The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Friday, December 31, 2004

I notice you have a steering wheel stuck there in front of you. Isn't that kind of uncomfortable?

Arrrh! It's drivin' me nuts!

But on to things that really do drive me nuts this is one of my pet peeves, but I'll let the emails speak for themselves. I got the first email from a group I belong to and the person writing it is a friend of mine (very nice girl). However, she's in a part of the world that gets a lot of bad information and is quick to pin anything on the US. Without Further adieu:

-Original Message-
it has been few days that i listened from the news what happened in the ocean and how it affected the countries around.. and it really made me sorry...but there was something that made me even more the news it was said the scientists of the USA had already detected the tsunami waves but they didnt think it was important to let the countries aware of it as,USA wouldnt be ,i wish the USA could use its high technology not only for invading poor countries for getting some petrol and killing the people overthere,but also use it for saving some human lives...

-My Reply-
Look, I think you guys are great, but this is EXACTLY the sort of
stuff that really upsets me. Immediately if anything bad happens in
the world people look for a way to blame the USA.

Here is a link to an article. To be fair I referenced something from
Al Jazeera (who if anything is biased against the USA).

Let's think about this for a second.
1. A facility to monitor earthquakes in the US would be simply be
something for scientific research. It would not be meant to warn of
quakes because in the USA that's not needed. If there is an
earthquake it is typically in California and people know the second it
happens. A facility like that would be used for scientific analysis
of the data after the events happened.

2. It was Christmas. The fact that there was anybody in the office at
the time is amazing and yes they DID try to warn the nations that a
tsunami might occur (there was no way to know that it in fact WAS

3. This is the first time something like this has happened. It is not
the United States' problem to set up a global warning system...perhaps
now that we know there is technology to help with this we can set
something up like this. But the truth is the situation was handled
the way it was supposed to be handled. A warning was sent out an the
proper people were notified within 20 minutes of the event. As a test
of how quick that is I challenge any of you to call me within 20
minutes of getting this email.

4. Even IF the warnings got to all the right people at all the right
times then there would have been no way to evacuate all of the people
in time. This was a natural disaster, although the impact may be
lessened in the future things like this will occur again...hopefully
they just won't be quite as disastrous.

In the great words of Forrest Gump, "Shit Happens". In this case it
was really bad. The loss of life is beyond what anybody thought was
possible. But then again we are humans, we have evolved to grow and
learn from past mistakes. Chances are a system will soon be in place
to help better prepare the evacuation of the people in those regions
if something like this happens in the future.

There will continue to be bad stuff happening in the world. And while
the USA may be responsible for some of it don't forget that we do a
lot of good in the world too (see below). And we are going to do our
part in helping prevent something like this tragedy from occurring
again. You cannot blame my country for everything bad that happens in
the world, if you do you will only grow angry and have an irrational
hatred towards a people that really do want to help the world become a
better place.

~Matt Otis

Excerpt from Reuters:
"In the year 2004, our government provided $2.4 billion in food and
cash and humanitarian relief. ... That's 40 percent of all the relief
aid given in the world last year," he said.

"The United Nations has for decades pushed for rich nations to give
away 0.7 percent of gross domestic product every year in development
aid. The United States gives 0.13 percent of its GDP.

"But this amount excludes aid to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as food
aid, where the United States is the biggest donor but does not attach
a monetary value to its contributions."

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Beyond the Norm

I like to partake in things that are different. For example I do my best to take new routes when I go places, I like to buy one thing from the grocery store that I've never bought before, I've even left the country several times in hopes of changing my worldview. One thing I really love doing though is finding a good movie that wasn't made in the US; particularly one that forces you to think a little more about the world that you live in. Tonight's experiment was Das Experiment, a movie that seems simple on the surface but has so much more beneath. Basically it shows a microcosm where a group of people is given absolute power. And as expected within short time that power corrupts them, absolutely. What's really scary about it though is to think that none of these people really acts that far from what you would expect them to. Things get brutal, but it is scarily plausible. Makes you wonder if that sort of thing is happening on a miniscule level then what happens at a grander scale? How much of our international treatises are simply an extension of this type of experiment where one group has power and the other is forced to comply? Or at the other end, the guards seem civil and behaved when dealing with what in the real world parallels that? Perhaps some people or groups of people may seem to be kind and considerate when under a critical eye, but the moment they get the chance they bare their hideous face (kinda like Bilbo in LOTR: FotR). One thing that really scares me in life is people who desire power. Just think of all the bickering that goes on because of it. Or even in my own life, I know that a group I was in (FLIP) got screwed over because the person over us lusted after the small piece of power he had. Power is the only thing in the world that truly scares me; because while it can cause a great amount of good to be done it can also cause irreversible and horrible damage...or who's to say that by trying to mightily do good the power doesn't cause our minds to warp and end up making us hurt others?

There's one thing I guess that's scarier than power...and that's teenage girls. They are just freaky. For example I found this site (don't ask how) today, The saddest part is that somebody would take so much time into making something like this. I mean really girls; do you NEED to know what color your passion is? Seriously, if you found out you were mauve would that put a hamper on your day? Or how about finding out which Sex in the City girl you are. If you find out you're Samantha does that mean you're going to run out and do X? But hey, since they think it's important I decided to make a quiz of my own on that topic:

Are you a(n):
A. Slut
B. Workaholic
C. Hopeless Romantic
D. Obsessor

Answer Key:
A. Samantha
B. Miranda
C. Charlotte (and that means you're hot)
D. Carrie

I hope all you young ladies are satisfied. Now go read a good book and don't think about boys for another 15 years cause they're too immature to handle you at this age.

