Friday, January 30, 2004 ~ 03:27 p.m.

"Most foreigners know more about us than we know about them. Hell, they know more about what we're doing in Iraq than we do ourselves."

You know, the sad thing is that's true. A while back, Turnip tried to start a discussion about how Americans are content to live in utter ignorance and why that's not a good thing. What he actually said was: "There is no greater treason against democracy than faith in the infallibility of the state." Unfortunately, no one seemed interested in taking it seriously.

But it's true. It's every American's duty to find out as much as possible about what our government is doing. That doesn't mean sitting in front of the TV watching Fox News with a bag of cheetos, cheerfully accepting everything they say as God's own truth. That means going out and actually putting forth some effort. The very fact of which makes it utterly unappealing to the American public in general.

At what point did this country become so lazy that we're willing to simply hand over control of everything and bury our heads in the sand, putting all our trust in a person whose IQ that hovers around roughly that of a small water fowl? We pretend not to notice as the people we allowed into power twist what should be good intentions to suit their own ends and turn America into its very own terrorist state. We suck up catchphrase after catchphrase, not even caring that the words are meaningless and hollow.

Grr. Ftt. Stupid sheep.

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Organized Chaos
Wednesday, January 28, 2004 ~ 03:49 p.m.

I had a couple of things planned for tonight, kind of squeezed in around the officers' meeting, but (as usual) something else has come up. My grandparents are here on a sneak visit to Huntsville (to see a sick friend) so we're going out to dinner. I never get to see them enough, so it'll be nice to visit for a little while. Totally random, though.

I'm starting to really stress about the ASCE design paper. It's due in two weeks and we're nowhere near done. I've meant to work on it every night this week, but there's always something else that demands my attention first. I think it's time to go back to living in Tech Hall. What awful irony.

Actually, I'm freaked out in general about the upcoming competition. I already get butterflies in my stomach whenever I think about it. There's so much to DO it's not even funny. Paddling, paper, presentation, boat stands, general organization, t-shirts, trailer graphics...the list goes on. Eeee.

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Help Wanted
Tuesday, January 27, 2004 ~ 09:58 p.m.

With E-week coming up, we desperately need a slogan for the Engineering Student Council. We want to include it with my logo on the t-shirts we'll be handing out. So far, Jeff's come up with:

"ESC: Keeping the artists in their place."

"ESC: Promoting knowledge through relentless taunting."

Those are good, but a little long, so I came up with a few others. Jeff likes the other logo and slogan I made the best, but I have to say, this one is my favorite:

Please, if you have any suggestions for a slogan, speak up!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004 ~ 01:44 p.m.

It is finished. It is done.

The drill job in Florence has been defeated. Naturally, my last day had to include driving snow and a 17 degree wind chill (unlike yesterday's balmy, sunny 68-degrees, short-sleeve weather), but thanks to my brand new insulated work overalls, I survived with most of my body parts intact.

Now I'm not really sure what to do. I want to go home because I left for work at 6:30 this morning, but I have the feeling I'm supposed to be working on getting all my samples organized. Plus, I feel guilty about taking off, even on long days, because my boss is usually in the office until at 9 PM or later. If he's willing to work that much, how can I complain that I'm tired and want to go home?

Now that I'm back in the office, hopefully I can actually make it to canoe practice on a regular basis. Saturday was brutal because I'd been out of the boat for two weeks. I don't think I want to lay out that long ever again. :-P

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Sunday, January 25, 2004 ~ 08:08 p.m.

It's been a long week. I haven't really dropped off the face of the planet, but I have been spending every single day in transit to or in an empty field in Florence, AL from around 6:30 AM to 7 PM. We should be done with the drilling tomorrow, though. Then it's back to the office for a little while before they find me something else to do. Hopefully they won't be sending me to Mississippi or something, but you never know.

Sadly, I haven't had the time to look over Bush's State of the Union Address, although I expect it's rant worthy. Right now I'm supposed to be working on a) the ESC t-shirts for E-Week, b) the ASCE design paper, c) the ASCE boat inlay design, or d) the ESC meeting minutes. One of these days I'll actually have free time again for pointless ranting. ;-)

In other news, I thought this was just funny, in a morbid kind of way: Indiana Man Dies After Winning Lottery Game. The guy won $57,000, then got hit by a truck a few hours later. Of all the luck...

Current Music: 'Cannonball' - Damien Rice

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Irritations of the Day
Monday, January 19, 2004 ~ 06:32 p.m.

The job I'm currently working on in Florence isn't so much a job as an extensive study of Murphy's law. Maybe tomorrow we can actually get some work done, although with a dozer thrown into the mix, there's the opportunity for a really spectacular screwup. If it blows up, I'm going home.

