out to be heard in this monument, that monument... I don't just mean the huge Jungian wet dream on the west end of the Mall, I mean the statues of men on horses and soldiers leaning into the wind and long dark walls full of names. Did you know that if the statue has a horse with one of its front hooves raised, the soldier seated upon it died in the war? Thus Grant's horse has his feet firmly planted, standing guard with some lions near the Capitol. But enough of that-- why dwell on the long-dead, when we can ponder the soon-to-be dead? I came back from Spring Break monday night, flying in from my home, Colorado, just beating an insane storm that's shut down the state. Goddamn, I wish I hadn't left. I love tornadoes, blizzards, hail storms, floods, earthquakes, wildfires... let Earth herself be our enemy. Let us unite to subdue her rages. Instead, here I am seemingly in the middle of it all, and things are going really fucking crazy.

I feel dreamily surreal when I see the signs on the Metro titled, "Don't fear terrorism, fight terrorists!" listing all the things to do if something suspicious is happening. When I'm trying to take a nap between classes, the window open and the humid breeze floating in, and helicopters flying low overhead keep waking me up, I sense the collective nightmare around me. I can't remember who said it, but someone on here said in a node that "September 11 fucked us up." True enough. I just didn't realize how badly until Monday night, when the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the dorm. Someone lit the bulletin board on fire on 2 North, or something like that, and I had just asked my roommate how her spring break went. We picked up our keys and headed out into the humid night. We stuck together, and when it was eight and we were still outside, we went to another building to watch the speech on a big screen TV. Soon, the room was full of people, all holding their breath, mostly standing up or straining to see. The speech began, and the sound was too low, so someone ran and got a speaker, but until he returned we all sat in perfect silence, straining to hear. No one spoke until the speech was over, and the screen returned to Dan Rather. The surrealism remained; I had the feeling that this was some sort of paradigm shift, like we'd just entered totally new territory, a new dimension... then I remembered earlier, in the airport, seeing everyone clustered around the TVs playing news, wondering what had happened. For half a second I thought there had been another hijacking, but then I saw that it was a briefing from the United Nations, and I passed it by. The world was turning too fast, and I couldn't handle another sound bite.

Tonight, down on the Mall, a man named Dwight W. Watson is sitting in his tractor in a fountain. He's been blocking traffic for two days. He's a farmer, as were his father and grandfather and great-grandfather, and he's just gone bankrupt. He claims to have bombs, but not many believe him. The general feeling seems to be that we should shoot him, because he's holding up traffic, slowing the frantically rushing pace of this city, but I can't feel anything but sympathy. His simple pastoralism can't compete in the modern world, so he takes steps that many consider crazy, when really he's responding in kind. I haven't been down to gawk at him, like many here, but I can picture him in my mind: a tiny drowning creature halting the rushing waters of progress for only a second before being swept under forever.

The world will not end with this war, or any other, but even Rome fell. I cannot help but think I am a witness to the fall of America in these days where insanity is normal. The world will not end. The world will not end. The world will not end...

What a way to wake up…

“Good morning honey.”

”Good morning daddy. Has the war started yet?”

In addition to the usual morning chaos that takes place in my house, the making of breakfast, the packing of lunch, the getting dressed for work/school, those were the words I was greeted with.

How does one go about explaining the concept of war to an eight year old? How does one explain who is right and who is wrong in such a situation? Is it one of those us vs. them situations? Do I equate it to sports where there is a winner and loser with only the stakes being raised?

As much as I’d like to shield my kid from being exposed to the horrors of what seems inevitable, it’s impossible. I guess I could jump on the bandwagon and blame the media for this one but that wouldn’t seem right. After all, they have a job to do and this event is newsworthy. Maybe it was in the method in which one of the networks chose to go about it.

As I was tooling around the dial, I came across that paragon of integrity, Fox News who decided to bastardize John Lennon and lead their story with the banner headline “Give War A Chance.” Somewhere Mr. Lennon is not very happy. Let me tell you, as a parent and a human being, neither was I. After years of trying to teach my kid to try and resolve conflict without resorting to violence, without screaming your lungs out, trying to use reason and whatever diplomacy a kid could muster, here was Fox, advertising “Give War A Chance.” Yeah, I know, screen what your kid watches. That my friends, is a lot easier said than done. Its pretty easy to screen images from television or books that she reads, as a matter of fact, that’s simple. It’s a lot harder to screen out a mentality.

