Nov. 2nd, 2006 12:52 pm
luciab: (Default)
I long for the good old days of Word Perfect. By which you may properly deduce that I am, once again, engaged in a struggle with W0rd. The thing that makes WP so incredibly much easier to use is that in WP when you show the formatting, it is in a separate are at the bottom of the window, and it shows *everything.* Like where page breaks are, and where font style changes, and it's all right there, spread out so you can see it and even (gasp) go into that window and change things! Take out the exact code that is causing the problem! In W0rd you have to click on a word, and it will show you some of the formatting of that single word. Then you click on the next word, and so on, one word at a time. This program is, for some reason unknown to intelligent life, inserting a page break in the middle of one of my pages. When I try to delete, it takes out the formatting for the next word instead of the page break. It won't show me anything in the "formatting" about where the page break is, or how I can delete it. W0rd SUCKS. Green monkey dicks.
luciab: (Default)
And I do mean EVERY time I try to write more than a few paragraphs in the Word program, I wind up cursing it roundly. And you know, when I used Word Perfect, back in the days before Word was so totally prevalent, that was not the case. I could use columns, tables, outlines, you name it. Theoretically, all those things are possible in Word, too, but it thinks it knows what you want and it keeps changing what you've done to what it thinks it should be. Case in point: I am writing a paper in which I use the spelling "Hawai'i" instead of the more standardized Hawaii. Every time I type that, for some reason Word decides that the last i, after the apostrophe, should be capitalized. Huh? I've tried to tell the spell check that's how I want it, to no avail. What prompted this tirade, you ask? This time I cut and pasted an example that was already corrected-- and when I pasted it in, Word changed the last "i" to a capital.

DAMN, I hate Word.
luciab: (Default)
I was queasy by the time I finished reading this.

Read more... )
luciab: (Default)
Yet another column about the criminals in DC. (Dem Criminals?) I remain disgusted. I talked to a friend the other night, who is an apologist for this administration. Or do you call them apologists when they see nothing to apologize for? He admits that W just wanted an excuse to invade Iraq, though at the time all I heard was "WMDs! WMDs!" (The sky is falling, the sky is falling!) Now, however, the war is justified because of the terrible things Saddam was doing to the Iraquis. Which to my mind were terrible, but no worse than countless other examples, many still continuing.

Anyway, I find it interesting that this column is from the Christian Science Monitor, which is hardly a left-wing rag. Unless someone forgot to tell me? Wouldn't it be lovely if something were actually DONE to the leakers? As if.

The same friend called the Clinton administration the "most corrupt" in his memory. I wonder... if there was really so much corruption, why weren't there lots and lots of indictments? Like there were during, oh, say, the Reagan administration. But no, we're supposed to kick Clinton out of office because he can't keep his dick in his pants, which is the only thing they ever proved him guilty of. Personally, I thitnk screwing 'em on the Oval Office desk would be better than concocting excuses to start a war that has mainly served to turn half the world against us. Or perhaps I should say, even more against us. As a nation, we haven't gained a damn thing, and we've cost a hell of a lot of lives. Shameful.

Edit: From a NY Times opinion by Frank Rich (who always says it better than I can):
This case is about Iraq, not Niger. The real victims are the American people, not the Wilsons. The real culprit - the big enchilada, to borrow a 1973 John Ehrlichman phrase from the Nixon tapes - is not Mr. Rove but the gang that sent American sons and daughters to war on trumped-up grounds and in so doing diverted finite resources, human and otherwise, from fighting the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. That's why the stakes are so high: this scandal is about the unmasking of an ill-conceived war, not the unmasking of a C.I.A. operative who posed for Vanity Fair.
luciab: (Default)
I just saw an ad on TV for GE Energy, touting coal as a "more attractive" energy source. I found the ad offensive, and disturbing on so many levels. The ad is shot in black and white, very atmospheric, and starts with this great beat... The music is "Sixteen tons" and that's bad enough, if you know the words and know the history of coal mining in regard to labor practices. Yep, the song has a good beat and makes you want to snap your fingers and sing along. Very catchy. You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and you're deeper in debt. Saint Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go; I owe my soul to the company store. That didn't come out of nowhere; it wasn't some elegant songwriter sitting around his Manhattan apartment being whimsical. The company paid the miners in scrip, which was only good at stores owned by the companies themselves. Lots of incentive for the companies to keep the prices down, huh? Supply and demand, baby.

