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The Friday Five: Morning Routine

Posted on Friday, August 1st, 2003

Dave!1. What time do you wake up on weekday mornings? Between 6 and 6:30am.

2. Do you sleep in on the weekends? Rarely. How late? When I do "sleep in," it's never later than 9:30am.

3. Aside from waking up, what is the first thing you do in the morning? Put on my glasses, then grab my PowerBook so I can check e-mail and see what's new in the world.

4. How long does it take to get ready for your day? If I bypass my PowerBook routine in the morning, it takes me about 15 minutes to get cleaned up and dressed.

5. When possible, what is your favorite place to go for breakfast? Nothing beats a good bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, and the best bagels in the world are in New York City.

Categories: Memes 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Easy Rider

Posted on Sunday, August 3rd, 2003

Dave!After two weeks on my new ride, I finally decided I was comfortable enough with it to brave the highway. As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. The F650 GS loves the highway, and rips through the miles effortlessly. I was a little concerned that the miniscule fairing would really let the wind tear into me, but was completely comfortable. Actually, given the heat-wave we've been experiencing lately, a little wind is not a bad thing, and makes me glad that I have the Joe Rocket Phoenix Mesh Jacket to take advantage of it! What I am not happy about is my Arai Signet Helmet. In only two weeks, the front vents have popped off, and now the lettering is starting to peel off as well. They didn't seem to glue anything together, but instead used tape! So, apparently, I bought the best, most expensive helmet I could find and it's turned out to be a pile of crap? I don't know if it's the heat that's causing the tape to melt, or what... all I do know is that I have not in any way mistreated the helmet, and it's falling apart. What sucks even further is that you cannot use their web site to contact customer service because they received an "enormous amount" of inquiries and response times have grown to "unacceptable levels." Well, since their stuff is pretty much crap, that seems perfectly understandable. The pity here is that the helmet is amazingly comfortable... easily the best I've tried on. I can only hope that my problem is unique, and that Arai solves the problem (assuming I can ever get ahold of them!).

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The Friday Five: Travelology

Posted on Friday, August 8th, 2003

Dave!1. What's the last place you traveled to, outside your own home state/country? State: Wisconsin. Country: England.

2. What's the most bizarre/unusual thing that's ever happened to you while traveling? I have literally hundreds of bizarre stories I could tell, because I travel quite a lot. If forced to pick one, I'd have to say the time I got interrogated on the train out of Germany by border guards because of a Steiff Teddy Bear I bought for my mother is near the top of my list!

3. If you could take off to anywhere, money and time being no object, where would you go? I am a real travel bargain hunter, so money isn't really the problem... it's always time. So, if I were given unlimited time and had to spend it in one place, I would probably choose to explore Italy. The art and architecture of this amazing country completely mesmerizes me, and it would be easy to spend a few years there taking it all in.

4. Do you prefer traveling by plane, train or car? Motorcycle. But since that's not a choice, I guess I'd have to say train.

5. What's the next place on your list to visit? This Sunday I take off to L.A. for work, but if you're talking about personal travel, I hope to visit Spain and Portugal this winter.

Categories: Memes 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

L.A. summer

Posted on Monday, August 11th, 2003

Dave!So here I am in sunny L.A. for a few days (sadly, it's all work, so it's not like I'll actually get to enjoy it!). Had the usual delays/gate changes/freakiness that comes with flying now-a-days, the upshot being that I got into the Ontario Airport an hour late (after midnight) which gave me precious little time to get my work set up for the next day, and a measly 3 hours left over for some bad sleep (thank you Alaska Airlines!).

Though everybody in L.A. will tell you that the traffic here is the worst anywhere, I can give a more objective opinion that it is not. Don't get me wrong, it is pretty bad... it's just not as horrible as, let's say, Atlanta or Seattle. At least the people here know how to drive in it. Motorcyclists appear to have it made, because traffic seems very accommodating to lane-splitting. I've seen cars pull to a side to let a motorcycle pass, which is quite different than what I've noticed from Seattle traffic (where they make whiplash lane changes and have no qualms about cutting off anything with two wheels... even if they make no headway doing so).