I don’t know how I’m going to answer her questions about the upcoming war. I hold out a faint hope that I won’t have to. That we have progressed far enough as human beings to stop killing each other. I doubt it though. Please feel free to /msg me with any suggestions about how I should go about this.

One last thought. Any of you out there who think the events that occurred on September 11, 2001 and the subsequent overblown coverage on the first anniversary of the tragedy on September, 11, 2002 didn’t change the world, you might wanna re-think your position.

Peace to one and all.
I got a letter from my best friend yesterday. As we speak, he is most likely sitting on the Iraq/Kuwait border. In light of recent events, I think it would be a good idea to allow you guys/girls to read it, as you may find the perspective of a marine in a looming war interesting.

Just remember that my intentions are neutral. I do not intend to faciliate a pro-war/peace message. Take out of it what you will, and hope this letter won't be the last.


Hey Brother,

How's it going? At one point I'm sure I told you that I'd probably just sit around in Kuwait for a couple months, but that's not going to happen. I don't know exactly when, but in the very near future, we'll be making history. I can't be too specific, because I can't be too sure that they aren't reading our mail; and actually, I really don't know too much anyway. No one knows exactly what's going to happen, and none of us have any idea what's in store for us. It might not be too bad, it might be absolute hell, no one knows. However, I have an idea regarding myself. The way I look at it, if I survive this ordeal (which I expect, but shit happens), there can only be good things ahead. This would be someone's chance to take me out of this world, and if they don't, there's probably a reason I should stick around for awhile. Granted, anyone can die for whatever reason at anytime, but I think as long as I come back in full, I've overcome a huge obstacle. Hey man, we'll see what happens. Expect the worse, hope for the best.

Anyway, we are properly trained for the mission, but unless some things change, we are not equipped as we should be. Things like not having a radio for each vehicle is bullshit, and could cause death if it's not fixed. All of our gear is green except the actual uniform we wear and a cover for our packs. As long as our trucks are green, our uniform doesn't matter. It's just a lot of bullshit that you would think would be taken care of before we see combat, but it is unlikely that it will. Yes, of course we are still 1,000 times better equipped than the enemy, but there are standards and not all of the standards are being met. Either way, we should be able to do what needs to be done with what we have.

Alright man, I don't want to interrupt you from your thesis for too long. Stop by my house if your looking for a good meal, or if you're looking to talk some politics with Kelly, Pam, and the old man. I'm sure my parents would like to see you. Hopefully, everything is going well with you, Heather, and your family. Tell them I said "hi." Alright man, take care of yourself and all those whom you love. Hopefully, we'll get this "campaign" over with. I'll be back before the summer ends. I look forward to seeing you.

Your bro,

To say it snowed last night is a bit of an understatement.

Looks like the Denver metro area has been hit with the biggest snowstorm ever. I live an hour north of there, in Fort Collins, Colorado. Looking outside of my window, I can see a soft blanket of exceptionally wet snow covering the patio furniture. When I say covering, I mean 31 inches of buried. My wife's goats cannot get out of their shelters because the snow is taller than they are. We're shuttling in food and water. Fort Collins itself has declared a snow emergency, and you must be responding to an emergency to be out on the roads. The snow is so heavy that the snowplows won't work - they're using construction bucket loaders to displace the snow to the side, creating an impenetrable wall of frozen water at the foot of all the driveways.

This is the second day I've had off from work, the most in a year and a half. Our school system has had three snow days in the past nine years - two of those three were yesterday and today.

Stay warm, folks.

Today's Headlines

US News

US Officials Warn Of Increased Terror Threat As War Begins
US officials say once war against Iraq is launched, the threat of terrorist attacks against American targets worldwide will skyrocket. The State Department's top counterterrorism official Cofer Black said Tuesday there is "certainty" that terrorists will attempt to launch multiple attacks against the United States and its allies in this time period of expected war against Iraq. The Department of Homeland Security responded to this by raising the terror threat level to orange on Monday evening.

