Is too a real word!
Friday, May 28, 2004 ~ 04:48 p.m.
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I know a bazillion other people have linked to this by now, but it's still amusing.
The 213 Things Skippy is No Longer Allowed to Do in the U.S. Army

I present my favorites:

128. "Shpadoinkle" is not a real word.

110. Never, ever, attempt to correct a Green Beret officer about anything.

93. Nerve gas is not funny.

58. The following words and phrases may not be used in a cadence- Budding sexuality, necrophilia, I hate everyone in this formation and wish they were dead, sexual lubrication, black earth mother, all Marines are latent homosexuals, Tantric yoga, Gotterdammerung, Korean hooker, Eskimo Nell, we've all got jackboots now, slut puppy, or any references to squid.

22. Must never call an SAS a 'Wanker'.

29. The Irish MPs are not after 'Me frosted lucky charms'.

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What do you mean two more hours?
Thursday, May 27, 2004 ~ 03:14 p.m.
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It's only 3:00 and today has been awful.

Between the beastly secretary, no sleep, and finding out bad family news from my sister's blog, today was already headed downhill.

The final straw was being chewed out by one of our PEs in Nashville for following the same procedure we've been using with our PEs in Birmingham. Everyone assures me this guy's just an ass and that I shouldn't take it personally. I don't much care - all I know is that I shouldn't be allowed to speak to him again any time soon, because I used my last shred of politeness just getting off the phone. I am physically unable to be falsely pleasant to anyone else today.

I'm really looking forward to the three-day weekend. Saturday's the ASCE car wash (8-12 at the Conoco at Wynn and university), but after practice and stuff I'm free for the rest of the weekend. I plan to spend a lot of it sleeping.

Somewhere I heard that everyone who gets a nifty camera has to take at least one cheesy flower close-up. I don't know how to really use my camera for that yet, but the roses were blooming at Todd's house two weeks ago.

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Offices, bleh
Thursday, May 27, 2004 ~ 10:59 a.m.
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This is where I spent my morning yesterday:

Not too shabby, eh?

Last time I was at this site, it was snowing so hard I couldn't see more than a couple of feet. Yesterday, it was much nicer, although the grass was up to my ears. I had to wade my way through it to find the survey pins, but the backhoe operator was nice enough to give me a ride back to my car when we got done digging holes.

On the downside, I'm back in the office all day today and everyone here is in a PISSY mood. I've been snapped at and yelled at (not for anything I did - I just happened to be there) more in the last couple of hours than I'm really prepared to deal with politely. I think it's about time to go get some lunch.

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Wow
Wednesday, May 26, 2004 ~ 03:11 p.m.
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I was going to do a tally, a sort of "How Drunk Would You Have Been" summary of the Shrub's speech Monday night. But this, to me, was funnier. Bush, talking about the terrorists, said:

"It is a totalitarian political ideology, pursued with consuming zeal, and without conscience."

*grin* He's right, but oh the irony.

In other news, on my drive back from Florence today I stumbled onto the Idiot Channel, also known as The Source 101.1 FM. I tuned in just as a woman was calling in to complain about a previous caller who was urging the average citizen to "arm themselves and detain Arab males." I kid you not. So this woman called in to say that his idea was the stupidest ever conceived (although she was much more diplomatic than that) and cited several incidents she had personally observed in which innocent Arabs and, more often, Indians were harassed for simply living their lives as free Americans.

And then, as I was cheering her on, the show host cut her off and said...and I quote:

"I understand what you're saying. But we didn't start this war, and all those instances you mentioned, we call them 'casualties of war.'" He then proceeded to blame it all on the terrorists.

I can't make this shit up, people.

WTF? So that makes it right????? Because some crazy Arabs decided to fly planes into buildings in New York, innocent people – AMERICANS – have to suffer abuse in Alabama? Or anywhere for that matter? And that's OKAY?