About the only gripe I continue to have about the "City of Angels" is the smog, which seems to get worse with each passing year. Even on a clear-blue sky day like today, the surrounding mountains are barely visible! The upside is that all that pollution makes for some amazingly beautiful sunsets.

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Soundtrack

Posted on Tuesday, August 12th, 2003

Dave!When the upgrade to Apple's Final Cut 4.0 arrived, I was pretty impressed with some of the latest feature additions... then I stumbled upon the included Soundtrack application and was completely blown away! This amazing tool allows musically challenged videographers (like myself) to create complex, lush, brilliant musical scores with very little effort. It's just a matter of selecting various instrument loops from the included (and impressive) library and putting it all together. Start with a funky drum beat, add a synthesizer or two and some strings, and you're done! Even more impressive is that Soundtrack handles all the timing, so you can lengthen or compress the tracks to match cues in your video effortlessly. I was able to create a complete musical score for a 5 minute video that contains 27 tracks in just under an hour, and it sounds amazing. Yet another coupe for Apple that makes me so very glad I own a Mac. If you create video content, and don't have the luxury of hiring a composer to arrange a score for your project, then you need this incredible app!

Categories: Apple Stuff 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Friday Five: Surf Habits

Posted on Friday, August 15th, 2003

Dave!1. How much time do you spend online each day? My home and work computers are connected to the internet 24/7, and always getting information that's fed to various apps and data sources... so I guess you could say that I am online constantly. If you mean general surfing/e-mail type stuff, that's probably about 2-4 hours off-and-on in a day (and that time is going down, because I'd rather be riding than surfing!).

2. What is your browser homepage set to? Google (though my windows open to a blank page, since Apple's Safari web browser has a Google bar built in.

3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? Yes. If so, which one(s)? Once you've used Apple's iChat A/V there's just no going back to any other IM software.

4. Where was your first webpage located? CompuServe (well, it was kind of a web page... more like an information page... but that's as close as you could get back in 1984!).

5. How long have you had your current website? DaveWeb has been around in one form or another since 1992 (but the domain "DaveWeb.com" wasn't registered until 1997, which is when I decided to use it as the name of my graphic design business and apply for a trademark).

Categories: Memes 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dead Bugs

Posted on Friday, August 15th, 2003

Dave!Yet another trip to Spokane for work (and some incredible David's Pizza) had me getting home at around 8:30 last night completely exhausted. But after spending the past two days in a car, I decided to stop and trade for my motorcycle so I wouldn't have to spend another minute trapped in a cage. It's amazing how just five minutes on a motorcycle can revive you from the brink of death! It was a beautiful evening, and there was still some light left, so I decided to hit the highway and ride around for a bit. After an hour or so it's getting dark out and is difficult to see, so I head home. Then, as I am removing my helmet, I notice that it's not as dark as I had thought it was, and that's when it hits me... the reason I couldn't see very well was because my face shield was plastered with dead bugs! They were caked on so thick that it's a wonder I could see at all (of course my ride is a complete mess as well, so I suppose it's time for her first bath). Just one of the pitfalls of riding a motorcycle at night that never occurred to me, even after years of cleaning dead bugs off my car windshield.

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Ride Like the Wind

Posted on Saturday, August 16th, 2003

Dave!Most bikers will tell you that, in general, the biggest challenge you face when riding (aside from an occasional car-driving moron turning into you, I suspect) is the weather and, more specifically, the rain. Well, I haven't ridden in the rain yet so I can state that my biggest challenge so far has been the wind.

