About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!

About Me
Columbus, OH
Political Score:
Temp @ JPMorgan Chase
Ohio State University
Political Science, International Studies
High School: Home Educated
Reading, standing in line for things, writing, research

About My Family
My mom is a
lawyer in Pickerington; my stepdad and dad are computer guys, and my stepmom (who works with my dad) is an engineer. My sisters are, in order of age, a photographer, an artist, and a person too young to have her own website. My brothers are, in order of age, living up north, and again, a person too young to have a website. At some point soon I'll be collecting links for my aunts, uncle, and cousins. ^_^

Message Services
(Please see the notes below the Comment Policy before sending me a message)

My CafePress Designs

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Star Wars: Episode 3 Line (Hollywood)
My Star Wars Line page

NaNoWriMo 2007:
My Novel: Cipere Lumen

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2006:
My Novel: The Manatee Conspiracy

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2005:
My Novel: Beyond the Cliffs of Kefira

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Participant

NaNoWriMo 2004:
My Novel: sul Okyar tir taTz'ileea

National Novel Writing Month

Saturday, June 25, 2005
Well begun is half, umm,  
Okay, it isn't really half done, but I'm still proud of myself for doing the trim of our front door. I'm in a total painting mood now -- all these bare walls and unfinished bookcases had better watch out. The trim looks good, I think. It's weird how a new coat of white paint looks so much whiter than an old coat of off-white paint. Heh. Anyway, I think with the green on the doors themselves, it'll look really cool. We should put up, like, a brass thing of some sort (nameplate, knocker, whatever) to complete the look. We won't, though.

My next project is probably going to be the stairs coming down to the basement. I haven't decided yet whether to try washing those walls or do more work organizing my room (I want it clean enough that I feel not icky doing yoga on the floor by my bed...) after writing my Sunday School lesson. We'll see; I expect to have lots and lots of spare time tonight because a) all of my friends are at Disneyland and b) this is probably the easiest lesson to write ever (forgiveness!) Funny how some of the most complicated things to really do is so easy to teach (at least, the principle itself.) I've narrowed down my "hard to say" example (to show how hard it can be to say "I forgive you") to either onomatopoeia or antidisestablishmentarianism (they're all 6/7 years old, and most can read.)


Thursday, June 23, 2005
Compromise Bites  
So, Kelo. See InstaPundit's roundup for all the links I would have given you at the beginning of this post.

What I wouldn't give for a major political party that could manage to be sane in terms of international relations, basic economics AND the fundamental principles of a free society all at the exact same time. No, not these people -- I will not support a party full of people who think they can manage a country but who can't actually manage a simple campaign for Congress.

Argh. I don't trust government. I think it's utterly insane to trust government. The whole idea behind limiting powers left, right, and center in the Constitution is that it's completely irrational to trust government. You just don't do it. It's like letting serial killers be in charge of elementary school administration, having groups of professional politicans be in charge of your money and your military and the rest. Honestly, if Kerry hadn't been such a twerp and there hadn't been this whole war on terror deal, I so would have been more conflicted about voting for Bush. His nominees would be even lamer, I bet, on this issue than the folks we have now.

For way less emotional discussion, see here.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005
This doesn't make much sense...  

Okay, first off, yay for more theme parks! I want to be the first one to work at them all. ^_~

Second off, there are lots and lots of disgruntled former Disney employees. Please seek some of us out and get help with your theming, guys. Eco-Tourism World? Bleh.

Third... how much do you expect to pay your employees? The reason I ask is, well, if you're expecting to have 300,000 people working there, and only 200,000 visiting per day, that means that you have to have every one of your guests supporting the salaries of 1.5 workers, and all the marginal and fixed costs of their stay, AND all the profits you anticipate getting per guest. That's going to be hard. Disney and most of the other Western theme parks charge between $25 and $55 (the premier ones are all over $45) per day in admissions; meals cost about 1.6 times what you'd pay for them in the outside world, and most retail items cost 20-50% more than what you'd pay at the stores across the street from the main gates. The hotels run at a premium, too. Most of the workers make a little less than your average unskilled worker in the local economy... and their ratios are more like 30,000 workers for 120,000 guests (actually, the Disneyland Resort, excluding the hotel, employs around 22,200 people, and gets 11,000 guests on a VERY slow day and 90,000+ on a really busy day; max capacity is over 100,000, if you include Downtown Disney, which has no entry fee.)

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how this one pans out. And for the geographically challenged amongst my readers...

