Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bruce and Andy

I am beginning to suspect that my wife doesn't like it when I shave off my beard. When I have my beard (especially the stubbly-not-bushy type), she tells me I look remarkably like Bruce Willis.

But today, after I shaved off my beard, she told me I look like Andy from Little Britain.

Well, I suppose I can take a hint, Sunshine.

Monday, August 30, 2010

An Alternative Energy Source I Had Never Heard Of

Dr Rubbia says a tonne of the silvery metal — named after the Norse god of thunder, who also gave us Thor's day or Thursday — produces as much energy as 200 tonnes of uranium, or 3,500,000 tonnes of coal. A mere fistful would light London for a week. ...

"Once you start looking more closely, it blows your mind away. You can run civilisation on thorium for hundreds of thousands of years, and it's essentially free. You don't have to deal with uranium cartels," he said. ...

Thorium is so common that miners treat it as a nuisance, a radioactive by-product if they try to dig up rare earth metals. The US and Australia are full of the stuff. So are the granite rocks of Cornwall. ...

After the Manhattan Project, US physicists in the late 1940s were tempted by thorium for use in civil reactors. It has a higher neutron yield per neutron absorbed. ...

You might have thought that thorium reactors were the answer to every dream but when CERN went to the European Commission for development funds in 1999-2000, they were rebuffed.

Brussels turned to its technical experts, who happened to be French because the French dominate the EU's nuclear industry. "They didn't want competition because they had made a huge investment in the old technology," he said. ...

Thorium-fluoride reactors can operate at atmospheric temperature. "The plants would be much smaller and less expensive. You wouldn't need those huge containment domes because there's no pressurized water in the reactor. It's close-fitting," he said.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Oh By The Way

I heard from Epril that an acquaintance of mine was bitching to his friends that a few months back, I had invited him out to one of the pool resorts to go drinking, but when he arrived, he had to buy all the beer himself because I had no money.

To set the record straight: A bunch of friends and I were at this pool resort one afternoon. I had taken all the money I had brought along with me and bought three cases of beer. I sent a text message to this person to join us at about 4:00 in the afternoon when the beer first arrived. I never heard back from him. When he arrived with four of his friends at 7:30 — 3½ hours later — all the beer was gone and the party was pretty much over... and, yes, I had no more money to buy more beer.

This person and his friends then went out and bought beer of their own and drank it. Nobody else who was still there drank any of their beer... although I had a couple of glasses that they offered while I was sitting and chatting with them.

Hope that clears things up.

America Isn't Saudi Arabia... Or Shouldn't Be

Andy McCarthy at The National Review Online engages in a thought experiment:
A friend poses the following: Imagine that there really were these fundamentalist Christian terror cells all over the United States, as the Department of Homeland Security imagines. Let's say a group of five of these terrorists hijacked a plane, flew it to Mecca, and plowed it into the Kaaba.

Now let's say a group of well-meaning, well-funded Christians — Christians whose full-time job was missionary work — decided that the best way to promote healing would be to ... build a $100 million dollar church and community center a stone's throw from where the Kaaba used to be — you know, as a bridge-building gesture of interfaith understanding.

What do you suppose President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, the New York Times, and other Ground Zero mosque proponents would say about the insensitive, provocative nature of the proposal?
I've got a better analogy:
A friend poses the following: Imagine that there really were these fundamentalist Christian terror cells all over the United States, as the Department of Homeland Security imagines. Let's say a group of five of these terrorists hijacked a plane, flew it to Mecca New York, and plowed it into the Kaaba World Trade Center.

Now let's say a group of well-meaning, well-funded Christians — Christians whose full-time job was missionary work — decided that the best way to promote healing would be to ... build a $100 million dollar church and community center a stone's throw from where the Kaaba World Trade Center used to be — you know, as a bridge-building gesture of interfaith understanding.

What do you suppose President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, the New York Times, and other Ground Zero mosque proponents Sarah Palin, The Tea Party, The Drudge Report, and other Christian activists would say about the insensitive, provocative nature of the proposal?

