Monday, December 26, 2005

Update long overdue

Someone remind me to do an update on life in the near future. There's some very good things that have been happening which I should post.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas, more or less

Christmas has always been a time of happiness and fun for me. The only exception being the song "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." However, things haven't been completely happy and fun for a few years.

When my father get sick is was difficult. But it was on December 26th, 1999 when he was put into the hospital for the last time. We were down spending Christmas with my ex's as this was their year (plus her father had just passed away two months earlier after a 20+ year battle with Parkinson's). Anyone who's married knows the whole alternating holidays schedule thing. What we'd planned on was to open the presents when we got back home. Now with him in the hospital we just planed on opening them when he was back home. Well, that never happened. Early morning on February 2nd, 2000 my father passed away. It was a month and a half from Christmas but I still link the two events in my mind.

So Christmas is now a little bittersweet for me.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

We are all ...

I have been subscribed to the Doctor Dictionary "Word of the Day" for a little while now. Most of the time I get words I already know but occasionally I get one that's completely new (which is really exciting) or one that is fun with potential realworld usefulness. Todays word is digerati. Pass it on to everyone.

digerati \dij-uh-RAH-tee\, plural noun:
Persons knowledgeable about computers and technology.

As high tech spreads outward from Silicon Valley to
American society at large and people spend more and more
time in cyberspace, the journalist Paulina Borsook steps
back to look at the digerati and their view of the world.
--Michiko Kakutani, "Silicon Valley Views the Economy as a
Rain Forest," [1]New York Times, July 25, 2000

[T]his week, over 3,000 digerati will converge at a swank
theater where chef Julia Child and pundit Arianna
Huffington, among others, will judge 135 Web sites.
--David Whitman, "The calm before the storms," [2]U.S.News
& World Report, May 15, 2000

Digerati was formed by analogy with literati, "persons
knowledgeable about literature."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Comments on the Chinese GP (Finally!!!)

It only took, what, two months.

The race wasn't bad but was hampered by being only one week from the insane, fantastic, unreal Japanese GP. Compared to it, this one was boring. It wasn't completely boring, though. The day started off with an ominous sign. During the initial "get on the track" laps Minardi's Christijan "No, I really am an F1 driver" Albers ran over Michael "Is the season finished yet?" Schumacher's Ferrari. Both drivers had to scramble for their backup cars. This wouldn't really have effected the outcome of the race, though, so it just ended up an interesting footnote. The only thing that had any meaning for this race was the outcome of the Constructors Championship. Renault was leading McLaren by 2 points going in. And while the team kept downplaying the championship as immaterial, they brought in a specially built engine just for this race.

The race started with an all Renault front as Fernando "I'm so happy" Alonso and Giancarlo "Why I can not win?" Fisichella lined up P1 & P2. Right behind them was the winningest loser of the season, Kimi "Mumble" Räikkönen, who put his McLaren-Mercedes in P3. His teammate JP "It's never my fault" Montoya was in P5 just behind Jenson "The Invisible man" Button's BAR-Honda. The only other thing of note was Takuma "The one point wonder" Sato tucking his BAR-Honda in P17. Taku had a miserable season. With all the promise of 2004 he just was such a non-entity this year it's questionable whether he'll have a ride for 2006.

So anyway, on to the race. The start sees Alonzo blast out in front while Fisi blocked everyone else. Kimi was pushing hard but couldn't make it around the Italian. JP was able to pass Jenson to take up 4th. This seemed to be a fitting order as the only two teams with anything to gain looked like they would be battling it out. It didn't quite happen that way, though. Actually the first move of any consequence, other than Alonzo whipping out a 15s lead, was that the first one out of the race was Michael. On lap 22 he just spun his Ferrari into the gravel. It was a disappointing, yet fitting, end to the season.

Then just 2 laps later JP runs over a drainage cover and trashes his ride. This pretty much sealed the Championship for Renault. But it wouldn't be a walk, it seemed. The Safety Car was brought out so that the track workers could fix the big hole that JP left behind. Thus Alonzo's lead was brought back to nothing. But when the SC came off it was as if the slowdown never occurred. Fernando blasted out to a double digit lead again. Then it was deja-vou all over again.