Hat Tip: BoingBoing


Monday, June 20, 2005
Home Improvement  
Okay, so I have one project! I'll be painting the trim around the front door (and the front door itself) for $20. I need to find sand paper and I'll be all set. Once we have some sealant for the driveway and back porch, Caroline and I will attempt those projects together. I'm also thinking there's potential in the fact that most of the interior walls haven't been painted yet, though I have to figure out how to get all the dirt off the primer before any actual painting takes place. And, of course, all of that has to be done with the cats running around. Oi. On the one hand, a temp job (or starting this blasted tech support gig) would be better in terms of having a steady stream of cash. On the other, it's kind of cool to be able to see the fruits of my labor, as it were. I mean, I go through that front door all the time.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Good News, Bad News...  
Okay. I have a job. Yay! But, not only does it not start until July 25th -- I won't get paid until August 24th (!)

Yeah, exactly.

So, I'm going to be going to a temp agency after lunch. See if I can get lots and lots of short term assignments. 40 hours a week at $9/hour (11am to 8pm, Tuesday through Saturday) and pretty much exactly the shift I want -- I can go to YSA family home evening and dances, and watch Battlestar Gallactica, AND sleep in -- is basically ideal, for the short to mid term. Really really stinks I can't start right away. Also, the training pay is bizarre ($60/day, rather than a set hourly rate) which has me worried about classes going till 2am or something. Ah, well. That first paycheck will be substantial (I'm thining around $1070, after taxes?) which will be, you know, good. Can't believe I won't see that till August, though... bleh.

Anyway, I've technically got a job, so I think I'll watch Clone Wars today. Probably won't go see Ep. III again till I actually get paid, though, since that'll cost money and I have... well, none really.

Thinking about asking my stepdad if Caroline and I can stain the deck in back for cash. Hmmm.


Opportunity Costs and Blog Comments  
I will probably never comment on this post.

I know, I know. Why on earth am I posting here about how I won't comment over there? Well, this is what the original post says (a small chunk, I should say):

Here are some thoughtful responses to Milbank’s work. They model the kinds of responses that are appropriate. I’ve requested a couple more and as they come in, I will add them to the list.


One of the very best things about the blogosphere, in my opinion, is how much it resembles my favorite classes in college. Lots of really, really awesome material is put out there -- and all kinds of responses are safe. You'll probably get yelled at if you bring up your cat's latest antics in the middle of a European history discussion (say, a review of family relations in 1650s England?) unless you're really, really good at making it relevant. And if you are really, really good at making it relevant, well, class is way more fun. But it's okay to respond to an analysis of gender roles and household responsibilities with "Wow, I have no idea what any of that means, but it kind of reminds me of how my mom thinks that I should know how to cook and knit even though I can buy food and clothing at Wal-Mart," because it shows you've at least made an attempt to meet the material on some level, and anyway, in a second one of your classmates is going to either shoot you down or say something so impressive (good or bad) that it makes everyone forget that you just said something kind of silly. Discussions can shift, people are engaged... everyone (hopefully) did the reading and in the meantime, the exploration is fun, because you know you don't have to be profound for every second of every conversation. Which is especially nice, since you're taking four classes and doing about 200 pages a week of reading, and you have a part time job and the roommate from someplace unspeakable, and frankly, half of this material is either hideously boring or way, way beyond your level still. And your professor has been studying it for the last twenty years (and by the way, selected the textbook herself.)

Anyway, it took me nearly 8 months to get comfortable commenting on blogs (only took about 4 months of college classes to stop being too shy to talk -- by my senior year, I was asking questions in lecture halls.) It took over a year before I worked up the courage to email Glenn Reynolds (or, bizarrely, any other blogger,) though; he's a professor and a famous blogger, for heaven's sake.

The point is, I don't need any kind of "make this conversation meaningful, darnit!" pressure, since I give it to myself in rather large doses already; it's bad enough we insist on that in all that stuff that goes through peer review (honestly, if I do go to law school, I'll probably have my meltdown halfway through Scholarly Writing.)

Some of the best conversations on blogs that I've seen lately have included random whining, Star Wars references, and even "hey, we went on a blind date with each other ten years ago!" reunions. Those are the ones I got a lot out of; the ones that made me rethink my views on stuff. The ones that made me click on the links in peoples' signatures. The ones that didn't take such a huge effort to read and comprehend -- and the ones that didn't demand, up front, serious discussion.