And THEN, as icing on the cake, while I'm still foaming at the mouth they cut to the radio commercial for that nutter, Tom Parker. He's running for the Alabama Supreme Court. His platform: "I'm a conservative Christian! Vote for me so I can shit on the rights of people who aren't like you!"

God had better be blessing America, because we sure as hell need it.

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Disclaimer: Anyone who thinks my dislike of Tom "Liberals Are Stealing Your Souls" Parker has something to do with being PC or with the whole Roy Moore thing, should probably read this first. I hate having to explain things twice.

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Rhetoric + booze
Monday, May 24, 2004 ~ 02:34 p.m.
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Tonight, our Shrub-in-Chief will address the Nation with his outline for Iraq. I propose yet another Bush-speech drinking game.

Take a drink when Bush reuses the following worn-out catchphrases:

"We will complete our mission"

"We must protect our country" or something about defending America from its enemies

"terrible acts"

"when America says something, we mean it"

"our resolve is firm"

"a peaceful tomorrow"

"good Iraqi people"

"ideology of hatred"

"We confronted a gathering danger to our nation and the world."

any time he uses the word "tyrant"

"We will not be intimidated."

"We must spread democracy / freedom"

Actually, take a drink every time he says "freedom". You'll be falling out of your chair five minutes in, I guarantee it.

Take two drinks every time he thanks the troops.

If he actually makes a statement that is a plausible outline for progress (read: not another bloody catchphrase) finish the entire bottle and eat the worm.

A pity I'll be at practice while his speech is being aired, or I'd be clutching a bottle too. Maybe it won't be so bad, but the sad thing is, all those phrases were lifted from White House transcripts. You might want to stock up at the liquor store on the way home, kids.

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What I've been up to lately...
Monday, May 24, 2004 ~ 10:44 a.m.
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Well, Thursday and Friday kind of sucked. At least in geotech, I'm usually busy doing something. Environmental drilling is A LOT of waiting. In 95 degree heat...with no shade. At least when you're working, you're not focused on your misery. I'm out on an enviro job again tomorrow in Rainsville. This time, I'm not even sampling - all I do is watch them drag wells out of the ground. Lovely.

This weekend was really nice, though. Saturday we did the ASCE river trip - six miles of paddling on the Tennessee River. Andrea and I kicked the guy's asses. *grin* The two of us beat the three guys to the three-mile point by 30 minutes. And we sprinted in. I did some trash talking when the guys finally dragged themselves out of the boat. In response, Tony threw me off the dock. I'll probably grow a third arm.

Saturday night Jessica and I ventured out the Huntsville airport to pick up Jeff. I consumed a veritable bucket of jamoca shake and it was good. Jeff brought back booze that I didn’t like and interesting tidbits about people I thought would be dead by now. He has pictures of his trip posted.

Sunday I dragged Todd's cat, Stitch, scratching and yowling back to my apartment where she's been having the crap beaten out of her by Lilo (who is one-half her size). In the process of obtaining the feline, Todd's dog, Niki, nearly knocked me out. Afterwards, Jeff and I wandered around downtown so I could play with my new camera. We later managed to wander a good way down the mountain, where we made a new friend of the slithering variety. Once that got boring, we met up with Jessica for dinner. Our waiter was very very odd. On our way back from dinner, we tried to go by to see Pat and Jared, but Jared didn't want to be visited.

Today's one of those days, though. Work until 5:00, be at Johnson at 5:30 to meet Robert, practice at 6:00, presentation rehearsal at 7:30, then the SGA meeting at 8:45. Yuck to the nth power.

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Pass the joy on
Tuesday, May 18, 2004 ~ 03:18 p.m.
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I'm having one of those weeks where I just can't seem to do anything right at work. That makes me frustrated, nervous, and really irritated. It's kind of funny how being pissed off runs downhill. Client to Boss to me to Birmingham. It's a whole progression of rather unhappy people.

A whole lot of things just aren't going my way this week, but at least it's mostly trivial stuff.

