Saturday, January 28, 2006


I've come to realize that in my old age, I seem to have the ability to become agitated more easily than ever before. Every day I find something that annoys or agitates me. For this cause, I have decided to find an even more perfect venting utility than my precious blog. I will venture into the realm of podcasting. I will call it, my P.O.'d-cast.

I have not begun work on it yet. In fact, I have a good P.O.'d-cast right now on broken computers in the reserve. Since my computer is not operational at the moment, I can't work on the podcasts. Rest assured, that when I do have the sufficient means, I will most defiantly have some good things to vent on.

To name a few:

  • People who insist on waiting in their cars for you to cross the street.
  • The prevailing notion that one must say, "Bless you" to every schmuck that can't handle a bit of dust in their nose
  • People who leave comments on other peoples blogs only because they want someone to visit theirs
  • Teachers that try to be cool, but only tell the worst of old jokes, making you feel responsible to laugh desipite your desire to cringe

The list goes on. Unfortunately, I have to keep my disgruntled feelings to myself for the time being. Thanks to HP support, my computer is really DOA, I wasn't just making that up. When that crisis is sorted out, I shall begin work on my exciting venture. If you have something that really makes you gripe, feel free to share it. Whether it be everyday stuff or something somewhat more specific. If I can find some way to relate to it, it might make the perfect fodder that I need.

And you thought I complained a lot before...

Saturday, January 21, 2006


George Orwell was not far off, only about 20 years or so.

I recently read in this article that our government feels it necessary to peek into the databases of Google. That is not comforting.

The government says that it only wants to look for reasons of preventing child pornography. Now, I think I speak for many people when I say that if someone is using Google for the purpose of finding illegal child porno they deserve to be caught. Heck, the deserve to be caught no matter how they get it.

The government is smart in using this angle. That may be an honest and legitimate reason. Who would oppose catching those kind of people? The problem is, I, and the rest of the world, do not feel like having our collective pants pulled down around our ankles for the government to do that.

I have to give kudos to the Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. They are fighting this with all gusto. They have been subpoenaed, but have not cracked yet.

Technically, all Big Brother wants is to search queries and results. But how much of that is traceable? According to the article, about 30%. I bank online. If I had to do a search to find the right homepage, Google has that info. Other search engines will actually use Google and other search engines, so other sites might be compromised as well.

And what other kind of data might the government glean from this peak into the databases? I have a G-mail account. That's Google. All of my email and the email that you've sent me is on there, including your email address.

I use this site, Blogger, which is Google owned. Bloggers have profiles. There is more information we have on these than what is published.

What if you have Google Desktop? Is there anyway that some of that data links up with Google's servers at any time?

What about Google Earth and pictures of my house or location?

What about Google Talk with all of the online chatting that goes on?

For now, the government inquiry looks reasonable, but it's another brick in the wall that I don't want them building.

What's more scary, I found out in another article that America Online, Yahoo!, and Microsoft have already complied with Big Brother's similar requests.

Still think this is a non-issue? Have you ever used A-O-Hell, Yahoo Mail or any Windows operating system? If you are reading this the answer is yes.

How much of your privacy are you willing to sacrifice?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Almost Higher Education...

Right now I am sitting in my IS 431 (E-commerce) class. My teacher had an educational epiphany and decided to have us gain exposure to the e-commerce experience by ordering our book online. Not a horrible idea. The problem is that, in his infinite wisdom, he told us of this idea via email the day before classes started.

For being so "web-savvy" one would not think that he'd be so suprised when no one in the class had the book the next day. He assigned us all to read chapter one for a quiz in less than a week. No one seemed to object to this. I raised my hand.

"Excuse me, but how can you expect us to read the book when we just ordered it yesterday?"

"Well, how long is the shipping?"

"Here in Hawaii, the books come in Media Mail. That means slow boat. That means 3-4 weeks."

He was stunned. I was in turn stunned that he was supposed to be teaching us. He later confessed that this was his first time to teach this subject. That information most certainly did not stun anyone.

