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

Monday, May 30, 2005

Unheard Screams

I just watched the movie Hotel Rwanda, and I can't sleep without thinking upon the film. How is it that this is the first time I've really heard of the events that took place? How can hundreds of thousands if not millions of people die and I not hear a word about it? Was there something 'more' important going on that made sure that I didn't have a spare minute to ever hear of it?

The story is awful. It's like watching Schindler's List, but knowing that some of the blame lies upon your shoulders.

If you haven't seen the movie, then I really recommend watching it. You can find a synopsis to catch up to speed here. And if you don't know where Rwanda is, then study this map. You'll find it between Tanzania and the Congo. While you're at it, look for Sudan too.

The fact that a story like this ever had to be told is a disgrace. That lives would be so cheapened that they were beyond meaningless. The worst part is, we didn't care. Nobody cared. Even now, nobody cares. And what's sad is that tomorrow nobody will care.

There are so many things that this story brings to light. Some reviews have said that it makes heroines of the United Nations and that it villainizes western nations. But that's not the case. If anything the UN is largely to blame for what occurred. Their actions really show to me that many of their peace keeping plans are useless. What's the point of having soldiers with guns if they cannot protect those who are innocent? How can you tell soldiers that they must abandon those who need them most? How is it that the UN thinks it can be an effective agency when it only does something when it is already too late?

This isn't meant to be a nation-bashing post, but the worst part of the whole thing wasn't even hinted at in the film. That story involves one of the largest mass slaughters of the entire genocide. Up on a hill there was a college where the minority heard there were French troops.
"The Tutsis [the minority] mistakenly thought the French would protect them, only to have the troops watch over as 45,000 of them were murdered. French soldiers then buried the bodies in pits covered with lye and planted a soccer field over them. Some of the bodies, made white and mummified by the lye...the corpses of children hacked to death by machetes are on full view." (Source)

Seeking safety over forty-five thousand people went up to this place. Desiring hope and asylum, they were instead greeted with annihilation. I don't know what hand the French had in the actual killing, but they were there and they did not stop it, which is the same as condoning those actions. Tens of thousands of people were systematically slaughtered, and not a word was said to put a stop to it. I pray that our country would never do the same, simply let thousands of obviously innocent (were talking about little kids too) be pointlessly hacked into with machetes.

I would love to think that this story was a one-of-a-kind event, but I know it's not. The same story is already being screamed out again by now snuffed-out lives in the Congo and the Sudan. What sickens me is that you never hear the cries for help. Instead there is so much focus on Jessica Simpson's new diet (to look more emaciated than ever), how the prosecution and defense rested in the Michael Jackson case, the story of the idiot run-away bride on some serious amphetamines, or how single prop planes are a huge security threat to a bunch of people that are too busy doing nothing to actually get something done (aka the US Senate). Whoever decides what it is that gets filtered thru to our homes should be subjected to the horrors that they failed to let us know about. It's absolutely ridiculous that we are offered such lame excuses for news on a daily basis when there are millions of people out there begging for someone to turn them something other than deaf ears.

Why did this whole debacle happen? I think the moral is that we must treat all people fairly whether we like them or not. When people don't treat others with respect it allows such horrors as these to brew and then be unleashed upon innocents that are too weak to defend themselves. I only wish that this story would never have to be told again, but I know that's impossible. This sad tale will be told again and again because of the evil that resides in the hearts of some of those in this world.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

More fun searches that linked to me:
is it okay for 16 and 19 year olds too date?
friends who were never friends to begin with

Quotes I've Gathered:
"“Your choices are half chance; so are everybody else's."
- Mary Schmich

"So this is how liberty dies...—to thunderous applause."
- Padme Amidala (Star Wars Episode III)

"This isn't a tale of heroic feats. It's about two live running parallel for a while, with common aspirations and similar dreams. Was our view too narrow, too biased, too hasty? Were our conclusions too rigid? Maybe. Wandering around our America has changed me more than I thought. I am not me anymore, at least I'm not the same me I was."
- Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna, 1952

Top 3 for the Most-Hit's-on-My-Blog-Contest:
Results could be skewed by non-static IPs
  1. 'Montana'
  2. My Dad
  3. Kelly

Quiz of the Night:

Your Geek Profile:

Movie Geekiness: Highest
Academic Geekiness: High
Music Geekiness: High
Fashion Geekiness: Moderate
Geekiness in Love: Moderate
General Geekiness: Low
Internet Geekiness: Low
Gamer Geekiness: None
SciFi Geekiness: None