Mitchell's "Divine Revelation" Unlikely To Influence Court
Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee may believe God ordered them to kidnap Elizabeth Smart, but legal experts say divine revelation will be little help to them in the courtroom. "Being egged on by another is not a defense," said Assistant Utah Attorney General Michael Wims. "It is not a defense that God urged them to do it." Mitchell and Barzee were charged yesterday in 3rd District Court with aggravated kidnapping and five other felonies in conjunction with the June 5, 2002 abduction of Elizabeth Smart at knifepoint from her Utah home.

Major Blizzard Dumping Snow In Colorado
A blizzard warning was posted this morning for eastern Colorado, where the Denver airport was closed along with scores of schools and businesses. More than two feet of snow fell in the eastern plains Tuesday and another 12 to 18 inches is possible today, which would make the snowfall the largest ever for the month of March in Colorado. About 4,000 passengers were stranded at the airport in Denver, and about 8,500 households were without power in the eastern part of the state.

International News

45 Nations Support War As Saddam's Deadline Approaches
The United States yesterday claimed the support of 45 countries for its war on Iraq, which could start as early as tonight after Saddam Hussein rejected George W. Bush's demand that Saddam leave Iraq within 48 hours. The deadline ends at 01:00 GMT on Thursday, which is 7:00 PM on the East Coast of the United States where the White House is. Meanwhile, thousands of U.S. Marines set off in tanks, armored vehicles and trucks across the Kuwaiti desert yesterday to take up battle positions.

Blair Gains Major Internal Support
With support for the conflict growing in Britain, Tony Blair's support within his own party is growing significantly, even evoking positive comparisons between Blair's stand on the Iraq issue and the steadfast opposition that Sir Winston Churchill showed towards Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. This comes on news of a doubling of support for the conflict among the British populace (from 26% to 50%), as well as the refusal of Clare Short, the standard-bearer for left-leaning Labour politics, to resign her cabinet post over the issue.

Wiretaps Found In French, German EU Offices
Telephone tapping systems have been found at offices used by France and Germany in the building where European Union leaders are due to hold a summit from Thursday, an EU spokesman said on Wednesday. "I can confirm that in the course of regular inspections, interception devices have been found ... which do not only affect France and Germany," Dominique-Georges Marro, head of the EU Council press service, told reporters. The French newspaper Le Figaro accused the United States of being behind the wiretapping, but Marro said: "We do not know who is behind it. I don't know who was on the other end of the line."


Federal Reserve Board Stands Pat
US Federal Reserve policymakers, led by board chairman Alan Greenspan, kept interest rates steady at a 41-year low, but surprised investors by saying the looming war with Iraq made it impossible to assess the US economy's outlook. The Federal Open Market Committee promised "heightened surveillance" of the economy, a statement some analysts said signalled a possible rate cut, perhaps even before its next meeting on May 6, 2003. It was the first time the Fed had declined to say whether the main risk to the economy was slow growth or inflation since it began publishing its view with rate decisions in 2000.

FedEx Boosted By Ground Shipping
A greatly expanded ground shipping business helped Federal Express post record higher earnings for the third fiscal quarter. FedEx on Wednesday said net income rose 23 per cent to $147m, or 49 cents a share compared to $120m, or 39 cents a share, a year earlier. "Our diverse portfolio of services has enabled us to manage well through difficult economic conditions, as evidenced by our solid year-over-year improvement in earnings," said Alan Graf, chief financial officer.

Turner Decides To Stay At AOL "A Little Longer"
AOL Time Warner Vice Chairman Ted Turner, a highly visible philanthropist and founder of CNN as well as many other cable channels does not pull punches when it comes to criticizing Time Warner's decision to merge with AOL. "I'd rather go back and be with one of my ex-wives than go through this again," Turner said of the merger this morning, but later, while discussing his publicized plan to leave the company, said "I'm going to make a decision after I talk to the board, but I'm leaning toward staying for a little longer. I hate to leave with the war starting."

Science & Technology

Red Hat, Hewlett-Packard Expand Linux Partnership
Hewlett-Packard has agreed to become a preferred partner to Linux software seller Red Hat, which means that the company will agree to provide all of the various Red Hat Linux software products on its machines in exchange for reduced prices and improved support. "HP is the single source for all Linux hardware and software support for customers," said Peter Blackmore, executive vice president of HP's Enterprise Systems Group.

