Monday, November 30, 2009

A Redirection of Frustration Based on Recent Research and a Notice Which Reeked of Hypocrisy.

11:35 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
This evening I got on blackboard and received a notice and while I did not disagree with some of the content therein, it delivered the content in a rather pernicious manner and included ad hominem traits. This was posted by the same person who was talking about the evils of ad hominem argument when last I saw her.

These university people are just as arbitrary and reactionary as any of the undergrads they deal with.

While I was mentally eviscerating the duality in this situation a thought struck me. In a whirlwind of ADD perfection--a constant flood of totally disconnected and random thought made whole--details of my research were brought to the forefront of my mind and the realization of the arbitrariness of the system permeated my thoughts, conveniently connecting it all in a twisted web of fuzzy logic.

Thinking forward to some of the general ed requirements that I must complete, I feel a new sympathy for the poor saps who consider themselves stuck in my history class. The vast majority have no real interest in the subject, they are there for a check mark; they must have this check mark. Never mind if it is the same history that they had in highschool. Never mind that they will not retain any of it. Force them to do it. It is our way, and our way is best. Sure, the talking and texting in class may be a bit much, but I am coming to believe that such is the natural byproduct of administrational idiocy.

With this in mind, I think I could even forgive Susan and the monosylabic troll that sits next to her. 'Cause I'm just such a kind-hearted soul.

Head, Hip, and Hardcourt.

8:17 PM Posted by Patrick 4 comments
Days that begin in total darkness are always so very long.

The greatest evil that comes of working out and playing basketball at ungodly hours of the morning is that I have very recently imbibed large amounts of caffeine. Anyone who has tried this knows why it is not a good idea. The near impossibility of staying hydrated, coupled with the acidic substance in an empty belly, does not make for the most comfortable exercise. Don't get me wrong, this is not an excuse to slack. The old soccer rule still stands, I keep running until I am pulled off by coach or carried off by stretcher. But it certainly doesn't help matters, especially with the increasing violence and intensity of our morning matches.

Today we were outnumbered, out sized, and--to be truthful--had a definite talent disparity; this is what happens when both of your best shooters are AWOL. As the smallest, and gutsiest, member of our team it is my job to collect all the rebounds and elbows, which I do beautifully. I have come to the conclusion that I have an abnormally thick skull. While there has been other, more pedestrian moments that would lead me to believe it is so; it is my soccer and basketball experiences that make it certain. Even when I used to take soccer balls to the face I would just shake it off and keep going. In Basketball, a world where everyone is at least three inches taller than me, I often receive cracks on the head from hands, elbows, balled fists, black jacks, crowbars, etc. Today it was the flying tackle maneuver, delivered by a hideous little bulldog of a youth, which sent me plummeting to the jagged floor below, perfectly horizontal. Oddly enough, the crash that echoed round the gym did not even hurt on my end. I can't decide whether it is my stretching that does it? Maybe it's just the stock from which I am derived.

I saw G today. He will be back with us on Wednesday; then we will take everyone to task.

H'anyway.

Writing center was a fine little waste of time today. I go in, receive a bunch of head nodding and general approval from someone who does not understand "integral" or "espouse." I babbled politely over the little nothings of the world and IPFW, ate up the last fifteen minutes of my appointment time in decent company. A pleasant person, but certainly not a writer who should be teaching writing. She did not spot many of the problems that I had mentally outlined myself. At least she was a good conversationalist. Natalie and Craig were out in the main waiting area when I got out, that was very pleasant, especially since Craig had just brewed a new pot of coffee from his own stash. Some people radiate intelligence and humor; Craig and Natalie fit in this group.

Meanwhile, in front of the tech building...

They had turkey legs on campus today. What kind of turkeys those legs once belonged to, I know not. It is my belief, however, that the IPFW science department managed some sort of turkey-dinosaur hybrid. Needless to say it was, as most free lunches are, not without a catch. They did not want us to give blood, sign a petition, take a survey, or make a "pinwheel for peace." They did not even foist the usual safe sex tracts on us. It took me awhile to figure out their scheme, but I did. It was part of a massive project to remove carbon from the air. The collected carbon is usually difficult to dispose of, so this time they condesed it to turkey leg shapes and fed to a bunch of college students...who will eat anything if it is free.