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Two Dozen

Well, today is the day. I'm finally as old as I feel. The magic age is 24. I'm pretty excited about this one. I've actually liked all of my birthdays for the last few years.
- 20 Nobody can call you a teenager anymore.
- 21 You get to drink, star in dirty movies, and I went to Disney Land.
- 22 It's a numerical palindrome...and we all know how much I like palindromes, or should I say "palindromesemordnilap".
- 23 Sequential digits, and I got to do "Cake Upside the Head" at camp.
- 24 Add the first number to itself and stick it on the end, sequential even-numbers, also two dozen for these people who like base 12 systems.
Most importantly though I turned 24 on the 24th. It's the first and last time that will ever happen, go me!
- 25 This is 1/4 of a hundred, insurance goes down (no more "Hey, would you like to pay $6000 per year for insurance? Yeah, we know you've never been in an accident or gotten a ticket, it's just fun to have you give us lots of money for no reason!)
- 26 I think this will be my first irrelevant birthday since 19...I guess it's like being 13 twice, man I hated being 13.

There are a couple of things that are a little weird. When I was a kid my mom told me I couldn't get married until I was 23. So in some ways I feel like I should be married by now. Fortunately that hasn't happened yet, cause I still need to grow up. Still, it's interesting to think that I thought by 23 or 24 I would be 'all grown up'. I'm definitely not that. I just thought that life would be so certain by this point in my life. I thought I'd know it all and have a clear direction. I don't. But it's cool because I'm liking the direction that things are moving and I think it's exciting to have a breath of newness in everything I do. Life is an exciting thing and something I hope I never think I've mastered.

This birthday was one of the best I've ever had. It really makes me happy to hear my friends say "Happy Birthday". I know they're just two tiny words that seem cliche, but they really mean so much. Those words make you feel special inside, like people are happy for you just cause you're you. And that's what I think people really want from relationships, to know that they're liked for just being themselves. So to all of you who sent a card, typed something on the Facebook, left a message on IM, sent me an interoffice communication, left me a message on my phone, took me out for a meal even though I was full, or just said "Happy Birthday" to my face...Thank You!

Friends are what make this life worth living. So to those of you who are such, just wanna say thanks.

For those of you who didn't say anything, that's cool too. I tend to keep encroaching B-Days on the, I probably don't know yours either so we're still cool.

Song of the Night:
Twenty-Four by Switchfoot

Monday, May 23, 2005

Wadders Will Be Welcomed!

Thru various pipelines some individuals determined that they needed to put an end to my crusade against waddage, so they bought me a case of toilet paper. Yes, a case.

If past patterns are representative of future trends, then that means I should have enough toilet paper to last on my own until October of 2010.

Needless to say I could use a little help getting rid of it all. So if you or a 'friend' are in need of some wonderful Double-Quilted Northern, then I'm the person you need to see.

And to those wondering how you determine your friends/families usage needs, I tend to think that you can group those using your facilities into 2 categories: Number One Users and Number Two Users.

It tends to be easy to figure out which individuals fit into which categories at which times.
  1. Number One Users leave less obvious traces of their use.
  2. Number Two Users tend to leave more signs behind and when a Number Two User is also a wadder then a significant reduction of past levels of supplies is noted.
Fortunately there are NO hidden cameras, so guest need not be alarmed. There is a fancy radio from walmart though, so they can listen to music...and some matches and a candle for a more soothing atmosphere.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

My Point of View

Add this one to the list of fun emails posted:


For as smart as you are, your so called analysis of tort reform is the biggest pile of crap… I mean its like something Limbaugh would say. Its all wrong. How would you like someone you know, going into the hospital for an outpatient surgery, being given 10 times the amount of anesthetic prescribed and waking up a quadripalegic. This is just an example. Under the caps he would be allowed about a max of half a million to almost a full million. Without caps, he settled outta court for 11 million. The awards are to punish bad behavior since doctors done. From 1998-2002, NO DOCTORS lost their licenses and at the same time about a 1000 lawyers did. Doctors don’t police themselves so they should pay. And as for contingent fees, how else is someone who is poor going to get representation. Take away contingent fees and take away access to the poor. So while everyone and FLIP knew you were a genius, you are insanely just wrong on your tort reform analysis, especially the crap about only the frivolous lawsuits pay out—don’t even know what that means. Anyway, nice blog. Haha

OLD Flipster

My (long winded) Response
Dear OLD Flipster,

As stated in that page, those were 'Opinions', it doesn't mean I'm necessarily right or wrong, but it does mean that it's what I think.