We're having an ESC officer's meeting at 7 tonight. The topic revolves around how ASME's officers are a bunch of childish assholes and how I'm not going to put up with their shit - no matter what the ESC president thinks. Nowhere in my job description as secretary did it say I have to cave in when people refuse to act professionally. I expect people to communicate with respect or at least some degree of civility and if they can't do that, they can't be suprised when I (coldly yet politely) pin their ears back.

Food would be a good idea first, though. I get meaner when I'm hungry.

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Sunday, January 18, 2004 ~ 10:45 p.m.

- I like my job. I have a fair amount of independence, I spend a lot of time outside, and eventually I'll get paid.

- Florence is nice, but so far only one day of drilling has gone according to plan. I ended up not going out today, since the rig is stuck in over six inches of mud. ATV rig tomorrow. Woo.

- Practice boat built Saturday morning in 3.5 hours - a record time. Much food was consumed and most everyone left happy. We even recruited a marketing major, who doesn't appear to understand that his kind will now refer to him as "the apostate."

- Todd's new cat is sweet, but very vocal. I think it's a female thing.

- Jessica and I need to talk more.

- Vampire - utterly pointless and inherently annoying. I'm still wondering why I go to Huntsville games.

- Michael Youngblood is the bane of my existence. I am so not kidding. And if he gets in my way one more time, I'll have to see about having his kneecaps broken.

It's going to be a busy week. I already have something planned for every night this week. Three of the five events are club meetings. Funny how I can graduate and yet still be as busy with school stuff as ever.

Current Music: 'Pure Morning' - Placebo

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The latest adventures of our Shrub-in-Chief
Wednesday, January 14, 2004 ~ 09:35 a.m.

People, open your eyes.

$1 billion is NOTHING. The space station alone costs that much in a year, the shuttle about four times more.

What Bush is doing is making a promise another administration will be forced to deal with, risking nothing himself, and reaping the public opinion benefits. He cares nothing for the space program and he cares nothing for advancing science and technology. He just wants a PR boost with minimal effort on his part. All that's happening is a reallocation of the existing budget that will needlessly cripple the space program for a decade or more. Redirecting exploration is all well and good, but taking a step back to move forward isn't the answer.

Bush's strength is the catchphrase. I'm sure today's broadcast will be chock full of them. Unfortunately, he's not exactly strong on backing up his big words. But somehow, people believe them anyway. Like little lemmings. *sigh*


"Bush to Promote Marriage in $1.5 Billion Plan, Report Says"

"[Administration] officials said they believed the measure was timely because they were facing pressure from conservatives eager to see the federal government defend traditional marriage."

$1 billion for space exploration. $1.5 billion to subvert the separation of church and state. You figure it out.

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Cleaning Day
Saturday, January 10, 2004 ~ 12:52 p.m.

Practice was miserable this morning. It was also cut short when Dennis and Andrew fell in the pond, in the middle of a sprint. When it's 33 degrees outside, the last place you want to be is in the water in the middle of the UAH duckpond. Fortunately, Amber and I had brought towels and Jackie and Mo were there to take them back to Johnson.

I'm supposed to be cleaning my apartment and organizing the stuff I got for Christmas. I've been avoiding coming home for anything much other than sleep for the past week, so the boxes and stuff have just been piled in the floor. But there just comes a point when you have to go home and face things, and today is that day.

As much as I procrastinate about it, cleaning is a kind of healing process for me. I'm not sure why, but it's calming. I guess it's just satisfying to know that I can control at least one thing and make it right. I can restore order to some aspect of my life, even if I'm helpless to do the same in others.

Work is going to be keeping me distracted this next week. I'm going to be out in the field every single day actually doing something, instead of just sitting in the office. It's a great feeling to be useful and even though it's freakin' cold I love being outside.

...And I think someone had better remind me of that, come Friday. ;-)

Current Music: 'Drought' - Vienna Teng

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Oh the fun
Wednesday, January 7, 2004 ~ 01:29 p.m.

Monday I started my new job. It's been boring, due to a lack of work (and I STILL don't have a computer yet), but that's about to change. Yesterday my boss decided to put me in charge of two projects. One's the new Home Depot out in Florence and the other is the flight simulator they're putting in on the arsenal. Both of those will kick off next week, so I'll be spending most of my time out in the field, following a drill rig around, feeling lost.

In other news, ESC is royally pissing me off due to the fact that the two other people I'm working with on the FE reviews are refusing to send me a copy of the general session schedule. I'm giving them until Friday, then I'll get the Dean to ask for it. Grr.

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Monday, January 5, 2004 ~ 02:19 p.m.

Happy Birthday, EB!

Hope it's a lot of fun. :-)

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2003 slyflame. Header image Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.