Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I've been politically active since before I was 18.
Heck, I sort of grew up around politics. The mayor of my hometown when I was a kid was a friend of the family (he's a state legislator now). I've had the opportunity to meet, speak with and hang out with governors, congressmen, etc etc etc in both parties ever since I was a young teenager.
Part of it was family connections, part of it is because of the places where I've worked/people I've worked with, and part of it is because, well, to be honest, I have the tendency to meet interesting people (and the fact that I tend to be memorable for some odd reason =] ).
When it comes to politics, I tend to be a moderate. A lot of the people where I currently am would call me a "dirty liberal", but that's largely because they consider anything other than extremely hard right to be "dirty liberal" territory.
To put it into perspective, I had to register as a Republican in my hometown when I turned 18 for one very important reason - so I could actually vote in the local primaries. People would literally fight over who got to be the Republican candidate because *nobody* there would vote for anyone that actually ran as a Democrat. There were more Independent candidates than Democrat ones where I grew up. I kid you not.
I figured that I might as well register in a manner that would allow me to *actually* help decide who would get into office in my city and county.
It was crazy and rather surreal. The sad thing is that basically the whole geographic area was like that (and still is, really). We're talking about people who admit that they would gladly vote Bob Ney back into office if they could "because he isn't a Democrat"!
Me, I tend to vote on the issues and not on the party. I do my research and make my decision (despite what a certain commenter here seems to think because he doesn't agree with my conclusions). I don't care if you're a Republican, Democrat, or a member of the Bull Moose party as long as I think you will do your job well and faithfully for the benefit of your constituents.
That said, I have to admit that, if I didn't vote on the issues, the political spam I've gotten this election season would probably have me voting against every Republican on the ballot. I'm not talking phone calls or letters/fliers. Those I get from both sides. I'm talking actual email spam.
I've gotten hammered with spam from the Republican party for probably two months. I have yet to get a spam message from the Democrats (and yes, I've checked my spam filters).
I can't say that I haven't gotten emails from Democrat candidates for various offices, because I have, but those were actual emails and not spam (yes, I get emails from Republican politicians as well. I have friends on both sides). I don't hear from them as often lately, but then I've been kind of quiet for the last year or so myself due to some things that have been going on.
The point is that the Republicans are really abusing this "new" (to them, at least, it seems) technology to reach out to people. They seem to be spamming anything that moves, because I haven't used one of the addresses for *anything* of a political nature.
The greatest part is that they're spamming me, making twisted (and often false) statements, and then *asking me for money*. That's right. They're annoying the hell out of me with spam email and then expecting that I'll give them money.
Granted that's not quite as good as the spam that I've been getting from the "Bank of Nigeria" in Japanese, but it comes fairly close.
From an issues standpoint, there are almost no good Republican candidates here this time around, but the spamming tactics is just another nail in their coffin in my opinion.
Current mood: tired
Current music: Starship - We Built This City
Friday, October 24, 2008
James Takes A Day Off.
The world ended. I did, in fact, take an actual day off.
No email, no code, I didn't even take the laptop with me. The most complex piece of electronics that came with me (other than the car) was my phone, and it was only used once in order to co-ordinate the hotel stay.
Okay, twice if you count using it as an alarm clock...
I spent a day and a half completely unplugged. I think it was something I needed. I've just been really busy lately, and needed to force myself to stop with everything that was on my plate, even just for a day since I've been running basically 7 days a week for quite a while now.
Thursday was nice. Sunny; a little cool, but not too bad, and relaxed. There was much time spent just wandering around enjoying the day. Friday was a different story - mostly cold and rainy.
On the whole, it was rather relaxing, though I didn't sleep a whole lot. I never seem to under certain circumstances, but that wasn't such a big change since I haven't been sleeping a great deal lately anyway (life's like that sometimes).
At any rate, I'm back now, so the (somewhat ordered) chaos can resume =]
I was, admittedly, kind of surprised that I wasn't contacted by at least *someone* while I was out and that there weren't any major issues in my inbox when I got back. It was probably because I only took one day since the last time I took something that looked like a real vacation, I got about 3 steps inside the door upon my return before I was pounced by directors and upper management going "OMG! The world is ending!!" lol
The funny thing is that *they're* the ones who insisted that I should take some time off because I'd been working so much heh
Current mood: tired
Current music: Backyard Babies - Pet Semetary
Saturday, October 18, 2008
A Day Off.