Just so you know, I've been on the 'victim' end of a lawsuit and they aren't the prettiest things in the world. Growing up my mom went to a chiropractor and when he was 'adjusting' her he caused a clot to form in her neck which then went into her brain and caused her to have a stroke. The stroke put her out of commission for about 3 months (slept for about 23 hours a day, and when awake couldn't really do or remember anything) when I was 11 years old. My dad took it really hard and was rarely home during that period. Meanwhile my brother (12) and I had to take care of our little sisters (5 and 2 years old), manage the household and didn't have time to play with our friends that summer. When our mom finally did start coming back to being her old self she had lost much of who she was, her once stellar memory was gone, and could no longer perform any higher level math skills. Beyond that my family went from making about $60k to hovering below the poverty line the following year until present. Our family was devastated by that incident, but we had to move on even though it was hard.

In a situation like that we of course sued the chiropractor, he had directly caused this stroke and it devastated one life and hampered many others. What did we get out of it? Basically nothing, it paid off the residual medical bills and put a couple grand in a 'college' account for us kids. The truth of the matter is, that while it would have been nice to get a huge payoff and be living it up in a new house and driving around in a car that wasn't given to us by a friend cause they felt sorry for how deeply in poverty we were, money would not fix the problem. The fact is that 'shit happens' to people all the time and you have to learn how to move on.

I see things like the recent case of a man not returning a finger to a guy because he wanted to get money out of a lawsuit and it makes me sick (story). Bad things are going to happen every day, but the fact that there are people out there racing to find a rich person/company and 'stick it to them' is pretty amoral. I can understand and am sympathetic to a few cases where people get big money from suits because they have life long and costly debilities as a result. But the truth is that the really big suits tend to be for things that are at least partially the fault of the individual (disassociation of responsibility for ones actions) and are almost always against a large firm. Those suits tend to be filed just so that an individual and their lawyer can profit. Most 'real' damages could be more than compensated for with a cap and it would eliminate pointless overages.

I do agree with you on some points: Some doctors should lose their licenses. While some things happen as the result of a genuine accident there are some doctors that should be stripped of their license (for example if they show up to work drunk, pass out during surgery and in the process slice the aorta killing a baby). But I am also of the opinion that too many lawyers are in law for all the wrong reasons. A great example of this is a friend of mine that just got admitted to law school. She was a speaker for a conference because she was one of 2 black women admitted to the class. While she was there she said that she wanted to do law so that she could help those in lower income brackets rise above the 'system' and help them to have better lives. She was laughed at and people considered her to be ignorant for only wanting to do law to help others. Pitiful.

My main opinion is this. Law-Makers tend to be lawyers. Lawyers make oodles of money off of suits (at least 30% off the top, plus other fees and charges). Law-Makers are the ones that decide whether or not we need Tort Reform. Those making laws are most likely to be hurt by any type of tort reform, that's why I believe reforms haven't happened long ago, there's an obvious conflict of interest. Tort Reform is by no means the only thing that's not being done because people are petty and politicians just do what reelects them. I wish we could do other things like overhaul the tax system, make changes to Social Security, increase the number of immigrants allowed per year, stop doing mass testing in schools, spend less on military campaigns and more on helping develop social networks, etc.

While some suits are necessary and help keep this world in balance, I think that many of the larger cases are pursued simply because a group of people sees a pot of gold. Meanwhile bad things happen to people all the time. There comes a point where you can decide to try to avenge your suffering or simply grow up and realize that you need to move on. And, face it, vengeance never truly satisfies, acceptance of what has occurred does. Tort Reform is not the key and never will be, but it is a temporary solution to a much larger problem, one that should be addressed but never will be. Companies need to respect individuals and individuals need to admit when they do retarded things and be willing to suffer the consequences of their actions.

Oh, and btw...people tend to be nice to you when you treat them nicely. Starting an argument with "your so called the biggest pile of crap" is not really the best way to woo others into agreeing with you. Keep in mind too that even those we disagree with can be right on some issues. Limbaugh has some valid points that should be listened to, as does Barbara Boxer, as does the PLO, as does even Donald Rumsfeld. Just because we disagree with another's opinions doesn't mean the opinions are wrong...they may be more correct than our pride will let us admit.

I'm guessing that you're in law school right now, hence the desire to defend an issue that most lawyers are really against. If so, I wish you the best, and I hope you aren't doing it for the money. If you are doing it for the money, then I hope you will find another profession. People should do what they love, not necessarily what they think will earn them the most (granted they can sometimes coincide, and that's nice).

Otherwise great to hear from you, and I wish you all the best.
~Matt Otis

Friday, May 20, 2005

By Request

Total Volume of Music on My Computer
12.76 Gigabytes...hopefully one day I'll own it all too! Until then there's Ares

The Last CD I Bought
pearl jam - rearviewmirror

I think I need a date with Cheapo soon

Song Playing Right Now
"The Sound of Silence" by Lack of Vibrating Particles
"Whine of the Fan" by My Computer

I'm on a bit of a sound sabatical this evening. Or in the words of Mikeward, I needed some "Me Time".