Today, we are talking about the difference between a Business Model and a Business Plan. We were passed out loaner books for class use until our mail order ones arrive. Here is what the book says:

"Business Model: A set of planned activities..."

"Business Plan: A document that describes a firm's business model."

That's sure helpful information. So, your Business model details your plan. Your Business plan details your model. How would I survive without an enlightening class such as this?

I'm glad that I only paid $0.75 for the book. I only wish the class tuition was similar.

Friday, January 13, 2006

No, Really, That's Me...

I recieved my daily newsletter from the Digital Godess, Kim Komando today. In it I followed a link to her latest column. Check out the beginning:
"With a cellphone or an iPod, you can watch movies and television wherever you go. Portable video isn't the next big thing; it's here, and it's exploding.

You might not think that people would want to use a phone to watch movies. But a friend of mine does just that. He gets about four hours of movie-watching per charge. His phone, an Audiovox, is really a hand-held computer, running Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Media Player."
That's me! My cell phone and practice of using it for video enjoyment was mentioned nation wide. I am so cool now! When I was working for her company, WestStar, over the Christmas break I was showing off my cool cell phone. It made an impact apparently.

That's right, I, her cool friend, am cool enough to do just that...but wait, there's another line...
"Video on the go may still be too geeky for many users."
Well, at least I still got a mention...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Terminal II: Terminally Ill...

Ever notice that the word "ill" looks funny when you use a capital "I" next to the lower case "l"? It makes it look like a Roman numeral three. Anyway, that is not what I'm talking about.

I recently returned home and have just begun to get my bearings. It was especially hectic due to my fight. My flight was originally set to be at 2:30 pm. I thought that was odd, since they usually are earlier, but I didn't mind. About two days before I flew, I checked to see if my flight was all good. The time I was quoted at my purchase was not the time I was actually going to leave. My flight was now supposed to be at 11:45 am. I liked that better.

I got to the airport at just after 10 am. I checked in, my luggage passed the list of criteria for content safety and weight. I made it through the security metal detector on the first try. I made it right to my gate quickly and found a good seat with only 10 min to spare until boarding time. Things were looking good.

Then 11:45 came and went. By noon it was revealed to us that a part was missing for the flight and we would be delayed some. Then fifteen minutes later, we found out that the part needed had to be flown in. That would be at 3 pm, if we were lucky. Then they informed us that the part would take about 2 hours to be installed and tested. The new departure time was slated for 5 pm. I was starting to feel like Tom Hanks in Terminal all over again. Well, this time it was more like the inevitable sequel Terminal II: Terminally Ill.

In a world...where we hurry up to wait;
In a world...where freedom has been outlawed;
In a world...where we must remove our shoes for no apparent reason;
One man stands man, to fight against the law.

[Voice of Tom Hanks] "Get Down!" [Explosion]

Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones and introducing Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminal II: Terminally Ill.

[Voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger] "Looks like your flight is about to be delayed...permanently!" [Explosion]

This time, he's not going to take it; he's going to take control.

[Voice of Catherine Zeta-Jones] "You're either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid. But either way, you're incredibly hot." [Gratuitous kissing noises...followed by an Explosion]

Don't miss...Terminal II: Terminally Ill. Boarding all rows this summer.

To avoid the madness, I called my sister and had her pick me up. I went to her place, had lunch, played with my nieces and nephew for a spell and then went back. By the time I had returned at 3 pm, I discovered that the plane bringing the part was also delayed, pushing our new departure time back to 5:45 pm. My guess is that they needed a part to be flown in from Phoenix, but who knows?

By 5:45 the flight crew boarded the plane. Finally, at 6:46 pm, we began to push away from the gate. Just as the safety video was to start, it all went black. The power appeared to be out. Hilarity ensued.

Somehow, they were able to "reboot" the plane and they assured us that it was safe to fly. Seeing as how I am typing this, I suppose that was true.

My friend was kind enough to come by and pick me up from the airport in Honolulu despite the late hour of my arrival. I think he somewhat owed it to me since he took my ride that I had initially set up for myself earlier that day.