Amazon Cancels Cheap iPaq Orders
Amazon.com says it won't fill the orders of customers who took advantage of a pricing error on its UK site to buy iPaq handheld computers for less than $12 this morning. The company said that its terms of use strictly state that no contract for sale has been formed until customers receive an e-mail stating that their order has shipped, meaning it has no obligation to hand out Hewlett-Packard iPaqs at rock-bottom prices. In a statement, the company said "we will be canceling orders made for the HP iPaq Pocket PCs at the incorrect price this morning."

Human Error Biggest Cause Of IT Security Breaches
According to a survey by the Computing Technology Industry Association, human error -- not technical malfunction -- is the most significant cause of IT security breaches in both the public and private sectors. The survey report calls for a greater emphasis on educating employees on IT security risks, such as easy-to-break passwords. The survey found that 63% of all security breaches had human error as a major underlying factor.


Formula Developed To Calculate Cancer Risk
Smokers and ex-smokers can predict their risk of lung cancer by using a mathematical formula developed by researchers at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The formula takes into account how long and how much they smoked, and, in the case of ex-smokers, how long it has been since they quit, but with some caveats: it only works for people over 50 who have smoked at least half a pack of day for 25 or more years, because the study only tracked people with these qualifications.

Water Conference Overshadowed In Japan
The likelihood of war with Iraq cast a long shadow on Wednesday over an international forum in Kyoto, Japan dedicated to fighting a water crisis that has taken millions of lives around the world and threatens to take millions more. With water shortages worsening by the year, the timing could not be worse for the World Water Forum, as key delegates have cancelled their attendance and others, such as Iraq's delegates, have left early. There is also talk the conference itself could be shortened if war breaks out. Conference organizers are worried that the issue is being overshadowed by the imminent war.


Sports React To Upcoming War
NCAA President Myles Brand announced that the NCAA men's and women's college basketball tournaments would go on as scheduled regardless of the war, while Major League Baseball cancelled its upcoming goodwill tour of Japan between the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners, in which the games would have counted towards the regular season standings. The teams were expected to leave this morning, but the games were cancelled and would be rescheduled in the United States at a later date.

Liverpool Set To Take On Glasgow Celtic In UEFA Cup
A high-profile match between Liverpool and Glasgow Celtic is set for today in which previously favored Liverpool will be without forward El Hadji Diouf, who has received a two-match ban for spitting on Glasgow Celtic fans in the first leg. The incident has ignited tensions between the two teams, and with a semifinal spot at stake the match could be quite intense.


Academy Awards May Include Anti-War Commentary
Producers at ABC are concerned that this Sunday's Academy Awards may become a platform for actors and musicians to express their disapproval with the war, along with the concern that ABC News coverage of the Iraqi conflict may pre-empt the program. "We are continuing our efforts to bring the show together on Sunday," Oscars producer Gil Cates said in a statement. "But we do understand that ABC may adjust to war coverage if it is required and that ABC news will cover news as it happens."

Dixie Chicks' Chart Positions Affected By Anti-War Statements
Natalie Maines' comments about President George W. Bush cost The Dixie Chicks the top spot in the Billboard country singles chart this week. After a sudden 15% drop in airplay for their current chart-topping single Travelin' Soldier, the single fell to #3 on the airplay charts. Several stations have pulled the Chicks' music in response to the comments.

And Now, Some Typical Daylog Fare

Well, today is War Day, it seems. At 7:00 PM (in my time zone, anyway), President George W. Bush's deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave his country will come and go, and a war could begin at any time after this.

Three members of E2 wrote me yesterday telling me that they did suppor the war, and knowing that this forum is likely a bit left of center and thus most likely interested in not going to war, I admire their courage for expressing this viewpoint here.

Yet, my older brother was in the Gulf War, and when he came home, the conflict had destroyed his life. He couldn't resolve the conflict inside of him... how could he be involved in the deaths of people inside of their own country?

I don't know. I just hope that as little life as possible is lost in this conflict.

Lent Diary, Day 15

In my daylog for February 19, 2003, I outlined my plan for a challenging Lenten discipline: no food or water during daylight hours. Visit that daylog for more details.

Tonight, as my fast finishes, I am going to say a single quick prayer for not only the troops supporting our nation, but for the innocent civilians of Iraq as well as the civilians of the United States and Great Britain who will likely face terror retribution because of this war.