At least the brief pause that I took to eat led to some decent company.

I think I did well in the German exam. The good part of having this exam done is that it, along with my research paper, represented the last major tasks before Finals. I now have to weeks to shore up knowledge I possess, which is a nice change from the constant induction of new material to my poor little grey cells.

Tomorrow is my longest school day, though it should be nothing compared to Friday-Saturday-Sunday of last week. Perspective makes these days easier with every repetition. Much like an hour and a half in the car felt longer only five years ago. I think we develop an easy poise in the way we deal with the mundane...that, or we react like nutters. At least I seem to obtain more poise. Maybe I'm just delusional.

Yeah, my mind is now wandering. It is time to stop.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Research Project

9:06 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
After a solid month and a half of research, topic changes, and torturous perusal of melba toast grade ruminations on the state of education, written by people who take themselves, very, very, seriously, I completed my rough draft and am not so displeased with it as I thought I would be.

Now I have a German exam tomorrow, but that should be my last serious work before finals.

On the bookish front. I am reading the novel New York by Edward Rutherford and enjoying it greatly.

Now I am going to rest and get away from the computer. I'm afraid that I overused it again in the last couple days, largely because my crazy ADD head decided it needed to alter topic again. I'm going to have to work something out with the little brain gremlins and whims that are always up there making mischief, of one kind...and another.

If I had to guess, I think they would probably be assuaged by the rereading of Calvin and Hobbes. Just need to find time....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Excellent Experience

8:22 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
Today started well. By well, I mean after 7:00. I spent this morning making one last pass over the homework I finished last night. All was well on that front. I spent what was left of the morning listening to my music too loud and messing with the Dogmeat. A most gratifying use of my time.

One negative thing. Pandora has instated a maximum on the number of hours you can listen for free. You can imagine my consternation when my music stopped playing and I found a message from the creators trying to shake me down. The issue is that there is nothing to shake out. I am going to have to find another method for augmenting my music supply.

H'anyway. German was excellent today, as always, and we ended by filling out our evaluations. Dr.Roberts is getting some excellent reviews. The group is really great. We have no whiners, and the few who have whiner potential are smart enough that they have nothing to whine about. Lee is, in my humble and correct opinion, an excellent teacher and makes the subject matter very clear. Our evaluations had places for commentary, which I made sparing use of. However, while I was evaluating a problem occured to me. I will deal with that problem later this post.

After German I went down to the bookstore to buy a new folder for my Comp class. As I was on the way over I bumped into G and talked to him for a while. I might introduce G later, he is one of the amusing characters that decorates my days on campus. Back to the day, I hurried to make it to comp on time only to sit and wait for the late teacher. No problem though, I had history reading to catch up on (this will be big later). This class was actually sort of fun. We were working with logical fallacy and how to avoid it. A whole class devoted to devising and shooting down logical fallacy felt more like games than class. Prof also told me after class that I my quiz points were high enough that all future points on the quizzes would count toward extra credit for me. On receiving that news I really did mean it when I wished her a Happy Thanksgiving.

This is where things got interesting. I finished my history reading, taking my time, being thorough. I then headed over to my history class and got there five minutes early. But no one was there. I was puzzled. Usually there are 5-10 people outside at least ten minutes before class. Maybe a Whim got them? I spent the next five minutes talking to Kathy, the tech lady, about where everyone could be. Professor Weiner walked in about two minutes later. He was as shocked as I was. In a class of twenty-two people, there was only one student to be found. Thank God it was the brilliant one. ;-p

The history class that followed was the best yet. It consisted of a fluid back-and-forth between Weiner and I. It was practically a private lesson. I got an hour and fifteen minutes of personal instruction. Not bad, trust me. It also showed just what classes might be like without the gimping limitations of people who don't study and don't care. We covered all the planned subject matter in record time, partially because I didn't feel the need to muzzle myself on the questions and was able to answer them outright, without any of the customary pregnant pauses to allow my classmates a chance to say something. I also had the pleasure of covering the subject matter in much greater depth and with more attention to theory and and possible ramifications; I even got to indulge in that most delicious delight of historians: speculation.