Daily Report: Twin Hearts Sunday

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Daily Report: Coup De Theatre

News from work: I decided to complain about my pending relegation to part-time status. The only problem is that I am a "Level 2" transcriptionist, and there are only part-time Level 2 positions open. I then pointed out to the powers-that-be that more than half of the work I had done in the past 6 years had been "Level 3" work, and my company should promote me and then look to see what overnight Level 3 positions were open.

Apparently that was a good idea. It isn't finalized yet, but I should be moving to another team soon (first time since I started working 8 years ago), to a new overnight, full time position.

Unfortunately, pay rates are being cut again. Even with the promotion, my pay will be going down by somewhere between 5% and 10%. But, since I'll still be working full time, and since my recently redoubled efforts at work have doubled my income, I'm not finding much to complain about now.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Daily Report: Gadgetry

My digital cable box... the one that I bitched for so much during World Cup... was destroyed by lightning last night. An actual bright kerpow out the back, and then no more video. Apparently the entire cable system of Parasat is not grounded at all. Thankfully, the cable box took the entire shot and my television was spared. Epril took the fried box to CDO today and Parasat replaced it without a problem.

I got a "PlayTime" video player from Simon in Thailand. I had asked him to send about $300 worth of DVD's from Thailand, and he asked me why I didn't just buy one of these PlayTime things. It's a little machine (read a review of something similar here), about the size of a deck of cards, that plugs into the back of your television (either by RCA or HDMI), and into which you can plug an external hard drive via a USB port. It costs about $70. So, Simon purchased a PlayTime for me, and a 1 terrabyte hard drive (tiny as well... barely larger than the PlayTime) for $150, and put all of his video collection on it, and sent it back here.

So you connect the PlayTime to the television (I used HDMI) and then connect the hard drive to the PlayTime. Then you turn on the gizmo and you use the remote to scroll through the folders of the hard drive and watch the video files that you want right on your television. (The remote then lets you operate the PlayTime just like a DVD player... fast-forward, pause, turn on subtitles if available, turn up the volume, et cetera.)

It's really incredible when I think about how storage media has improved over my lifetime. I think of the record collection at the old college radio station... now that whole room fits into a shiny black box the size of a cigarette case. Same with a wall-sized collection of VHS video tapes. Same with an entire library of books.

I watched some more of "The Tudors" (starting season 3 tonight), "Star Trek Voyager" (working through season 1), and began on the miniseries "The Pillars Of The Earth" as well.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Daily Report: Ping Pong and Peter Piper's Pickles

No new news on the work situation. But the fact is that in the end, I only care about the money I earn there. Cutting my hours to part time — to "less than 40" — when it was only recently that I ever worked remotely close to 40 hours per week at this job... well, I guess it doesn't make sense to get maudlin. Thanks to everybody who commented or sent e-mails though.

Epril has hired an English tutor, who is coming for a 2-hour class 3 days per week. She had some fun doing tongue twisters for her first class. I suppose it's true that Epril doesn't speak English as well as some of the other wives in our social circle... but I never really felt it impacted on our ability to communicate or understand each other (other than the need to repeat things as if I am hard of hearing), which is all that really matters to me. Besides, my comparison of English skills is not that of Epril to my friend's wives, but to that of the 3 girlfriends I had in Thailand... and there is no comparison.

I do sometimes engage in some good-humored teasing of Epril's accent ("bedsheets" comes out "bitch shits") though, and I think I get under her skin occasionally with that. But I do it only by laughing about what has been mispronounced, saying it wrong myself once or twice, and then offering the correct way of saying it.

My house has been adopted by a little family of mice. Tyson doesn't have what it takes to catch them. I don't particularly mind the mice: They are cute, bee-bopping along the floor like little brown ping-pong balls gone astray. I have a home populated with geckos and occasional palmetto bugs (thanks Mom for giving me a proper name), why not add two or three mice? I can't imagine that they would be so much more pestiferous as compared to the normal flora and fauna that can be found already in the nooks and crannies of this house.