I decided that if the weather is good next week, I'll take the plunge and ride the 360 miles to Spokane and back on my beautiful new BMW F650 GS. This trek will be by far the longest ride I've ever had, but if I take Highway 2 it promises to be a fairly interesting trip (as opposed to the ultra-boring I-90 corridor I take by car). Since this will be an overnighter, I'll need some way of packing over a change of clothes and a toothbrush, so I decided to hunt down a Joe Rocket Jet Pack backpack, which also has the nifty feature of a collapsable helmet bag built in. So off I go for a quick trip into Wenatchee to see if one of the three motorcycle shops had it.

I should have known better, nobody here had the thing in stock... but hey, even a futile trip is all good on a motorcycle! At least in theory... in the dozens of trips to Wenatchee I've taken since I got the F650, this was the first one where I had to deal with gusting wind. Now, in a car, I probably wouldn't have noticed it much (if at all), but it's completely different when you're hanging on for dear life on a motorcycle! Sometimes I would find myself being slid over a full foot(!) when a particularly nasty gust came roaring through... other times I'd go for a corner on the highway and find that it was pretty tough to push against the wind, and had to abandon counter-steering for something I like to call "twist steering" which is a frightening turn of events where I am both pushing and pulling the handlebars to initiate a turn. Coming to a nice stop is no picnic either, because the slowed momentum means the wind just rocks you all the harder and makes it a bit tricky to stay upright. Heavy cruisers probably don't have quite as much problem with the wind as I do (the F650 GS is only 434-lbs. wet!), but that's a bit more motorcycle than I'm wanting right now.

Anyway, all things considered, cruising down the highway at 70mph while fighting the wind all the way is an even bigger thrill than skydiving, which is not something I anticipated... just a side-benefit.

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Counter-Steering Voodoo

Posted on Saturday, August 16th, 2003

Dave!Well that was quick. Though I posted my last entry just 45 minutes ago, I've already got an e-mail from a new friend (and prospective motorcyclist) asking about my rather vague reference to "counter-steering" which is the method used to steer a motorcycle at speeds faster than 5-10mph. I've now hyper-linked the reference to a document which attempts to explain this freaky phenomena (you can read it by clicking here) but, since it can be a scary prospect to somebody thinking about getting into motorcycling, I thought I would take a minute to talk about it. I know my blog has popped up as a link to read about "new rider experiences," and I would hate to discourage anybody from riding because they are freaked out over something they read on my site.

But first, a little history. Even though I've been riding my new BMW F650 GS for only a month, I am not a complete novice. Fourteen years ago, I had a Honda 250 that I played around with. I wasn't endorsed, had no formal training, but had a blast riding around the surrounding backroads from time to time (after learning how to ride from a book I got from the local library and a lot of trial-and-error!). But then one fateful day, I ran into some loose gravel while coming around a corner and took quite a spill. My girlfriend completely lost it, and that was the end of my short foray into riding (hey, at that moment in time, she was worth it!). I sold my ride, gave away my gear, and abandoned my dream of owning a BMW R100 GS (that was the dual model at the time). Well, as they say, eventually dreams can come true (even after over a decade of hibernation).

But now back to counter-steering, which I did not consciously begin using until it was brought up in my MSF Basic Rider Course a month back. First of all... yes, it's really true. When making a turn you are actually turning the handlebars opposite of the intended path of travel. Yes, it's a little freaky when you are first practicing it. No, you don't have to pay attention to the physics of how it works in order to make it happen. Basically, what you need to know is that the only way to turn a motorcycle at speed is to make it lean. The best way to do this is to push the handlebars away from your turn, which puts the bike into a kind of "controlled fall" that slips the front tire's contact patch with the road out from under you and leans the bike. A kind of gyroscopic effect kicks in... to turn right, push right... to turn left, push left... and the harder you push, the more you lean and the tighter your turn. Obviously, you do have to maintain speed to keep from tipping over, but once you get the hang of it, it's not a big deal. In fact, it's one of the things I've come to love most about riding. Cornering is fun.