Now the issue. This class is not going to be kind to Weiner in their evaluations. This is largely because he is not an easy grader and most of them are not the types to work for the grade. Often times I will be one of two or three people who even speaks during class and perhaps the one of two who knows, or cares to know, the subject matter. So when I listen to the floozie behind me talking about how unfairly he grades her, I cannot help but think on the fact that she texts throughout the whole class, never reads any of the material, and has been asked to leave twice for actually talking on the phone during class. Most of my classmates whine about him. Most of them also neglect the work. I used the commentary section sparingly for Roberts. I think I am going to have to use some counter-class commentary in this evaluation. Weiner is good, better when he gets interaction. He is just working with a really lazy and history-retarded group. I already know how they will comment on Weiner and it will not be generous; they are not generous people, as sitting with them for 10-15 before class has tought me. Not that they would presume to go after me, the one person who tried tasted the swift and mighty lash of my ascerbic wit, but they usually spend that time nagging and griping and making fun of the staff. I am going to have to tear them to pieces in my own evaluation. Might not make any difference, but it will help assuage my own anger at their unjust complaints and constant slacking.

Now it is thanksgiving break and I can rest.

...I wonder how Moore's evaluation will play? I must reflect on this....

;-D

Monday, November 23, 2009

Necessarily Short

7:05 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
When I wake up after a few hours of restless sleep, I am not usually expecting a marvelous day. But for the lack of sleep and the 2 1/2 hours of continuous exercise, for the exhaustion, both physical and mental, which I am currently experiencing, I feel good. The Exhaustion is the kind that comes with accomplishment, and so, comes with a measure of satisfaction. My homework is all done until December first and I held a solid run for longer than I have managed in a couple years. I have one last long day left before thanksgiving and after that I am close to next semester, for which I have a more interesting schedule. And, and, and...no Comp. After this I am to be assumed English language competent. Yays.

I would put together something longer, but getting all my homework has involved some intensive computer work, which has definitely taken its toll on my eyes.

Friday, November 20, 2009

And Now It Just Sucks...

10:02 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
I have, as a good homeschooler, always been in on the secret that we learn and apply best those things which we enjoy.

Why should I be surprised that my five weeks of preparation on a topic which I did not care for has caused me to loath said topic? I need to be able to accomplish unpleasant tasks quickly. This minute baby step by baby step process that the Moore has put me through has turned this paper from an easy task which I could have realized in a week, to a month and a half torture show of academic coddling and over preparation. This last assignment which made me re-reread part of the textbook and a bunch of my sources, only to make me write another little three page assignment talking about the six to eight page paper. It translated to hours of re-reading for some 25 minutes of writing.

I am reminded of the Pointy-Haired Boss assigning progress reports every fifteen minutes until the engineers catch up on their work.

And I am now exceedingly cranky.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Islam

7:42 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
I know some excellent Muslims. I hang out with a pair of them pretty regularly at school. Ahmed and Jasmina are perfectly normal. Jasmina is trying to talk me into political science and Ahmed has given up on talking me into Biology. There are good Muslims, maybe the vast majority of Muslims are good? I have been party to sample of the good ones and have never seen a bad one. But it is not the water in the northern regions of Africa that causes genocide. It is not the food which allows women no rights in the Middle East. It is not the trees which tell men to strap on bombs and kill the Jews. Orthodox Islam is corrosive. It eats away empathy and turns the noblest elements of the human will, self sacrifice, bravery, loyalty, and devotion, to a twisted cause. Do I wish there was no Islam? Yes, I wish that. But there is Islam, so we live with it and try to get along.

Should we profile Muslims. No. We are Americans and that is not how we roll. We deal with each person according to their actions. However, some white trash skinhead writes about killing black people, you watch him like a hawk. A Muslim talks about Jihad, watch him like a hawk. Muslims should practice their faith with the same freedom that I do as a Christian. However, there needs to be some good faith here. The second my pastor cracked and told me it was time to go get some Muslims and Jews, I would speak with him. If he maintained, I would frog-march him to an institution. Evil words are evil words regardless of the mouth they issue from. I would hope that my fellow citizens who listen to their imams would do me the same service.