Susan's boyfriend, Jans (like "yawns"), arrived back in Jasaan today from The Netherlands for a 4-week visit. He is sleeping in my TV room. He's a nice fellow, much younger than me... and better looking too. We're going to have a family party at one of the pool resorts on Sunday. I need to get in touch with Ron S., Jans' cousin, who also lives here in Jasaan, to invite him and his family.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Daily Report: Futures

My company sent yet another one of my accounts to India. This time, though, there were no additional accounts for me to fall back on with my current work team. I am being sent to a new team... but part time work only. I was bummed at first, but now I have a feeling that the "part time" really doesn't matter as much to me as it would to other people.

First, the schedule is for 25 hours per week, but I'm sure I could work 30 or more and nobody would complain. Second, other than vacation time, I have no benefits to be affected by moving to part time status.

Still though, I can't help but think of this as one step towards the door.

That leaves me thinking about what to do now since my job no longer seems assured by any means. I couldn't raise the capital to do the chicken business I wanted to do here; Warren lost interest in doing it with me. Same with opening a medical transcription school or buying some taxis: No financing, no capital, no savings.

I could return to America to look for work, but...

(a) I haven't lived there in 10 years, have no place to stay (other than with my mother... 10 miles from anywhere), no car, not even any proper clothes;

(b) I wouldn't try getting back into medical transcription again, so whatever job I do will be entry level, assuming I can find a job at all, which is hardly certain these days;

(c) Epril wouldn't be able to come with me, and I'm really quite sure that I couldn't handle being apart from her for months... or even a year... at a time. That's the worst part of it by far.

Basically, that whole situation sucks so bad, and the possibility depresses me so much, that I'd rather just not think about it and pray that everything just works out alright.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Daily Report: Hair Talk

About once a week, Epril comes and sits down next to me. "Can I cut my hair?" "Sure," I reply. She pouts and says, "Why do you always say no?" Epril knows I like her hair long, and she suspects that I'm saying "yes" just to humor her.

But, I did finally relent and let Epril go and get her hair rebonded. I have no idea what that means, but apparently they were having a sale: Only 3,000 pisos. It's basically like a clear coat for hair. Now Epril's hair is all shiny.

I went to test drive a Mitsubishi Jeep Commando, surplus military, 4-wheel drive. My friend Aldrin was selling it with financing for 280,000 pisos... about $6,200. It was in need of some repairs, especially the brakes. But I didn't buy it because I just didn't like driving it. The clutch and brake had huge spans of almost 12 inches, and the steering wheel was almost 8 turns, lock to lock, no power. Essentially, it was like driving a very large truck, but was the size of a Jeep Wrangler.

While Epril was getting her hair rebonded, I went to Kingston Lodge and had some beers.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thoughts On That "Ground Zero Mosque"

As I'm sure you've heard, it's not just a mosque, it's a community center. It's not on Ground Zero, it's 2 blocks (a long way in crowded Lower Manhattan) to the North. And, just as a note, I used to walk through that area every day on my way home from work and it is the most run-down, blighted section of Lower Manhattan there is. Some community development would be helpful there.

Now, some facts:

1. There already is a mosque in Lower Manhattan. It just so happens it is about 2 blocks away to the South of Ground Zero. I don't hear anybody complaining about that.

2. There already is a mosque in The Pentagon, the other site of the 9-11 attacks. I don't hear anybody complaining about that.

3. The guy who is going to be in charge of this community center was America's representative to the Islamic world and Islamic faith at various times throughout President Bush Jr's 8 years in office, but now he's being called a radical... and as usual this is all Obama's fault anyway.