On the upside, I'm supposed to meet Jessica for dinner tomorrow evening. Yay!

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Officially released upon the world...
Sunday, May 16, 2004 ~ 10:14 p.m.
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Yay! Somehow UAH saw fit to release me back into the wild. Well, actually, they did that five months ago, but today they gave me the pretty piece of paper to prove it.

And then there's these shady characters, who were definitely instrumental in helping me reach today with sanity (mostly) intact:

Not to say that the rest of you friends and family didn't have a hand in helping me get where I am today. Thank you all for everything along the way. :-)

I didn't get much out of the ceremony itself, but the weekend has been a lot of fun. I had a great time with my family and really enjoyed the weekend. My parents gave me The Precious, so I've been snapping photos uncontrollably. The cat's probably going to start sleeping under the sofa if I don't stop waking her up with flashes.

Oh, and my apartment is cleaner (read: less cluttered) than it has been since I moved in. That's got to count for something!

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What does it take, people?
Wednesday, May 12, 2004 ~ 01:30 p.m.
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We have a president who is so obviously unfit for office that there shouldn't even BE a question of his removal. How could anyone who claims to have a conscience or a brain even want to VOTE for him? It boggles the mind.

At this point, party doesn't matter. Voting based on party, with no regards as to the actual candidate, is about as un-American as you can get. That aside, it doesn't matter if you're Republican or Democrat. If Bush gets re-elected, we're all equally screwed.

How is it that people can't see that, when the FACTS are there for everyone to see?

I really shouldn't watch / listen to / read the news any more. All it does is gain me another impending aneurysm.

Update: Obviously, I don't agree with this guy about Dubya, but his opinion on the torture situation is spot on. Thanks, Geof, for the link. :-)

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Bureacracy Strikes Again
Tuesday, May 11, 2004 ~ 05:22 p.m.
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After 3 and a half hours of sleep, I rolled out of bed and got on the road to Tupelo. I actually managed to be a little early (for once there were no houses going my way) and it looked like it was going to be a good day of drilling. Until I saw the site, that is. Turns out it hadn't been cleared like we thought, so after determining that the rig couldn't get to a single boring, the drillers and I set about finding a dozer to come out. Long story short, we found one, got it set up, and had them fax the paperwork to the office to open the account. Everything looked good. Then Ralph called me. Apparently, setting up an account equals subcontracting and all subcontractors have to be approved by corporate. So at 11:30, I headed back home.

I managed to hit another job on the way in to check on some wells we set a couple weeks ago, so it wasn't a total loss, but I still had to drive 6 hours for nothing. Bleh.

In other news, Mo did a wonderful job binding the paper and laminating the cover, and it is currently on its way to the CNCCC. I was (really really) nervous about not seeing it before it left, but he did a good job. It was nice not having to be here for that. :-)

LOTS of people coming this weekend. LOTS of work yet to be done, both on my apartment and Todd's kitchen. Eeep!

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RANT
Monday, May 10, 2004 ~ 10:34 p.m.
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And it's not even political.

Disclaimer: Those of you who could care less about ASCE, or my life in general, might just want to move along. Those of you who might be shocked at my use of profanity should just leave now. And anyone who comments anything about "you should just quit" will get flaming dog shit on their doorstep.

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Tomorrow, at 5:30 AM I will be on the road to Tupelo, Mississippi for a day of fun in the sun. That means I will be getting up at 4:30 AM. It is currently 10:38 PM. Where am I? With Todd, printing out the canoe design paper. How much longer will we be here? Well, we started at 8 PM and we're on page 6 of a 15-page report, of which we have to make 16 copies. That's a while, kids.

Where is my club secretary you might ask? A good question, if you didn't happen to already know that the stinking 3-day-old corpse of a cow is more useful to me right now than my "secretary." Todd says that since she's done some stuff these last two months I should upgrade that to a 2-day-old corpse. I don't think so. Granted, it's not like some other members of the club have done much more than her, but at least THEY have had the grace to not preach to me about teamwork. I never knew I could hold a grudge this long, but when people are so blatantly wrong, it just hits a nerve.