There are some codes of conduct here. There is stigma around certain articles of regalia. Why the hell would you wear full white robes, like the ones martyrs wear, into in airport when you know the thoughts that accompany that regalia? The reality is that getup is exceedingly popular amongst those who choose to blow themselves up, so regular Muslims might be more concerned with courtesy than making a statement.

Another great issue with Islam is that the brand that has state support behind it in so many countries is terribly violent and does not allow for peaceful coexistence. It is still a death penalty offense to bring a bible into Saudi Arabia. Iranian public schools still preach hatred against Christians and Jews. Don't get me started on the Sudan or Somalia. Islam has screwed up every country where it holds sway, and more often than not gives rise to an oligarchy of those who have the will to power.

Do I watch the man walking through the airport in full white robes? You betcha. Do I watch the man in full white robes that walks into the NAACP office? Klar! Neither are normal every day attire, and both have been put on for the special purpose of murder. I watch people with confederate flags on their trucks, why? Because what we wear makes a statement about our belief, and some things have been worn while men made some pretty evil statements.

Final Verdict. I think that Islam is no good. But I think that most people who live with it will never suffer some of its more serious psychological side effects.

A New Breakthrough in Breast-Cancer Prevention

2:37 PM Posted by Patrick 7 comments
*Warning: Bitter Satire Ahead*

In their eternal wisdom the federal Illuminati have discovered the secret to lower rates of fatality by breast cancer; we will now treat cancer by appeasement.

After holding long diplomatic talks with the cancers, a Federal panel became convinced that the breast cancer would leave us alone if only we would stop fighting it. "The vast majority of breast cancers are benign and the rest might be as well if we would only stop persecuting them, they would leave us alone" said one official. These words come on the heels of recent findings that attempts at breast cancer prevention were actually counter productive. The official continued on to say that breast cancer was actually a "cancer of peace" that has long been inflamed by US medical intervention.

The Panel found that current measures taken by the US medical professionals were "too expensive" and "came at the cost of too many innocent cancers that were not any danger to anyone; cancers that women would die with, not of." The federal panel found that the US stood to benefit from stepping down its cancer prevention and opting instead for a more humane approach. A member of the panel said in a recent interview that the US should "immediately withdraw from breast cancer prevention and then starting cutting back our bloated medical profession." Taking these measures, he said, would inevitably "elevate us back to leadership in the eyes of the world."

However, there are some idiot cranks and loons who are still in favour of breast cancer prevention. Said one money-grubbing quack "Regular screening is a big reason that deaths from breast cancer have been reduced so much in the last fifteen years." Even if his assertion that breast cancer, which we all know to be peaceful, kills people were true, there is no reason to believe that screening could prevent those deaths.

It should speak much to our readers that the only people who stand in favour of preventative measures are those who stand to gain from it, that is, doctors, women, men with wives, people who give a damn about other people, and anyone who has not yet received the White House political directive. That this kind of blind bigotry and partisanship should exist in the US makes me want to vomit and move to Canada.

If we are ever to prevent future clashes with breast-cancer, we must stop prevention and treatment immediately.

*A Word from the Author*

When I first saw the findings of the federal panel, I wanted to vomit. The fact that they want women to stop doing self checks as well shows us what they really want. When they make their bid to take over healthcare, they do not want to treat women's breast cancer. They want the breast cancer to be untreatable when they finally do catch it. This is the most sickening money saving device I have ever seen, and I would gladly be party to the beating of whoever decided this was a good idea. A cancer on everyone who had a hand in this filth.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Imperfection and the Omnipresence and Inescapability of Human Sin

10:38 AM Posted by Patrick 1 comment
Every so often I divert my attention back to the French Revolution. It asks one of those questions that has never been answered to my satisfaction. As good Christians, we are supposed to uphold and obey government, but what happens when the government is a mere tool which the powerful use to abuse and take advantage of the weak? What happens when a government's justice is become rancid and corrupt, when there is no justice? What happens when there is no means for peaceable reformation? Should good men sit there and watch as their fellows are trampled?