Back to the ad. The "miners" in hard hats are walking through a tunnel, supposedly a mine. It's very spacious, though, with lots of head room. (Unlike the real height of a typical mine, which is 4' to 6.') The men all have very well defined muscles and gee whiz, half the work force is composed of beautiful women. The women are wearing tight tank tops and smiling seductively while running their jackhammers. Riiiiight. When I last lived in Kentucky, women were just starting to go into the mines. The existing miners were really not happy about that. It was considered very bad luck- the superstition was that if a woman went into the mine, a man died. I guess if your life is spent underground hoping the mountain doesn't fall in on you, you latch onto whatever you can that will make you feel safer. That knowledge is so ingrained in my consciousness that all the women in the ad really bothered me, quite irrationally. I know we're supposed to suspend disbelief, but damn. (Oh, wait, we're supposed to be so busy ogling the sexy models we don't notice there's anything unusual about the scenario.)

There's a good reason the miners don't feel safe-- they aren't. Growing up in a coal-mining state meant that hearing about cave-ins was part of life, though it doesn't happen nearly as frequently as it used to. The coal companies are so financially powerful that they essentially own eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and most likely the coal-mining areas of Pennsylvania as well. I expect that explains why mine safety laws are federal instead of state laws. And it's true, the number of cave ins has dropped dramatically. Black lung is still too common, though.And what a lovely way to die that is. You escape having the mountain collapse on your head so you can suffocate over a period of several years because your lungs are too clogged up to work anymore.

I guess we're also not supposed to think about the huge environmental damage coal mining does. In West Virginia, all those mountains that John Denver sang about can be, and are being, strip mined and bulldozed into the streams and valleys that surround them. Who needs streams? In Kentucky, it used to be that the coal companies didn't (couldn't?) strip mine within sight of, say, I-75. Bad for business if you're trying to sell the state as a beautiful place to visit and the mountains the tourists are supposed to see are denuded of trees and have brown stripes around them, or are flattened. It is true that in Kentucky laws were finally passed requiring the companies to "reclaim" the land, by ensuring that the slopes of the spoils piles were shallow enough they could plant grass on them and have it grow. In West Virginia, though, no such luck.

Most of the ad just has music with no words. When they finally did speak, though, it confused the hell out of me. The guy was talking about what if we discovered that America was on top of a great source of energy and I hope I misunderstood, because I thought he said something about "clean." Ummmmm... excuse me? Nope, I must have misheard that. Whatever I heard, though, my first thought was It sounds like he's talking about solar and wind power, so why are they showing these people in a dark tunnel digging something? Because the whole scene was so ludicrous that I couldn't even tell it was supposed to be a coal mine until he started rhapsodizing about coal and all the sexy models in the tight tank-tops and wife beaters held up handfuls of coal and smiled lasciviously at the camera. But now coal has become a "more attractive option." And the models wiggled some more.

John Prine did a great job of writing how I feel about coal companies in his song Paradise )
luciab: (Default)
Just when I think that Tom De Lay and the right wing can't sink any lower they manage to pull it off. I have been so appalled all weekend at their antics re Terri Shiavo that I can't bear it. It was, of course, a topic of conversation among the family, both the politics and the medical ethics. Mother was impressed by the tapes being shown of Terri that look like she's smiling and responding to stimuli. Everything I've read convinces me that there is no chance of recovery; that the "responses" shown on the tape are random and involuntary and not really in response to any stimuli. The tapes themselves are four and five years old. All medical evidence is that the cerebral cortex is gone. One report said that it "has been replaced by spinal fluid."

The irony of the R's jumping on this is that they used to say they believed that the federal government should be small and not get all involved in running people's personal lives. It's obvious, however, that this belief really extends only to business and not people. Business should be able to do whatever it wants--cut forests, drill and mine in pristine areas, dump poison and waste wherever they want. People, on the other hand, should be regulated as to their sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy and anything else that might possibly be considered private, and the government has the right to snoop in any way it wants to observe any behaviours, because lord only knows what people are really plotting to do behind those closed doors. Oh, sorry, that was a tangent, wasn't it?

Anyway, I want it on record here. Should I ever be in a persistent vegitative state, I do not want to be kept alive by means of a feeding tube. As a separate issue, if resuscitation will return me to a condition where I will still be unable to speak, move or care for myself, and I will not recover enough to perform those functions, I do not want to be resuscitated. Please feel free to print this out and wave copies of it at whoever is in charge. Especially if it's Tom De Lay. Heh.


luciab: (Default)
Susan Arthur

February 2011



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