Speaking of, the next person who even so much as thinks the word "teamwork" in my direction will be pulling their femurs out of their nostrils.

I think my next email to the club will start out with: "There's no I in team…..and there's no we in you lazy fucks."

Although, to be fair, there're only two people who are really a problem. Everyone else has been doing much better. I'm just pissy because, once again, I have to sacrifice sleep, sanity, time, and money to get this crap out the door and I've not seen any help from the one officer who, by all rights, should be busting her ass right here with me.

Bah. I'm going to go check on the printer.

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Le sigh
Monday, May 10, 2004 ~ 10:16 p.m.
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"By leaping to conclusions based on what he "believes," Bush avoids contemplating even the most obvious basic contradictions: between his policy of tax cuts and reducing the deficit; between his call for a humble foreign policy based on alliances and his unilateral assertion of American power; between his support for in-vitro fertilization (which destroys embryos) and his opposition to fetal stem-cell research (because it destroys embryos)."

"The most obvious expression of Bush's choice of ignorance is that, at the age of 57, he knows nothing about policy or history. After years of working as his dad's spear-chucker in Washington, he didn't understand the difference between Medicare and Medicaid, the second- and third-largest federal programs. Well into his plans for invading Iraq, Bush still couldn't get down the distinction between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, the key religious divide in a country he was about to occupy. Though he sometimes carries books for show, he either does not read them or doesn't absorb anything from them. Bush's ignorance is so transparent that many of his intimates do not bother to dispute it even in public."

From The Misunderestimated Man: How Bush chose stupidity.

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Interview
Monday, May 10, 2004 ~ 08:28 a.m.
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Heh. Madeleine L’Engle is just cool. This is a great interview.

"Many people see faith as anti-intellectual."
"Then they’re not very bright. It takes a lot of intellect to have faith, which is why so many people only have religiosity."

"If the Bible is not literally true, does that mean we don’t need to take it seriously?"
"Oh no, you do, because it’s truth, not fact, and you have to take truth seriously even when it expands beyond the facts."

And she confirms what I'd suspected form the ads: the Wrinkle in Time movie sucks. A pity that, but what else can you expect from ABC?

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Woot
Friday, May 7, 2004 ~ 08:44 a.m.
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Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I like to think that even if I bust out with the occasional run-on-sentence or blinding grammatical error, at least I'm not directly contributing to the degradation of the English language. Unlike the thousands of other Pitas (and Livejournal) users. *wince*

This weekend is the project weekend. My goal: to have my apartment ready for visitors by Monday. My bedroom is currently a disaster area, because I pulled everything out of the closet Wednesday and dumped it on the bedroom floor. I've got two boxes of clothes to go to Goodwill already and I've thrown out about three trees worth of papers, and I can't really tell that I've made a dent. I have to get everything organized, stored away, and cleaned by Thursday at the latest because next Saturday a gazillion people will be showing up at my apartment for my gaduation. The clock is ticking.

And at some point this weekend, we have to finish the design paper. Woo hoo.

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Woah
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 ~ 11:29 a.m.
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Another one from my cousin: This article is the absolute best argument FOR the draft I have seen since the issue was brought up again last year. It's by an ex-Marine too, so I don't think anyone can accuse him of not knowing what he's talking about.

In other news, how the hell did it get to be May already??? All the canoe stuff is due May 14th, which we didn't find out until May 1st. Lovely. It's also going to be horrifically expensive to get to DC. The club is looking at around $4000, if we want to keep students from having to pay more than $60. I'm not sure what ASCE is thinking - like college students have or can quickly raise that kind of money. Idiots. I feel particuarly bad for the Canadian reps, since they won't know who's coming until after May 9th.

Bah. Time to go get lunch.

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