4. Remember the first ammendment of the U.S. Constitution: All these politicians, who are responsible for upholding the Constitution, who are going on television and talking about how they are going to stop the community center, are treading a very thin line. More importantly, whatever they are telling you they can do: They are lying. There isn't a governmental body in this country that can stop a building from being built because it is being built by Muslims.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Daily Report: Various Notes On Mundane Stuff

Tyson finally figured out that he could jump the 5-foot fence if he wanted to. So far, he has only done it once... when I left without taking him with me. Ever since then, I've had him put on a leash before walking out.

Cignal TV finally added a proper high-definition version of ESPN. I may only be one of perhaps 10 people who loves the fact that it plays nothing except Yankees games... but what a fantastic picture.

Work is going great. I went from averaging 700 lines per day to 1,700 lines per day. I've more than doubled my income in the process. The bills will be all caught up this Saturday.

I didn't have a drink of alcohol in 3 days, and only one drink last night and one drink last Sunday... a vodka tonic each time. I'm not feeling better by abstaining from alcohol, but thankfully I am not feeling worse. I was worried that I had drank so much over the past 10 years on a daily basis that going without would be a problem physically or mentally... it isn't. (I've mostly been drinking root beer, which claims to not have caffeine in it.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thoughts On Prostitution In The Philippines

An ongoing protest by a church in Ohio at a local strip club has brought the strippers to church... in skimpy bikinis, to do their own protest.

Lots of people protest against countries like The Philippines because of their massive sex trade: They think that it is sexual exploitation. Such an assessment is true but is far too simplified and limited in scope.

The fact is that the entire working-class population of The Philippines is exploited, with worker salaries placed at such a level as to make survival (and, more importantly, personal advancement through education and training) a very difficult proposition. The prostitutes working in go-go bars gave up the financial exploitation they faced at their $150-per-month jobs in a store, restaurant, or office in exchange for sexual exploitation at $500 or $1,000-per-month jobs of dancing and providing sexual services.

You can judge each type of exploitation and assign your own personal values to determine each one's Manichean damage/benefit to Filipino society... but you can't judge them separately or exclusively; they are linked.

Worker exploitation is part of the foundation of The Philippines economy. Even education isn't really enough to overcome this, as a college graduate here will struggle mightily to find an employer who will pay what would amount to 50% of what Europe or America would consider the "poverty line". (My friend is building a house, and the very-experienced and competent architect he is using earns $10,000 per year.) Now to that low salary add the Filipino tradition and obligation of sending vast percentages of one's income home to support one's family, and you can see how difficult life is for people here... from professionals down to high-school dropouts.

So into that established system of financial exploitation, you toss a Filipina girl fresh out of high school. Her family is needy, their needs are exigent, and there is no possibility of higher education or overseas work (due to lack of funds and the poor public high-school education she has received). What are her earning options? When even the clothing stores at Limketkai Mall demand a college degree before they'll allow this girl to stand behind a counter for 60 hours per week at 8,000 pisos per month?

So she makes the choice to work in a go-go bar. It's not her fault. It's not even the fault of the go-go bar owner who offers the job. It's the fault of the Filipino economy, which dictated that her value as a person... in a non-sexual capacity... is close to nothing.

My personal opinion is this: I have a very large amount of respect for girls in The Philippines who make the difficult decision to sell their bodies. They are sacrificing their self-respect, reputation, health, and soul for (what I hope is) a shot at a better life for themselves and their families. Perhaps her sex work is paying the medical bills of a sick parent. Perhaps her sex work is paying the tuition of a younger sister to keep her from having to make a similar choice. Perhaps her sex work is even being saved for her own dreams of a future education or business. Regardless, it is her attempt to "beat the system", and I do respect that.

I would of course much rather fix this broken and abusive economy than see girls forced to make this choice... but until then — and here is where reasonable minds can disagree — I have no problem with the fact that such a choice is still available.

Daily Report: Weekend Wrapup

Saturday was my birthday. Yes... I told everyone I was 28. That's a perfunctory claim based not on some discomfort with my age, but because at my age it seems traditional to do so. (Besides, if you are going to choose your age, why go with Benny's traditional "39"?) I didn't really celebrate my birthday... no party or anything. I'm getting to the point now where it is only worth celebrating the quinary birthdays.