Now, it's okay that there are posts out there that do demand that. I'm all about serious discussion much of the time (ask anyone I've dated -- or for that matter, anyone who's met me -- if I like serious discussion.) But I think that blogging has a huge advantage in its inherent unpredictability, and light-heartedness, and low barriers to entry (both technologically and culturally.) And I just don't... enjoy feeling like my response to a post will get more scrutiny than my paper/poster on Lithuanian nationalism did at the last undergrad research conference I participated in. In fact, the posts I'm least likely to ever respond to are the ones that seem to demand a really thoroughly researched reply. Please, I find myself saying, please just make a simple error of fact -- or ask for a relatively unambiguous opinion...

Reading four essays about "radical orthodox" philosophy and trying to formulate a reasoned, well-written response in the space of around 24 hours (of which 2 will be spent trying to write the actual post) is likely to generate 2 or 3 click-throughs to this blog, and no reply comments or emails. I can get that with a random "ummm, I don't really care for pop fiction endorsed by Oprah, and probably won't read the Da Vinci Code" reply on M*, with three seconds of effort and no massive level of stress. Moreover, I'll definitely understand what the heck my own position on the matter means at the end of the day (i.e., "I don't like Oprah, and I won't be reading The Da Vinci Code!") which I sort of doubt will happen with anything I could say in reply to Jim's post. I'm, uh, not even sure what question I'm supposed to answer in Jim's post, which kind of worries me, to be honest. Given that, I'd probably spend another 20 minutes trying to find the question (it's taking a lot of self-control to refrain from doing that right now, just to settle the matter.)

So, ummm, I won't be replying in that thread. Too much risk, not enough reward... Sorry, Jim. I thought it was an awesome essay (at least, the chunks I understood, which were actually greater in number than what I thought I would understand, because I had been trying to watch CNN while reading it, the first time through) I hope you liked writing it. Good luck with the experiment -- I think there are a lot of people at T&S who will not be all defeatist (as I am, I'm afraid) when faced with your challenge. It's definitely the blog to try it at, at least. ^_^

(no offense to Jim meant, by the way -- this post was born because I literally said out loud "Whoa... there's no way I can reply to that" as soon as I hit the "(More)" link on the front page of T&S, and wanted to figure out why I'd had that reaction -- and as an illustration of how much work a *real* reply to Jim would take, I've spent 55 minutes writing and editing this post... which probably goes to show why I should get over this whole perfectionism thing, I bet.)


Saturday, June 11, 2005
A thousand words...  
Okay. I'm sick of not having a camera. Yes, it's taken two years to get to this point (my old one broke in April of 2003,) and I feel justified in blaming Caroline for this.

Anyway, I've got (or soon will have) a $50 voucher from Best Buy (my old cell phone simply will not stay on, so I'm applying for a replacement voucher,) so I'll have to get this camera from them. And, once I have a job I'll have bazillions of things to pay for (insurance, gas, rent of the storage shed, rent at home [?], student loans, food, shampoo...) -- and of course, I don't have a job yet (prayers will be much appreciated around 9am Tuesday morning, by the way,) so things will be even tighter as I'll have stuff to buy that I've been putting off (I must, for instance, get a job before I run out of toothpaste.) So. I don't think that realistically I'll be able to spend more than 5% of my weekly pay for the summer (or about $150-200) on this camera. That puts the upper limit of my price range at around $149-179, I think (since the $50 will be largely offset by the price of a memory card and taxes.)

I'd like to get a camera that can at least do ordinary portrait size photos (8x10), can do a bit of the pretty sunset/super up-close flower/cool shot of a tractor from the side of the road type photography, as well as get good shots of Ohio Stadium from the banks of the Olentangy River and photos of my friends at conventions and such. I want to be able to take the camera places (camping, Europe, whatever) and I want it to still be a decent-yet-fun camera in four or five years. I don't need to be able to do fancy tricks (take a photo with a sepia filter, say) with the camera itself; that's what Paint Shop Pro is for.

I want to have a memory system that isn't insanely expensive ($100 for 1gb of memory is probably my limit,) and I want to be able to take more than one photo every 20 seconds. I want to have one of those LCD screens. I definitely want to be able to upload photos directly to a computer using a USB port. I'd like to be able to put the thing on a tripod, since Caroline has one of those and I think they're useful. I want the memory system to be available in five years; it'd be swell to get one that's compatible with lots of different readers. I don't want the camera to insist on me installing a ton of proprietary software just to get my photos on the computer.

