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Free Tibet?

by joe In reply to My UnKnown Blog

This morning I was watching <a href="http://www.cctv.com/default.shtml">CCTV</a>, which is Chinese news broadcast in <a href="http://english.cctv.com/">English</a> on the <a href="http://www.mhznetworks.org/">MHz Network</a>. 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.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />Blah, blah, blah...<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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.<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://x-nc.blogspot.com/2005/12/free-tibet.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Sino-American Relations

by joe In reply to My UnKnown Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">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 ***** 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...<br />
<br />I R officially Single again.<br />
<br />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.<br />
<br />Which <strong>sucks</strong> royally.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://x-nc.blogspot.com/2005/12/sino-american-relations.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Comments on the Chinese GP (Finally!!!)

by joe In reply to My UnKnown Blog

It only took, what, two months.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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" R?ikk?nen, 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.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />So that's how it all ended. The season could be summed up by what Fernando was sining as he crossed the finish line... <br /><br />"<a href="http://www.lyrics007.com/Queen%20Lyrics/We%20Are%20The%20Champions%20Lyrics.html">We are the Champions</a>"<br /><br />See everyone in 2006!<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://x-nc.blogspot.com/2005/12/comments-on-chinese-gp-finally.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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We are all ...

by joe In reply to My UnKnown Blog

I have been subscribed to the <a href="http://signup.dictionary.com/wordoftheday">Doctor Dictionary</a> "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 <em>digerati</em>. Pass it on to everyone.<br /><br /> _________________________________________________________<br /> digerati \dij-uh-RAH-tee\, plural noun:<br /> Persons knowledgeable about computers and technology.<br /><br /> As high tech spreads outward from Silicon Valley to<br /> American society at large and people spend more and more<br /> time in cyberspace, the journalist Paulina Borsook steps<br /> back to look at the digerati and their view of the world.<br /> --Michiko Kakutani, "Silicon Valley Views the Economy as a<br /> Rain Forest," [1]New York Times, July 25, 2000<br /><br /> [T]his week, over 3,000 digerati will converge at a swank<br /> theater where chef Julia Child and pundit Arianna<br /> Huffington, among others, will judge 135 Web sites.<br /> --David Whitman, "The calm before the storms," [2]U.S.News<br /> & World Report, May 15, 2000<br /> _________________________________________________________<br /><br /> Digerati was formed by analogy with literati, "persons<br /> knowledgeable about literature."<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://x-nc.blogspot.com/2005/12/we-are-all.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Merry Christmas, more or less

by joe In reply to My UnKnown Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">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.<br />
<br />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.<br />
<br />So Christmas is now a little bittersweet for me.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://x-nc.blogspot.com/2005/12/merry-christmas-more-or-less.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Update long overdue

by joe In reply to My UnKnown Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">Someone <a href="mailto:me@x-nc.net?Subject=Reminder">remind me</a> to do an update on life in the near future. There's some very good things that have been happening which I should post.<br />
</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://x-nc.blogspot.com/2005/12/update-long-overdue.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Finally! An update on my life

by joe In reply to My UnKnown Blog

Like anyone actually cared. <br />Oh where to start... <br /><br />First off, there's a chance I might have a job. It's a sales position (Ugh) at <a href="http://www.compusa.com/">CompUSA</a>. The pay is pretty slim but it's more than I got now. I'm hoping it'll be enough to bring me to a self-sustaining level. The manager who I'd be working under is VERY amiable towards working out accommodations for me and he seems to understand my situation. I just need to pass an interview with the store manager and probably with the HR person. $DEITY I hate interviews.<br /><br />A while back I mentioned I was gong to <a href="http://x-nc.blogspot.com/2005/11/micro-heart-attacks-what-are-they.html#c113285879586500895">see a Neurologist</a>. That went pretty well. There doesn't seem to be any neuropathy showing in the tests but I do have some symptoms in my feet and lower legs. The doctor, who's name is Jim Grim (I'm not making this up), was asking me about the meds I'm on and how they are working. After discussing it with him he said that since I'm taking pain killers that have narcotic qualities or are very low dosage narcotics but not having relief from the pain I might as well be on stronger narcotics. Right now I'm running the risk without getting the benefits. He going to talk to my rheumatologist about it (if he doesn't forget).<br /><br />Another thing that came up while I was talking to him was the idea of motorized transport, i.e. a motorized wheelchair or scooter. I've been generally against getting a chair because once you get in one it's basically impossible to get back out. However, a while back I was lying on the couch watching TV (pretty much the only other thing I do besides sleep) while my son was outside playing with some friends. Then an ad for <a href="http://www.thescooterstore.com/">The Scooter Store</a> came on and it just clicked. If I had one of these I could be out playing with my son. I could go shopping at the mall or to a movie or pretty much anything I can't do now. This is what led me to ask Dr. Grim about a chair. He said that he's write the referral but it was up to the managed end of the HMO to say yes or no. He didn't think they'd go for it but we figured what the ****. So I went up and asked. Turns out that my plan covers motorized chairs and scooters. So now the referral is supposed to be up with the people who do the accept/reject part of the system. Next week I'm going to try and remember to call and see if anything is happening with the referral. Man, I hope they approve it.<br /><br />There was also a call this last week from my HMO about some paperwork I put in months ago for my rheumatologist to go over. This is in preparation of trying, for the third time, to get Social Security disability benefits. That's another thing I need to remember to do next week. If I get the chair, too, I just might be able to get those %#*&% people to see the light. But I'm not holding my breath.<br /><br />There's one thing I have been very amiss on. Back in November I got in touch with the Department of "Getting Disabled People Jobs" (ok, I can't remember the real name but that's what they do). The man there was very helpful and had a number of good ideas. He just needed some paperwork from me to get the ball rolling. Well, with everything that was going on then I completely forgot about it. Luckily Mum remembered and got his name and number for me. Add this to the things to do next week list.<br /><br />I also need to get with those idiots at Celarity IT. They still haven't reimbursed me for the expense report I had from <strong><em><u>last January</u></em></strong>. It's not a great amount of money but it is a couple-a hundred and that would be a great help.<br /><br />Nothing happening on the "Fairer Sex" front but I think that's going to be the norm from now on. It'll be even harder to find a gal when I'm in a chair. Whatever.<br /><br />Oh! Mum is trying to broker a deal that would completely change the living arrangements for me & my son, her and my two brothers. If it works out it will save everyone involved a LOT of money. The process will take a few months if it happens so I need to do what I can to hang on now.<br /><br />Let's see... I guess that's about it. There might be some things I forgot but if so they would only be the very important things. I remember the trivia extremely well.<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://x-nc.blogspot.com/2006/01/finally-update-on-my-life.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Hatsu Basho starts tomorrow