Besides, I've got a much better thing to celebrate, I've decided: On September 1, 2010, my 15,000th day on earth is coming up. I think I'll do something for that instead. I'll have a cake with 15,000 candles on it.

So I worked on Saturday, but joined Warren and his family at Kahulogan Pool Resort during my lunch break. (Epril had gone out to visit an orphanage for the day.) In the evening, Ednel cooked a nice supper and Epril brought home a delicious tiramisu-chocolate birthday cake.

On Sunday, Epril, Ednel, and I went in to CDO and visited Daddy Aldrin's new cantina for lunch. Then we did a bit of grocery shopping. I bought all kinds of juices and things to drink as part of my aforementioned attempt to drink less alcohol.

Today... Monday, I had a fantastic day of work and then for dinner, Epril and I were invited over to Andy and Cynthia's house for dinner in Tagoloan.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Basil Marceaux... Republican candidate for governor of Tennessee: He's made entirely of win.

If he wins, I want to move to Tennessee because if politics is going to be insane, you might as well go full in.

And seriously though: This guy is so accidentally and awfully awesome... His stiff gait and Rain-Man wobbly station and stiff mannerisms can't be a put-on. His eagerness and earnestness mixed with mumbling solecisms, elisions, and twang... Totally original. His campy video editing ("vegitation"?) is so close to exactly what you expect that you almost can't help but think that that it's genuine. Politics meets performance art.

Good News

Thanks to the help of an anonymous reader, Eric and I have buried the hatchet.

Somebody must have performed some Black magic to solve that problem.

Daily Report: Better Eating, Less Drinking

Work was okay today. We had a big rain storm that knocked out the power for a while.

Chef Ednel made something brilliant for dinner today: She took some cream dory fish chunks, wrapped them in rice paper like egg rolls and fried them, then put them in a casserole dish and covered them with a white mushroom sauce. Oh so good.

I'm going to cut down on my alcohol drinking. My problem is that I am always thirsty. I take in at least 2 liters of liquid per day, probably 3. However, I don't like to take in caffeine after 6 p.m., or much sugar. I simply don't like drinking water... never have in my life. So I drink beer, or sometimes martinis or vodka tonics.

But drinking 5 or 6 drinks per evening (as I have for the last 10 years) is a little much. I really should cut back.

I think I'll switch to iced tea. It has the fewest calories and sugar, and the caffeine isn't so strong that I can't get to sleep.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Daily Report: Wag The Dog

Standard day today. Ednel cooked some farfalle in a light tomato basil sauce. Dave from Kimaya stopped by in the evening for a visit.

My mother was writing the other day about how she takes her little puppy out for walks and describes a happily prancing, well-heeled dog walking straight down the street.

It was always so impossible to get Tyson to heel on a leash... even after a year of trying. It's a simple reason really: A Filipino street has to be, to a dog, the most fantastic-smelling place on the planet. My mother's little dog — on that empty street where no food has fallen, no strange animals have scatted, no bitches in estrus have piddled, no lower orders are decomposing — has nothing to pull along to reach for, nothing to plant all fours against tugging and bury the snout into. On Tyson's walks, his canine olfactory sense has an embarrassment of riches. I'm quite sure that Tyson passes over 20 or 30 potential sniffs before settling on something worth dwelling upon... 20 or 30 things all of which my mother's Gracie would just kill to get a whiff of on that empty street.

For the third night now, I've taken Tyson for a walk without a leash. He does remarkably well... although he did fire off a quick bark when he was surprised by some fellows sitting down low on a dark patio. He doesn't leave the street, which was my main concern: When he was younger and got out one time, I had to run and get him out of some poor scared family's living room (where he had followed another dog).