I like video, but it's not a big deal to me if I can't have it. I need to be able to do a moderate amount of fiddling with the zoom and such. I have to be able to turn off the flash, to force the flash to go off, etc. Oh, and I want to be able to fit the camera in an ordinary size small camera bag -- I already own three of the things, and don't want to get anything else, especially anything bigger. I don't need the thing to fit in my pocket, though.

It would, incidentally, be swell if the thing had either a really strong battery that can go a few days (say 12 hours of operation) without recharging, or uses AA batteries (since I already own a recharger and 8 rechargeable AA batteries.) Weeks of working at the photo booth across from it's a small world has permanently soured me on special size batteries for cameras.

Anyway, are there suggestions or comments or anything? Anyone know of a camera that would fit those requirements? My last camera was a 3.2mp (I think) Olympus Camedia, and I liked it -- my biggest thing is just being able to get slightly higher resolution on my photos (I'm sorry, but using real film has spoiled me on that one.) I'd like to have a slightly more intuitive control system, too -- I'd had that camera for more than a year before I was comfortable with even simple stuff like scrolling through all the photos on my card.


Friday, June 10, 2005

"It's simple," one woman here explained. "When the men go out, they're killed. The women are only raped."

2 million of the 6 million people living in Darfur have been forced from their homes -- over 2000 villages have been burned to the ground. They're stuck in refugee camps, unable to tend to their crops or provide for themselves, so 3.5 million people in Darfur are in need of food assistance from relief agencies. Most aren't getting it.

Leila is 9 years old:

To help her family survive, Leila usually has other things to worry about.

“I am busy during the day. In the morning I wash our clothes and sweep the house, and we always need to collect water and firewood for cooking. Sometimes we walk for hours like everyone else in the camp,” she says.

Not going hungry is a constant anxiety. For their two meals a day, the family depends on food rations and donations. This morning’s breakfast consisted of porridge and Unimix, a nutritional supplement that the aid agencies hand out to combat the steadily rising malnutrition figures in Sudan’s camps.

As many as 300,000 people (at least 70,000) have been killed. The Sudanese government and their allies, an Arab militia known as the Janjaweed, are blamed for most of the deaths. That's why no one knows for sure how many have died.

Government forces and militias conducted indiscriminate attacks, including killing of civilians, torture, enforced disappearances, destruction of villages, rape and other forms of sexual violence, pillaging and forced displacement, throughout Darfur. These acts were conducted on a widespread and systematic basis ... The vast majority of the victims of all of these violations have been from the Fur, Zaghawa, Massalit, Jebel, Aranga and other so-called 'African' tribes.

President Bush declared it a genocide more than 7 months ago. There's a war crimes tribunal convening at the Hague. And yet, somehow, no one -- not even the African Union -- is actually protecting these people. The Sudanese government arrests humanitarian workers, and all they get is a "please don't do that" from the US. The AU is trying to get a total of under 8,000 troops in the region -- but right now they have about 2,700, and it's unclear how even 8,000 peacekeeping troops could protect millions of people from the combined Sudanese and militia forces, considering that all they need to do to win is keep killing civilians (i.e. there's no specific land they're trying to capture.)

Especially when you consider that we haven't even tried significant sanctions (we've done less to Sudan than we have to China, Syria, et al) and that the great majority of Americans don't even know about what's going on, I find it incredible that anyone would argue we have no moral imperative to act (or even just speak out.)

More here at Times & Seasons. And more here at InstaPundit. I'd link more, but it sounds like a big thunderstorm is coming and I want this to get posted today.


Sunday, June 05, 2005
Counsel with the Lord...  

Alma 37: 36-37
Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Okay, so I've gone through... probably 220 Fast Sunday meetings in my life, give or take (you have to take out all the years we were inactive, plus the months I was at my dad's house, etc.) In that whole time, I don't think I've ever really conciously been looking for an answer for something, and actively fasted and prayed for that answer. It's weird -- you'd think it'd have come up rather sooner, but it hasn't. I've fasted for other stuff, just not answers, per se.

Anyway, it's been a very different experience already. Maybe it's because this purpose means something to me -- maybe because I'm really looking for an answer, and have committed myself to following through on the answer I receive -- but it's much more meaningful this time around than most other times. This would be something I'd ask about in prayer anyway; I don't know why it seems like fasting is making it more, like, genuine, but it is.

This is probably why they're having me teach in Primary instead of Gospel Doctrine. ^_^


Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.