If you believe in a higher power, I hope you issue a similar prayer as well.

I'm quite depressed today.

Not just because in a few hours time some innocent people are going to be dying. That has been looking incredibly likely for so long, ever since it became clear that Osama bin Laden had slipped through the net.

No, I'm annoyed because while innocent people are about to die, hardly anyone around me cares. Not my family - for once I'm in agreement with my parents. But my schoolmates.

OK, so I can't expect a bunch of 15/16 year olds that I go to school with to be totally clued up on the upcoming war. I mean I'm probably one of a very small group in my school who has even read Stupid White Men, or even cares who is President of the most powerful Nation in the world. It's across the pond. Who gives a shit. But I do care. I'm scared at the amount of people who are going to die because George W. Bush wants to have a war.

The scary thing is, for many people I go to school with, War isn't real. There was an "anti war demo" (read: excuse to go out and smoke for a bit instead of having a lesson) at school today. I didn't go, because I felt that a bunch of kids bunking off school (they weren't even going anywhere, just to the tennis courts round the back of school) while not knowing anything about the issues involved in the upcoming war is not the kind of group there is any point me associating myself with.

Far more disturbingly, there was a pro war protest at school. As I looked at them in the hall (about 30 people when I saw them) I recognised people that I had known for years, only one year above me in school, supporting something that horrifies me. It truly did scare me.

Not that I don't respect their right to an opinion. That they are having an opinion that isn't just a tool to miss lessons I respect. The reason I say it disturbs me is that there were people there who I used to believe thought like me.

What's worse than the "anti war" bunkers off and the pro war people is the people who think it's a huge laugh. Among other opinions heard today:

"I hope war starts, and Pakistan joins in too."

"Bomb Iraq.. and America too!"

"Miss, I want to go to the anti war protest. Because I want to Bomb the Pakis."

I am geniunely ashamed that no one at my school seems to think innocent people dying is anything other than a joke. Finding someone with an real opinion about the war (ie. someone who isn't just using it to bunk off lessons, and someone who doesn't hope Pakistan joins in) is damn hard.

I really hope the people I go to school with grow up, real soon. I'm one of the youngest in my year, but it feels like I'm attending lessons with 10 year olds.

Last Daylog * * * Next Daylog

So, leaving my lonely dorm room, prepared for class and wanting to waste time, I walked to the Clark station for a pack of smokes. I passed the elementary school and peered at all of the black faces for a moment. One girl with pigtails looked at me quizzically from her small desk. I smiled, which made her look more confused, so I continued walking; I assume she redirected her attention back to the blackboard.

Arriving at the small gas station, I walked in to find an African American man in red-orange overalls, covered in spots of grease. He took changes from the woman behind the counter and looked at me.

“Hello,” he said, “how are you?”

I smiled in return, half shocked to be acknowledged. Maybe he thought I was a high school student instead of a college student. After all, doesn’t everyone from Albion hate the, presumed rich, college students?

“I’m fine… how are you?” I replied, looking down and watching him as he picked up the change he had accidentally dropped.

He stood up and looked slightly to the ceiling, as if thinking about how to answer. “I’m good,” he said with a big smile, while looking at my small, pale face. “You just made my day… seeing a face like that.”

I smiled and probably blushed, kinda confused and flattered at the same time. “Thank you,” I said, as I stepped up in line. I thought about his comment for a second and wondered what feature or features could possibly make his day, even though I probably should have taken the compliment at face value. Maybe it was the fact that I always smile at strangers before looking shyly to the floor. Maybe he caught that smile just before looking down. Or maybe it was just my youth; I do look much younger than nineteen.

Albion College, right?” he asked.

“Yes,” I answered with hesitation, remembering the conversation I had with an Albion High School student and how he turned around and ignored me after he found out I was a college student.

“Man…” he said, trailing off, as he started to lean against the exit. “If I were younger, I’d be there with you…” And then he left. That comment made me think even more. Although still flattered, I now felt guilty. Why is it that a city heavily populated with African Americans has an over-abundant population of rich, white kids going to college there? Why is it that this kind man is working on cars, instead of going to school, which he obviously wants to do? Why am I still naïve enough to believe that I can change these inequalities with an anthropology degree?.. I would still like to think of it as hopeful instead of naïve.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.