I have heard the revolution is always a sin. Is it not also a sin to watch your neighbor defrauded of his life and property? And what if he is defrauded in the name of the law? What if government is rigged to allow some men to rape, defraud, and murder without tasting the consequences? Such was the case with the French. The peasants only had one answer for that oligarchy of worms.

Don't get me wrong. The murder of the French aristocrats was an abomination of the worst sort; it was savagery. This is the sad price of having noble ideals hijacked by a blood-lusted mob. I have to wonder if revolution is ever possible without this kind of display. Ours was much more civilized by far. However, it is hard to compare because our tyrants--who were not so bad--were a long voyage off, out of the reach of the bloody mob, necessarily meaning the mob was out of their reach as well. Bloodshed on the same level was impossible.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I might be wrong in how I perceive the situation, to me it has always seemed a part of the imperfection that we live in, but such cases leave us with two choices. We either rebel against the evil and try to reform things in a just manner. Or we watch and allow ourselves to be party to corruption and hope it doesn't turn its eyes on us. There is no third choice, closing your eyes is just another way of watching.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ausgezeichnet

6:15 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
This morning I could not sit still for bible study. I ended up wandering into James nearly empty class for the last five minutes of the lesson. James teaches bible study with the zeal of a caffeinated baptist minister. If today was any barometer, I imagine the chilluns are getting a much better Sunday-school education than any normally received by American crumb-crunchers. Next I will have to invade the She-woof's classroom. After all, who is making sure that the teaching is up to Corp standards?

Later, about the time that everyone starts going into church, I realized that I was abandoned and alone. In the course of seeing to the effective deployment of acolytes in our weekly campaign against the forces of darkness, I again missed out on any chance of joining the choir; that, coupled with my mother being ill, reduced me to the sad situation of having to sit by myself. Very sad... Aha! But that was not to be. For some of the magnanimous members of my church family had seen my wretched state and graciously joined me. Crisis averted.

Then, as I left church, I had the rest of a gorgeous sour creme cake foisted upon me. This particular cake is good enough that it tempts me every time I walk through the kitchen; my temptation to submission ratio is about 8:1. And if you had the pleasure of acquainting yourself with said delectable delight, only then would you realize how heroic that number is, especially for a starving artist like me.

Then we--the royal we--spent the rest of the day under the sun, enjoying many sunny pursuits such as, walking, homework on a blanket in back-yard, reading in the sun, and other things that allow for maximal contemplation and minimal physical effort.

After that came barbecued chicken.

And now I am smoking myself in front of a friendly hickory fire, toying with that, little, petite, infinitesimal, absurdly puny, morsel of homework which I have until Tuesday to complete.

My word for the day is ausgezeichnet.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More Frustration.

10:18 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
Military Science and Leadership-101-class number two.

That is when we dealt, however briefly, with responsibilities in the military chain of command. As a general rule, a commander is directly accountable for every man under his authority. Abu Ghraib was the commander's fault. So also, when you send one of your men back home dead, that is your fault and responsibility as well. A commander should feel every single loss, because they are on him. It is not pretty, but it is something you accept if you choose to command.

Nine months, indecision, and shout-outs. Can anyone tell me what those three have in common? To me they are evidence that our Commander-in-Chief does not understand and comprehend the enormity of his office. Every life that the President of the United States spends is on him. His primary duty has nothing to do with our global image, climate change, health-care, or even diplomacy. Commander is not a title given because the founders thought it sounded cool; it is a charge that should go straight to the soul of the man who holds the office. He is responsible for every man wearing that uniform, and that is his first responsibility.

I am chagrined by the callous and unconcerned attitude which our President has taken. He has actually caused me to miss Bush. I am tired of seeing the President and his never-ending stream of interviews, when he has done nothing about the increasingly more violent and dangerous situation in Afghanistan. Let him first withdraw the troops, or commit sufficient troops to finish the job; then let him speak. I would of course prefer that we did not leave our mideast allies hanging out to dry and the very thought of such action is bitter to me, but it would be worse still to leave American soldiers hanging out to dry.