Five Songs I Listen to a Lot, or that Mean a Lot to Me
-Click on the links for the whole song!-
The Blowers Daughter by Damien Rice
Green and Grey by Nickel Creek
See You Soon by Coldplay
Love Somebody Like You by Keith Urban
Motorcycle Driveby by Third Eye Blind

Some of them are significant, others are just within the top 5 according to iTunes

Sunday, May 15, 2005

To Wad and To Fold

As long as we both shall live...

Something that's bugged me of late is wadders. It seems like every time I have a guest over they are wadders. I'm kinda proud of the fact that I don't have to go out and buy a new thing of toilet paper every week. But then the wadders come to visit. I don't understand you wadders! Why do you think you need dozens of sheets to wipe yourself but once!?! There's no reason for it, you can completely clean yourself with a mere 4 sheets per day, 10 on a bad day. Instead you are just throwing my precious toilet paper down the drain!

I've heard people here and there try to make a claim as to why you should wad, but frankly there's no reason to and you cause a pain in the butt for the rest of us. Think of the utopian world were everyone folds instead of wads...there would be plenty of toilet paper for all! Toilet paper would be such a reduced expense that businesses could afford to buy the 'good stuff'. People would never fear that horrible "John Wayne Toilet Paper" experience that they know awaits them at any public facility.

So to the wadders of the world, here is why you are in the wrong:
  1. Wadding is wasteful: If you wad you use about 10x as much TP as you should.
  2. Wadders aren't wanted: As a wadder you are never a good guest. Your wadding habits are likely to be as appreciated as leaving half a serving of milk in the milk jug...nothing is more annoying.
  3. Wadders can't exist in the real world:
    You will never survive on a backpacking trip or in another country:
    Most people in this world are raised knowing that there's only so much toilet paper in the world. Your wastefulness is an international disgrace.
  4. Folders live lower stress lives: Your life will be a lot less stressful when you see the roll is almost done, cause you know you can do it...and still have leftovers
  5. Folders Save Face: You will save embarrassment in the shopping aisle when you're the person with a bunch of groceries, oh and that stuff you wipe your butt with.
  6. Wadding is dangerous to you and your environment: Most importantly, folders don't have to go running around looking for a plunger 'cause their nasty habit backfired on them

Wadders of the world, your time has come to an end! You are no longer welcome to use my restroom. If you want to use it fine, but bring your own toilet paper, and if you run out...think about how much you would have left if you had folded.

Folders of the world, stand strong. Be proud of the service you are doing to this world's trees, your municipality's sewage lines, and your own wallets. If more people were as thoughtful as you then the world would be a kinder place because more people could invite their friends over without fear of having no toilet paper for another day.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


That's right folks! I got a promotion at work! Normally I don't like to talk about work here due to instances such as Duece's, but this time I'm hopefully I'll keep my job. Anyways, I'm moving teams tomorrow and moving into a group that really has some of my favorite people in the department. Really looking forward to the new work. It will be more work and I'll be busier, but it's really a great step in the line of what I want to do with this company. Should put me in good position to make my next career move, and I should learn a lot.

Normally on Sunday nights I get all reflective, contemplate my existence and try to somehow create some sort of logic as to why I should move to somewhere else in this world. Tonight is no different. Fortunately for you though, you're going to be spared my thoughts on such things as why my life is like a ship on the ocean with rudders, sails, compasses, and blind drivers. Consider yourself lucky. It was a great analogy, but it breaks down quickly, and I don't feel like explaining it.

So instead here are some random thoughts that should keep you going for awhile:
  • "Those who cuss are either too dumb to think or something smarter to say, or too impatient." ~My Dad
  • My Grandma was completely nice for an entire visit...2nd time in history!
  • Got to hang out with my little sister this weekend.
  • If you try to set speed records when bowling your arm will hurt the next day.
  • A 13 lbs ball traveling at 20.5 mph has 257 Joules of energy if you ignore rotational energy.
  • Mountain biking is only fun if you know how to change gears.
  • The most peaceful thing in the world is to wake up to it raining outside on a Sunday.
  • I'm only going to have cable for 1 more month...after May sweeps, I'm out. No more Grey's Anatomy, Scrubs, Lost, Alias, or The OC. That is until September or so. Savings? ~$250
  • I haven't vacuumed in 5 months
  • And Finally: Never empty your trash can near your toothbrush.
  • Sunday, May 01, 2005

    Thanks a lot

    So I like questionaires, and I heard the one on eHarmony was a lot of fun and pretty accurate. Well, it was accurate...I think. But then after seeing my profile I went to search for "My Matches" and I was told this, "There are currently no matches for you to manage."

    Not that I wanted to manage anything, but it's kinda cool to know that my future wife doesn't waste her time on the internet like I do. Alright, time for bed.