Saturday, September 30, 2006

My immune system gives up

Sorry for the paucity of posts, all one of you loyal readers out there.... Wednesday was hectic, Thursday was depressing, and yesterday I was sick. Still am, really. But I'll try and do some catch up this weekend.

Meantime, hit some links on the side, there. You know you want to.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Diebold machines and the hackers who love them

An older story, but one that bears repeating, espeically as election day approaches.

Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy recently published a study of the Diebold voting machines. Their findings: they can be hacked fairly easily, with no way to distinguish between compromised and secure machines. One affected machine can spread the hack to other machines. And to address some of these issues would require not just new software, but new hardware.

This is depressing beyond belief. What the hell kind of a democracy can't get the fucking voting right??? And we're supposed to be spreading democracy?!

So, talk to your local board of elections. Find out what voting method you'll be using. And if it's Diebold, make sure the officials know just how crappy they are. Make a stink. Write the paper. Contact the local news. If there's enough stink, there may be time to make a change.

Buh-bye, George!

Not Bush, sadly. Allen. The Revealer suggests that he's done because, in order to run for Prez, he'd have to be the Xtian Right candidate. And they don't want the baggage.

To be honest, this doesn't shock me. After the whole "macaca" thing, when the noose in the office became more common knowledge, it seemed impossible to me that he had a prayer of running, let alone winning.

But then, I am an idealist.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Out of the Darkness

In August, I participated in the Out of the Darkness Overnight, a 20 mile walk from dusk until dawn. It was to raise money for suicide awareness, prevention, and research. We had to raise $1000 just to participate, plus train for that kind of exertion.

It was worth every minute.

We started out at Soldier Field, in the parking lot. There were Mardi-Gras beads, with each different colored string representing the loss of a different person. Some people had handfuls of strings - thank god I only had 3.

(When I was in high school, two of my classmates committed suicide within days of each other. A co-worker's boyfried killed himself years later, using medications he got from his job as a veterinarian. None of these were devastating to me, but they were upsetting. Particularly in high school, though my then-religion helped me through that.)

There was music, and speakers, and over a thousand walkers. We all had water, and flashlights, and snacks, and the feeling of being part of something way bigger than ourselves. It was indescribable.

We began walking just after night fell. Along the lake front, past the Pier, through the city, nearly to Evanston (you could see the lights from the midpoint). There were breaks, with people to bandage blisters and rub Ben-Gay where you couldn't reach. Friends and family showed up at intervals, clapping and cheering for total strangers at 3 am. "Lunch" was on the shores of the lake, with the sound of the waves crashing for a soundtrack.

By some fluke of timing, I reached the last 2 miles just as the sky began to lighten. This stretch was where we were given the opportunity to light luminaria, in memory of those who were lost. There were clusters of luminaria for one person, for all people, for self. I found myself weeping steadily as I walked through a mile and a half of emotion, before I made my own contribution.

As I passed into the final part of the walk, the sun was coming up over the lake. I paused outside the Shedd Aquarium to watch and fix the moment in my memory. I will remember those emotions forever.

Finishing the walk was incredible. I don't think I have ever hurt that much in my life, but even then I suspected I would want to walk again. Sadly, next year's event is in New York, so it's unlikely. But we'll see.

I have lived with depression for years now, and am fortunate enough that suicide has never seemed an option to me. But to walk for those less lucky, less advantaged, more afflicted, was my privilege.

Please, if you feel that sort of pain, get help.
There are thousands of people who will listen and hear and understand your story - I walked with them.


Or, how the GOP screwed Medicare recipients. Right about now, the elderly are beginning to realize that Medicare only covers so much before they have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket.

What's really sad, is that this isn't a surprise, any more than the levees in New Orleans were. But the MSM didn't cover it, and the Republicans didn't care, and who the hell was going to read through that much legislative gobbledygook on their own???

When I was a kid, I was taught to trust those in authority. Police officers, teachers, pastors, Girl Scout leaders, the whole nine yards. If I were less cynical, less skeptical, less privileged (in that I can afford to spend the leisure time to be informed), I would be stunned too. I find this depressing beyond words.

I fucking hate these people.

Morning traffic

God, I hate living in an industrial park sometimes. Semi traffic picks up at like 6 AM, and those mothers are LOUD. I can't wait to move.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Politics - an overview

Being an opinionated wench, politics has always been fascinating to me. I love to share my ideas, as well as hearing those belonging to others. However, I'm too much of an idealist to be a good politician. I tend to think that things should be "right" or even "fair". You can see the problem.

So, needless to say, the Bush Administration is not my favorite group of people. This is a vast understatement. It would be more accurate to say that if they were all abducted by aliens to be confined to a zoo and pointed at and mocked for the rest of their natural lives, I would cheer. Sadly, it is more likely that they will retire rich and continue to influence policy in the nation for many years to come.

I am no longer content to sit and ponder and say "Gee whiz, they suck" anymore. Now, I am enraged. They have hijacked our nation, they have trampled the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they have lied to the rest of the world as well as Americans, and it is unacceptable. No more. Enough.

I will write my congressmen. I will blog. I will rage. I will protest. I will support Keith Olbermann and his voice in the wilderness. I will educated everyone I can about their rights, and the dangers to them. And I will not back down. No more.

That's it. Red's pissed. I recommend they duck and cover.

Definition of Insanity

So the veterinary hospital where I work is changing to a new patient records software next month. I recently found out that our "training" will consist of two normally scheduled days, while we see patients.

This will include not only brand new software, but brand new hardware, plus additional workstations we don't have at the moment. What are the chances all the networking will work, let alone that we'll be able to figure out what the hell is going on????

The sad thing is that this is how they did the LAST software transition, which went very poorly. Nothing like doing the same damn thing over and over again, hoping for different results....

Baby steps

So it begins.

I'm a blog addict. I've been getting my fix vicariously for a while, but am realizing that rather than dumping everything I have to say on someone else's blog, I should just start my own damn one. I suspect they will appreciate this....

So. Expect many posts on politics. Many on my personal life as well. My hubby may make an appearance from time to time, perhaps more frequently. I will blog about my work, my dog and cats, my theories on life, and how much the latest M. Night Shymalan movie sucked. (I'm fairly certain that will remain constant, no matter how many movies he makes.)

Hopefully, I will amuse, entertain, or even just make you think. If not, at least hit the links at the side. They're my favs.