Just a notice that I will be taking a day and a half off during this coming week. It's not something that I get to do often, so I thought I'd take advantage of it. =]
On Thursday, October 23 and most of Friday, October 24 (probably until the evening), I will be unavailable by email, so don't worry if I don't respond right away.
Should you need to contact me and get a more immediate response, you can still reach me by phone (the number is on my website).
Here's to hoping that it goes well, and, of course, thank you for understanding =]
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I don’t know if it’s prudent to put this here (in fact, it probably isn't), but the right thing to do is not always the prudent thing to do, and I really think I need to say this publicly. It has more meaning that way…
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find my center again, and did a lot of things along the way in the hopes of reaching that point.
I trained until I collapsed practically every day for a year. That didn’t work. It just made me tired. Granted, it improved my stamina, but mostly it just made me tired.
I taught duello style fencing for several years. The workout at least got me out of the labs and let me sleep a little at night.
I spent some time learning blacksmithing. There was some quiet to be found there because of the focus required to create pieces and not hurt yourself in the process. In addition, it caused me to put on a little more muscle.
I played with the local black belts from various disciplines. They looked forward to it because of how much they learned. I looked forward to it because it gave me something to focus on.
I threw myself into my work. I regularly spent the night in the labs, frequently until 2 or 3 in the morning. Despite that, I still found it hard to concentrate.
I spent a lot of time at the lake, looking out over the water. It was quiet there. I think you would have liked it.
I took a lot of road trips. I learned that miles on the odometer can’t distance you from some problems.
I took a lot of walks. Some of them lasted multiple days.
I gave private kenjutsu lessons to a couple of people.
I’ve done many other things – too many to list here.
I’ve done, seen and learned many things – some of them good and some of them bad. I am, in many ways, a different person. In some ways I am stronger. In others, I am weaker. In yet others, I am simply changed. Yet, despite it all, I remain myself for that is all I can be, flaws and all.
The one thing that has never changed is my love for you.
On the path I’ve walked, I’ve never forgotten. In fact, you’ve never been far from my thoughts during the entire journey. I’ve learned that the only thing I can do is live my life day by day the best that I can and try to keep hope.
Every year, I celebrate this day as a reminder of you.
I love you very much and I miss you every day.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I apologize if anyone tried to contact me from about 11:20am-12:40pm today. The mail server at my hosting provider took a dive and I didn't get any of your messages.
Please feel free to re-send anything that may not have gotten through and I will make an effort to ensure that I respond to all of you.
Thanks, and I'm sorry for any delays or problems this might have caused.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I Was The Responsible One?
With some of the things that have been happening lately, I ended up talking to someone I used to be friends with in high school. We lost touch partway through college because of things that happened, but we occasionally get to talk now.
One of the things that came up was how bizarre it was that I was considered the responsible one by the parents of so many of my friends. Apparently any uneasiness was put aside if I was going to be involved. Don't ask me why, but it's true.
I find that especially weird considering some of the insane things *I* did even back then. However, I guess it was that I tried to keep everyone *else* from getting into too much trouble and that I could handle things if they got out of hand that made me the "safe" one to be with (I mean, who better to have your son/daughter out with than their friend that can smooth over problems and, if it comes down to it, help treat injuries or inflict them, right?)
Yeah, I was a regular snarky knight in shiny armor [/sarcasm].
The funny thing is that many activities were only approved *if* I'd be going (road trips, concerts, etc etc etc). If I wasn't going, my friends weren't allowed to go either. It was kind of surreal because I was considered a sort of surrogate adult.
Anyway, to get back on track, my friend and I were talking and that came up. He was as amazed at the whole thing as I was (in part, I think, because he knew some of the insanity that was my life). He ended up making fun of the whole situation himself during part of the conversation:
Friend's mom: Where are you going?
Friend: Um... to ritually sacrifice animals?
Friend's mom: Is James going??
Friend's mom: Okay. Have fun.
(Please note that there was no animal sacrifice involved. I have too much respect for animals. Some people, on the other hand, are fair game in my book *smirk*)
Current mood: tired...
Current music: Sneaker Pimps - Kiss & Swallow