Lots of other dogs bark at Tyson, and some even come into the street to try to menace him. But Tyson just does his usual overture of friendship: He pauses, panting, wagging, staring; then he does this purposeful Tyson-patented doggy saunter over to the growling/barking newcomer; then he does this funny pronk, coming down with his furiously-wiggling butt in the air and his front elbows and chin on the ground. That's usually the point where the newcomer decides that Tyson is a bit touched in the head and runs off.

I think if I were to summarize Tyson in comparison to other dogs I've been familiar with in my life, I would have to say that Tyson is by far the most happy and care-free dog I have ever known.

Crackdown On Foreign Criminals In Pattaya Starts

Pattaya Beach in Thailand is well-known in Asia as being an adult playground, with a 12-mile-long beach lined with upscale shopping malls, myriad bars, discos, and restaurants, and fancy hotels. There are 20 golf courses, an aquarium, a water park, botanical gardens, a convention center that regularly hosts ASEAN conferences and heads of state, and what used to be the largest hotel in the world.

In addition, there are a quarter of a million bar girls (and, with one of the largest gay neighborhoods in Asia, bar boys). There is lots and lots of crime and lots and lots of drugs too.

There are lots of criminals... foreigners and Thai people alike.

There is one major difference in the criminals though: Thai criminals come to Pattaya to commit crime. Foreign criminals (for the most part, with notable exceptions) come to Pattaya to hide from the crimes they committed elsewhere.

It is believed that this will be ending soon: The Immigration department in Pattaya (which records the name of every foreigner checking into a hotel) is soon going to take their database of visitors and start comparing it to arrest warrants issued overseas.

Unfortunately, there is a major problem with this idea in practice:

It simply isn't too difficult to avoid winding up in Pattaya Immigration's visitor database. Criminals who rent houses (or the huge community of Russian and East European millionaire criminals who own the monstrous mansions in the hills outside of town) don't have their names submitted to hotels. (The houses are in the names of Thai corporations.) When one renews his visa at the Cambodian border, Pattaya Immigration doesn't hear about it. If one takes regular flights every few months into and out of the country, then one's name never needs to wind up on a desk at Immigration at all.

The really wealthy and notorious criminals already have the Thai Elite card, forged papers, or some other way to stay in the country without having to show up at Pattaya Immigration. Then, for extra insurance... well, Thai government officials really love their tea money.

Finally, if Pattaya isn't welcoming to the international criminal element, there is always Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui, Roi Et, or any of 1000 other places where tourists are welcome in The Land of Smiles... no questions asked.

In the end, the question is simple: Why is this Pattaya's problem alone? Why should Thailand focus its efforts there? If Pattaya Immigration can hook up to a database of international arrest warrants, why can't the entire country of Thailand do the same? Why can't they sniff these people out at the airport or the borders?

Well, there is a reason: Thailand is only worried about appearances, not process, and not results. In Thailand, as far as Thai people are concerned, setting up this toothless little system in Pattaya is proof positive that wanted criminals aren't welcome there. That's good enough.

And if the criminals can't figure that out and just leave... or allow themselves to be caught and deported... well, that's not Thailand's fault.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Daily Report: A Quotidien of Lifelong Learning

I always spend the first hour of my day doing the same thing: Hitting the snooze button on my alarm. I enjoy the mental jumble of hypnogogic/hypnopompic imagery as dreams and reality collide. It's like channel surfing of dreams; a last-minute oneiric dash through whatever my mind can dredge up. I yo-yo up and down from REM to lucidity, with my mind laughing like it's a carnival ride.

My next hour is always spent anchored firmly in reality: Reading the news and politics and issues of the day just ending on the other side of the world. Coffee close at hand.

After that comes an hour of learning and study: Any questions I asked myself the day before but could not answer, I study; any subjects of interest that I've been following or have learned about on TV, I read further. Second cup of coffee.

Then, I write in my blog... if I have something to write.