I got to bed just after midnight the day before classes were to begin. I woke up about 7 am, rubbed the makapiapia* away and stumbled to my first class of the semester.

This bad travel omen makes me speculative on the strange optimism I had for this semester...

[Voice of Tom Hanks] "Pray for me if you like, but I'd pray for the other guy." [Explosion]

* - Your Hawaiian word for the day: Makapiapia = Eye Boogers.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

School Of Fish...

The hours that I have to work and make back some of the cost of this trip home are few and far between. But, I made an important sacrifice to leave early one evening to attend a family reunion. It was one for my Grandma's family on my dad's side (get all that?). Last name: Fish.

Having felt confident that my last name was better than anyone else's in the room, I was comfortable walking in. I took a look around and realized that I was also better looking than any other person in the room. This is a sad thing if you know how I look.

In only seconds I was whisked away to take pictures. Then I had to fend off my nephews so I could sit down and avoid running around the halls with the 3-year-olds (well, I did some of that, but according to Braden, there were ghosts chasing us).

I was able to see an uncle once or twice removed that has been going to court over murder charges for defending his house. The details are fuzzy.

I also got to see old photos of my family. They looked like the same old photos of random strangers from the black and white era. To make it more interesting for the kids, photocopies were cut up to make puzzles. Disembodied heads and decapitated corpses filled the room.

While sitting, I was counting the seconds until an uncle of mine would approach me and give me the third degree on my marital status. Sure enough, like clock work, each one, one by one, came up to me and asked me about where my wife was. Grandma had her two cents on that and my current goatee. My aunt Bo was no exception. She even added a lecture on why I should try to get a job in Phoenix and stay there for the rest of my life. Does she want me to find a wife or live in Phoenix? I'm getting to think that the twain shall never meet.

One uncle, Bob, was half expecting a rundown of the dates I'd been on. He told me to start looking around. I did, but then noticed the dirty pilgrim expressions on the faces of the crowd. Then I remembered that I was related to these Fish. Not a good place to cast my bait.

While being happily distracted by a niece, my mom asked me to tell some of my female cousins about my American Woman post. I wasn't sure why. I didn't get any farther than, "'s not about the body, it's about the personality..." when they were up in arms and shouting out complaints of domination and sexism. I was barely able to say that it wasn't so much about the Asian women, as that the American women are increasingly rude and insensitive. My cousins were saying that all Asian women were too submissive and have no backbone. They just do what the men like and that's why men like them. I actually took some offence to that. It then occurred to me that both of them have lived in Arizona almost their entire life. I doubted they have ever really known any Asian women. I told them it was unfair to say that all Asian women have no voice, creativity or free will of their own. To say that all Asian women are doormats is more offensive to Asian women that what I ever said about American women.

"Thank you. You have completely proven my point for me," was my last statement. Well, actually, it was my last thought on the subject. They were so forceful I never even had a chance to say that much. I gave up knowing I was in a lion's den, and these lions had blood on their mind. I guess they hadn't been fed their weak American metro-sexual man for the day.

Finally the food came out. We were told earlier that pizza was on the menu. I was just glad they chose not to pick the obvious and ironic main dish: fish. Instead, scores of old rolls with a piece of ham and a slice of cheese were brought out on platters.

We knew that it was some leftovers from lunch. We didn't mind. They were trying to get rid of some leftovers before the real entrée was served.

And about the time the rolls were gone we realized that there was to be no pizza.

The entertainment consisted of some inbred hillbilly playing his fiddle (poorly I might add). Then some other people singing ala the rejects from American Idol. Then awards were given out. I got the award for having come the farthest (Hawaii). My prize was a blank blue ribbon, with "Fish" hand written on it and a fish sticker at the top. It was difficult, but I managed to let myself go of it and give it to my niece.

When the whole mess was finally over we went home and ordered pizza. Then I got to spend time with my parents, sister, and her kids. That was a reunion that I felt comfortable in.

Regardless of the constant harassment and bouts with loneliness, I found a silver lining to being single: I only have one family's worth of family reunions to go to.