As I watch the President--right now-- speak about the exciting possibility of the health-care bill, I am wondering when he is going to fulfill his duty to our troops abroad and at home; A duty that does not stop with commanding, but understanding exactly what command really means.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Blinded to That Which They Saw So Clearly

2:43 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
When I got into the Shewoof's car yesterday evening, I was greeted by the usually chipper and irreverent Roe Conn. However, his tone was not what I was used to. That is because he was talking about the shooting at Fort Hood. I was not shocked, later, when I found out that the shooters name was Nidal Malik Hassan; I had expected something along those lines. Mr. Conn apparently made roughly the same connection, which does not really surprise me. The connection isn't too hard when the shooter screamed "allahu akbar" as he shots his victims.

But the members of the American media are now going out of their way to keep Islamic extremism out of the picture. I was amused by how the New York times was explaining it. Just go to their website and search "Fort hood." Compassion Fatigue and Pre-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are the early diagnoses given by the American media. His shouts of "allahu akbar" obviously had nothing to do with it. The fact that he had been handing out Korans the day before the shooting could not have been related. That he had previously listed his nationality as Palastinian, despite the fact he is an American citizen, is not a valid clue. His comments on websites calling suicide bombers "noble" and saying that "Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor" are not indicators. This is clearly just a case of a man under too much internal pressure.

If a man wearing a sheet walked into an NAACP outpost on Martin Luther King's birthday and opened fire...do you think we would be talking about "Pre-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder"?

The adherence to the politically correct dogma to the exclusion of common sense is dangerous, stupid, and costs innocent lives. He raised a bunch of red flags on the way to this massacre, but nobody wanted to get sent for sensitivity training. They closed their eyes so they would not have to see it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bat Country

2:21 PM Posted by Patrick 3 comments
It's a gorgeous day out and my short-military short-hair feels most excellent in the breeze. I might miss the old stuff at some point, but not right now. Now I am enjoying that incredible, light, floaty, feeling that comes on the heels of losing half a pound of weight off my head.

Have you ever had a really annoying and catchy song stuck, really, really, stuck, in your head? I will assume the answer is yes and then I will tell you that for me, today, that song is Bat Country. I do not even get the pleasure of having the guitar solo stuck in my head. No, i have the odd and quirky and completely weird chorus bouncing around my cranium.

Also, German was canceled today, so I ordered a bunch of stuff from IUCAT...It's totally free. I will now make it my mission in life to make sure the people down at the IU library have something to do all the time. I started with about 10 books today, tomorrow, who knows. ;-p

And now I need to get ready for comp. Shouldn't be bad.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hello Up There.

9:24 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I have recently begun playing basketball on Monday and Wednesday mornings before class, an activity for which they give me credit. Hooray for me. Basketball is a sport I have always enjoyed. However, there is an issue! My head would fit nicely beneath the armpits of several of the other gentlemen on the court. Easily. Not only do these players dwarf me, they also have lots of highschool basketball experience. I am going to need to develop some solutions to this problem...like kicking shins when the boss isn't looking. At least I like my team that I'm set with.

These pre-dawn wake-ups are threatening to steal what little is left of my sanity. I think they are conpiring with The Moore.

Today, this morning, I did something totally uncharacteristic. I went out of my way to avoid the people I know. I was tired , cranky, and in no mood to talk to anyone. I just wanted a massive cup of coffee -a massive caraf!- and a note saying my comp teacher recanted her intention to have us put our bibliographies together a month in advance of actually writing our research paper. At least I had a minor epiphany on that front and discovered that I had been approaching the issue the wrong way. It now makes more sense and fits with the other info I have. Strange though it may seem, my revelation began when I was reading the New York Times. Scary, yes-no?

I also spent this afternoon reminding myself why I so hate tennis shoe shopping. They are all garish, they take forever to break in, and they are too light and have none of the substance and balance of a leather shoe. I think I probably will never be happy with any pair of Tennis shoes. I really just want a pair of tastefully understated, hand-sewn leather, tennis shoes. Is that too much?

And now I'm bored with writing for now. I'll write something tomorrow, maybe.