by joe In reply to My UnKnown Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">The January Sumo tournament starts tomorrow and I can't wait. See, there are a number of different games that I play which are analogous to Fantasy Football and the like. Of the games I play, the one that is the primary and that I put the most effort into is <a href="http://www.benchsumo.net/">Bench Sumo</a>. You don't need to worry about figuring out how to play it or anything. The only important thing is that my rank is Sandanme 1 East. If I can put together a winning Basho this time out I'm good for a promotion to Makushita. That would be very cool. You can see the current ranking of all the Bench Sumo players at Takanorappa's <a href="http://takanorappa.com/ichimons.htm">Bench Sumo Ichimon</a> page. And Ichimon is basically just a collection of wrestlers, known as Rikishi. If you're interested in what these strange words mean you can check out the <a href="http://www.sumoforum.net/glossary.html">Sumo Glossary</a>. My fighting name for all the games I play is <em>Kuramarujo</em>. Anyway, it's off to bed so I can get a good sleep before the first day's bout. I'm up against Onigashima, who is Sandanme1 West. Should be a good fight.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://x-nc.blogspot.com/2006/01/hatsu-basho-starts-tomorrow.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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The Star Trek Effect

by joe In reply to My UnKnown Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">Ever since the original series there's been an interesting phenomenon with respect to the actors who portrayed the characters we all know and love. And it's generally not very good.<br />
<br />Many of the people who have stared or been featured in any of the five series had acting careers in the movies before coming on board. Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, DeForest Kelley from TOS. Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, Wil Wheaton from TNG. Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Terry Farrell from DS9. Kate Mulgrew, Garrett Wang from VOY. And not to be left out, Scott Bakula from ENT. This isn't an inclusive list of course. If you want to check out who did what before their Star Trek hitches just search the <a href="http://imdb.com/find?q=star+trek">Internet Movie Database</a>.<br />
<br />This is all well and good, but what about after Star Trek? How did their careers fair after coming down from space?<br />
<br />We all know the most famous Star Trek alum who kept it going. Bill Shatner went on to fame with T.J. Hooker, TekWar, Boston Legal and a host of movie roles. The rest of the TOS crew weren't so lucky. In fact, with the exception of Shatner and one other, most of them got stuck hard in their Star Trek roles or retired (more or less) from the industry.<br />
<br />The other exception is Colm Meaney. He, along with Michael Dorn, are the only characters that had major roles in more than one series (specifically TNG and DS9). Since his Star Trek days he's gone on to star or be featured in many movies, most recently "<a href="http://imdb.com/title/tt0468461/">Caved In</a>" on the <a href="http://scifi.com/">SciFi Channel</a>.<br />
<br />Now, this is not to say that everyone else got buried under the brand, but you don't see them on things much, do you. So I say "Huzzah" to Miles O'Brian's alter ego. May he achieve the success, if not the notoriety, of his pioneering predecessor.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://x-nc.blogspot.com/2006/01/star-trek-effect.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Balance lost?

by joe In reply to My UnKnown Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">Something is wrong. I can't describe it but it's definitely there. I don't know when it started but it's been a while. The best I can do to describe it is to say that there's a hole in my heart. Not the physical one, the ephemeral one. The heart that the Bard writes about. It feels like a black hole in my chest. Every time I try and look into it and feed it some signals everything gets sucked in. And it's bottomless, thus the black hole feeling. I've been racking my brains trying to figure out where this is coming from. It's no use, though. All I can get out of it is that it's fear based, but only in the sense that a pearl is sand based.<br />
<br />I've always had insecurities and feeling of inferiority but I'd pretty much worked those back to being just a faint whisper. Now it feels like they are back in force but it's not them. It's something else that just feels like them. Or maybe it is them and the meds are masking it. Or maybe it's the meds in the first place. It's all so confusing.<br />
<br />So what to do about it. I don't know. I've been toying with the idea of calling the psychotherapist but that seems premature. Maybe talk to the psychiatrist? There's no one in my life I can talk to about this. The closest one would be Mum but this isn't something that I think is ready to be unleashed on her. She's got enough to deal with (mostly things I am the cause of in the first place).<br />
<br />This is the first time in a <strong>
<em>
<u>LONG</u>
</em>
</strong> time I've felt like getting stoned. That is one of the few things that always covered/masked the black pit.<br />
<br />As for the rest of life, there's some good things that are lining up which look to make life a <em>whole</em> lot better. Possibly even as early as this summer. If they fall into place that will be a fantastic turnaround for almost all of us in the family. I don't want to say more for fear of jinxing it.<br />
<br />And now I think I'll go have a nap.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://x-nc.blogspot.com/2006/01/balance-lost.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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