After that, I work. I keep a window open on my desktop next to my work software in which I list new words I have learned and their definitions, which I glance at in the moments between jobs. (There are almost 2,000 words on that list now.)

During lunch (something skillfully cooked by Chef Ednel), I usually do some reading: some of the longer articles I didn't have the time for earlier in the day, or occasionally a book. I write responses to e-mails I had read upon waking, after taking the morning to formulate answers. Other times, I go downstairs and spend time with my wife and family.

In the evening, after a walk, I turn on the television and watch The History Channel, or one of the Discovery channels. I play with Tyson a bit... try to train him, although he isn't as interested in learning as his teacher.

Then, I go to bed, and read a bit or play a video game before going to sleep.

So, to answer my mother's inveterate tag line: That's what happening in my neck of the woods.

My Brother In Law Should Try This

Run a half marathon, and drink a beer every mile.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Daily Report: Back To Work


I took the day off yesterday, sleeping in after staying out until 2 a.m. I had hoped to do something fun with my day off, but wound up frittering it away on TV and couch potatodom. (I wanted to go swimming in the morning, but Epril said, "It's too early." So I plopped down in front of the TV. In the early evening, Epril wanted to go swimming, and I said, "It's too late.")

I asked my work supervisor to start posting "individual team member statistics" in her daily e-mail, so that I could see how I am doing compared to the other 49 people who work in the same group I do. Last week, I did 15% more work than the second-best person, and at least 30% more than the third, fourth, and fifth-best, and at least 40% ahead of the other 45 people.

My company finally has come up with a tool that lets supervisors know how much time we employees actually spend working. You would think that they would have had a way to measure that kind of thing decades ago, but the truth was one could clock in as much time as one wanted, do as little work as one wanted, and there was no way to measure the disparity... at least in an automated way.

That's a mixed bag for me. I've never had the mental stamina to put in 40 hours of actual transcription in a week before: not in 9 years that I can remember. I now usually work between 28 and 33 hours per week. But, if I do find that additional stamina — which I suppose I will have to — I'll certainly be getting paid a lot more for doing a lot more. So crack that whip, Corporate Overseers!

I've been taking Tyson for walks at night without a leash. There aren't people walking around, and barely any vehicles on the streets. He does just fine, gets 50 times as much exercise as compared to just lumbering along at my pace, and when we get back to the house, he goes right back inside the gate without any problem. He's really a good dog, if an arrant rascal.

Lost Da Fashizzle.

My days as a putative drug kingpin (and several other rather more unsavory metiers of crime) are over: The anonymous slander on ComplaintsBoard.com has gone down the memory hole.

I get to keep my tongue-in-cheek rejoinder about impecunious second graders though. I must have amused the website overlords.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Daily Report: Tripartite Birthday Party

This evening was the cotillion party for my friend Warren's sister-in-law, Jolimae... also known as Bing. Since Warren's birthday was last week, and his wife's birthday is also very close, it was decided to hold a 3-way birthday party at the ballroom of the Hotel Conchita.

Epril, older sister Susan, and all of Jen's other friends were there.

Obviously, lots of picture taking as the ladies were all looking fabulous in their evening wear.

Myself, Warren, and Dave standing around chatting and waiting for the party to start (marked by the arrival of the debutante).

Epril and I post for a snapshot. Like my tie?

Warren and Jen's daughter Tash was looking like quite the little princess this evening.

Jency and Kevin Young, and Jneth were there as well.

Gloria and Dave Edwards in attendance.

Warren and his son Max.

Debutante Jolimae arrives.

Birthday celebrants Warren and Jen had a table up front as well.

Jency Young provided some songs on her guitar.

Jolimae joins the girls for a photo.

Jolimae and her escort for the evening.

Epril poses with the birthday cake.

The girls take a break on the dance floor to pose for a photo.

Jolimae and her father.

Jolimae, her father, and her female relatives.

Myself and the three birthday celebrants.

After the party ended, we all went to Zax for some late night music, drinking, and dancing. (I almost drank too much!)