A man, a plan, a canal. Panama!

That's right folks. I don't know if you're quite as excited as I am but the upcoming year is going to be even better than a palindrome! That's right, 2005 when looked at in a digital display will look the same on both sides. That's even more exciting than a palindrome.

I'm probably one of 10 people in the world that get a kick out of this, but hey, at least I amuse myself somehow.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

And We're Off!

Man things have been crazy lately. Here's a quick run down of the things I've learned, done, or had happen lately:
-My dad started cheating on my mom
-Work got insanely busy (I'm taking over 2 times as many calls as everybody else)
-My mom passed her first semester in college with flying colors
-I found a church to become a part of
- Went to a bible study
-Found people to play Frisbee with
-Celebrated Channukah with my favorite Jew
-Went to court to testify that my mom is not "a bad mother"
- Meanwhile my dad lied in court about a couple of issues so he is now paying for it
-Found out The Facebook is really fun, but can also be a huge time waster.
-My sister Regina graduated from college
- Now she's moving to California with her boyfriend/brother-in-law-ish
-Got to play with my nephew
-Saw my brother Donald for the first time in 2 years
-Found out how much deeper and greater of a man my father (Paul) is.
-Saw my mom as a real person with real pain, and found out that facades are sometimes difficult to maintain
-Started finally appreciating my job for what it is and forgiving it for what it isn't

But now I'm off to go skiing! I'm a little scared though because I think there's going to be a ton of nastiness on the roads tonight and I hope that we don't get killed. Or worse, that my car get another dent. It should be a good trip. If nothing else it will be the first trip where I'm wearing clothes that fit! Ah, it's nice actually earning money (although it disappears more quickly the more you get).

I feel like I should write something here about how happy I am about Christmas and all, but honestly this Christmas really isn't for me. It's a nice holiday, but frankly I've gotten nothing from anyone and expect nothing. If somebody could give me a present it would be that the people in my life grow up and start acting mature instead of their present state of total selfishness and only looking out for their own gain.

I gotta get out of here though. Need a break. Need to simply live and enjoy things on my own for a bit.

Poem of the day:

fills the heart


upon a hardened iron door

Friday, December 10, 2004

Over My Head's what I'm in.

Jack is becoming a dull boy. All I have energy to do is nothing. Fortunately I don't do purely nothing.

Saw Howie Day this evening. He's the most amazing soloist I've ever seen. Also some good music from Mindi Smith.

It looks like I'm going to skip Christmas this year and go skiing with a friend from NI. It's really the only consecutive days I'll get off before April, so I really can't see why not to.

My former step-father put the final nail in the coffin containing a decent man. One day he was preaching to us kids about how much he loved our mom and pulled out supporting Bible verses, the next he was cheating on my mom and deciding that this other lady and her kids should move in. I'm just sad for my little sister...I wish she had something better and role models around her that were worth looking up to.

Within my own life I'm finding that if you really want something you make time for it. So I guess there are just some things that I don't want as bad as I thought. I can't wait for the day when I wake up in the morning and have a goal a plan where I'm going. Meanwhile I'm wandering aimlessly, but giving the appearance that I'm focused and that I even care.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

They Call You Mr. Personality

First off tonight was blind date night. And it was pretty darned fun. The girl seems really nice and interesting and has some depth to I gotta know more. Really though the most important thing with a first date is to see if there's a second, and there is, so I'm happy.

On to more pointless things in life though, here are a few personality tests that I took tonight.

Hmm...I might be going skydiving soon:
The Ultimate Personality Test
Matt, you're a Skydiver!

You're open minded, extroverted, free-spirited, and independent. Chances are you're pretty liberal. You're like a magnet for love and affection. People adore you. And, thanks to that healthy dose of self-confidence, you're super-flexible.

Chances are, you're a great leader at work. You're also a self-starter and will always volunteer to take on a job. You're also an excellent communicator and tend to spread your enthusiasm to others.

And that's just scratching the surface!

I thought this was the most accurate:
Right Job, Wrong Job
Find the Perfect Job for You

Matt, the Right Job for you will allow you to be:
Analytical and Creative

As an Analytical type, you don't want to be limited by established rules and regulations. Your inquisitive nature demands that you sometimes question authority. Otherwise, you might not be able to find fresh approaches, or come up with new solutions to a problem. It's not that you act without weighing the pros and cons of a situation — it's more that you're more willing than others to take justifiable risks if they'll further your career success.

You're smart enough to know when you need help and are confident enough in your abilities to ask for it. You understand that sometimes there are no clear right and wrong answers, and that's just fine with you because you tolerate gray areas better than most. In fact, pondering potential outcomes can sometimes be more interesting than coming up with the definitive solution for you.

Your right job doesn't have to be about self-expression, but it needs to be a job you can be proud of.

This one's good too:
The Brain Test
What Your Brain Says About How You Think and Learn

Matt, you are Balanced-brained

That means you are able to draw on the strengths of both the right and left hemispheres of your brain, depending upon a given situation.

When you need to explain a complicated process to someone, or plan a detailed vacation, the left hemisphere of your brain, which is responsible for your ability to solve problems logically, might kick in. But if you were critiquing an art opening or coming up with an original way to file papers, the right side of your brain, which is responsible for noticing subtle details in things, might take over.

While many people have clearly dominant left- or right-brained tendencies, you are able to draw on skills from both hemispheres of your brain. This rare combination makes you a very creative and flexible thinker.

The down side to being balanced-brained is that you may sometimes feel paralyzed by indecision when the two hemispheres of your brain are competing to solve a problem in their own unique ways.