Narain "I am wondering" Karthikeyan decided he didn't like his Jordan-Toyota today so he splashed it all over the guard wall and across the track. It was a bit disturbing, though, as the Jordan just seemed to disintegrate throwing parts of the car off that shouldn't have come lose at all (the nose cone, tires, suspension). This brought out the SC again and once again Fernando's lead got all sucked up. After the track was cleaned and the race restarted it was deja-vou all over again again as he launched into another >15s lead. From there is was Good Night Irene as the Spaniard never lost the lead for the rest of the race. Kimi was able to jump over Fisi into 2nd and some really good driving from Ralf "Damn-it, my name is not The Other" Schumacher got him from P9 to 3rd. Fisi dropped into 4th and there they would all stay to the finish.

One good bit of work that went virtually unnoticed was Christian "Mister" Klien bringing his Red Bull from P14 to 5th. Other notables were Rubens "I think I'm better than Michael" Barrichello languishing back in 12th, Jarno "What? There's more than 2 gears" Trulli starting P12 and ending up 15th, Felipe "I'm a Ferrari driver!" Massa going from P11 to 6th and the complete suckage of Taku who ended up out of the race on lap 34.

So that's how it all ended. The season could be summed up by what Fernando was sining as he crossed the finish line...

"We are the Champions"

See everyone in 2006!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sino-American Relations

Speaking of China, it seems an official and final ruling has come down from on high. Ok, not "from on high" but more like eased in when nobody was looking. The simple fact of the matter is that I don't make enough money for her to invest time in a relationship with me. Now, it's not as cold blooded mercenary bitch as it seems. See, she's going through some very bad times. I've already helped her through one crisis but now she's dealing with something that is not only financially crippling but emotionally crippling as well. This has clouded her mind so much that she can't even see first base. I offered to help her, just as I did with her previous problem, but she can't see any way for anyone to help outside of financial. She's always said "Actions speak louder than words." Well, her actions have never been very communicative (with one exception) yet it is always I who must prove myself every day. For her, talk is just air and has no meaning or value. I'm thinking a whole host of psychotherapists would have something to say abut that. My belief is that actions are the end result of words. Without the words (i.e. Communication) there can be no actions. This became an impasse so...

I R officially Single again.

I gotta tell you, though, I think this was my last chance; the last glimmer of possibility. From this point on I don't think I'll ever get a girlfriend. Ever.

Which sucks royally.

Free Tibet?

This morning I was watching CCTV, which is Chinese news broadcast in English on the MHz Network. Besides looking at the beautiful Chinese woman reporting the news, I get a very good idea at what is happening in the world from a PRC point of view. This can often be quite interesting as what news is reported can oft' times differ in varying degrees from that reported by the rest of the worlds news centers.

There was a piece on a meeting between Chinese president Hu Jintao and the 11th Pauchan Erdeni Quigyi Gyeibo of Tibet, who is 14 years old. I missed the beginning of it so I don't know what the context of the meeting was but I did get to hear a fair portion of President Hu's comments. Seems that the religious, cultural, technological & social insights that the 11th Pauchan have are treasured by China and fit right in with the grand scheme of the Communist Party (PRC). President Hu said many, many times in his speech that he hopes the Pauchan will follow the precedent set by the 10th Pauchan and embrace the "patriotic" ways of the PRC. The multi-cultural world of China is brought together by the great benevolence of the PRC and Tibet is a valued part of that. The work that the Pauchan can do to being religious and cultural teachings to The People is applauded by the PRC and the PRC will help in this dissemination of understanding and piece.

Blah, blah, blah...

There are times when the BS meter gets pegged so hard the whole thing breaks. This is one such time. You don't have to know anything about Tibet or Buddhism or even Chinese culture to know that 99% of Mr. Hu's speech was full or crap. The PRC wants the open and honest sharing of religion and culture as much as it wants a free Internet. That don't call it the "Great Firewall of China" for nothing.

Watching this did bring a few things to mind, though. It's been forever since I really visited the Thai Buddhist Temple. Once in what much be three years now. I know that my friend there, Phra Aroon, is now in California doing great things which leave no one there who will know me. Still, there was no one who knew me the first time I went and met Phra Aroon and Phra Wichian. If only the temple wasn't so far away. Maybe after he holidays I'll try and hit it at least once a month. We'll see.