I've read where some people say they don't use counter-steering, and instead just lean their motorcycle by pushing down on a foot peg, slapping their knee against the side of the tank, shifting their weight, or whatever. Other things I've read tell me that these people are, in fact, counter-steering but not realizing it. All I know is that when I try leaning my body and restrain myself from steering, nothing happens, so I am inclined to agree with the latter assessment. The good news is that by actively counter-steering you get a sense for it, which could save you a lot of grief in a crisis (always a horror to read stories of novice riders who panic and attempt to steer away from an obstacle but, due to the counter-steering "effect," actually turn into it!). So don't let the bizarre physics of motorcycle steerage keep you away... that's just the way it works and, if you embrace it as part of the fun of riding, you'll end up being a better rider because of it.

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Fear of Flying

Posted on Sunday, August 17th, 2003

Dave!I've started to get a bit of traffic from other newbie riders wanting to share their motorcycle experiences, ask questions, or just say "howdy." That's pretty amazing to me, and it's great getting e-mail from new friends... so thanks to those of you who have taken the time to write. One e-mail I got a couple of days ago has kind of stuck with me, and I thought I would post my reply here in the off-chance that it might be of interest to somebody else who is just starting out.

Basically, the guy wrote to say that he is also a new rider and, like me, had taken the MSF Basic Rider Course to get his endorsement (highly, recommended). After a few days, he found a used bike he liked at a price he could afford, bought it, and had jumped into the world of motorcycling with an enthusiasm he had never felt before. But all that quickly changed once he realized that riding in the real world is a big difference from what had been practiced in class (where you don't have morons cutting you off or turning into you, obstacles thrown in your path, or any of a hundred other hazards that motorcyclists experience every day). At the end of his e-mail, he summed it all up with a question... "are you as scared as I am when you go out there?"

My answer? Sure. But it's getting better every day. Do I think it will ever go away entirely? No, but that's probably a good thing. When you ride a motorcycle, you are far more vulnerable, far less visible, and far more unstable than driving in a car. A little fear could be what keeps you alive in a crisis by making you err on the side of caution as you make each decision that comes up.

The biggest mistake I made in starting out again was buying a brand new motorcycle (and no cheap thing either, I went for my BMW dream machine). Had I been smart, I probably would have bought some inexpensive used motorcycle to practice on until I was comfortable riding on the street. So a great deal of my fear sits with not wanting to damage the $9000 thing of beauty that's between my legs (hey, I'm single... double entendres like that are all I've got right now!).

Setting aside the worry of damaging my Beemer... yeah, there's still plenty of room for fear. In my first three hours of on-street riding, I had two emergency situations pop up that scared the crap out of me. The first time I went on the highway, I was terrified. Last week my bike suddenly seized up as I was taking off into a corner, causing me to tip over (no damage, thankfully) and I was pretty shaken. Not knowing why my bike seized up... and knowing it might not be something I did, but a defect that could strike again... is scary stuff. My first time riding in gusting wind yesterday was a nail-biter to be sure. And I'm already working up a bit of nervous energy about the 360 mile trip I've got planned for next week.

But every time I try something new, or have something unexpected come my way that gets me rattled. I think back to the day before I took the first ride on my new motorcycle. Pure terror. No sleep at all that night. I woke up at 5am (wanting as little traffic as possible!) and went to my grandmother's house where my ride had been stored while I took the MSF Course. Not wanting to risk pulling out of a driveway, I walked the bike 2 blocks to the high school parking lot for practice, the dread growing with every step. But just 10 minutes later, I was in love with riding... even if it was just around a parking lot. It's a feeling that just doesn't leave you, and it's a feeling I still get every time I a hop on my motorcycle. It's a feeling that I've been missing in my life for 14 years, and the fear of losing it again is far greater than any worry I have about what's going to happen when I'm out there... and that's how I deal. If you are more afraid of riding than not riding, then maybe you shouldn't do it (hey, life is hard enough). But if you love it as much as I do, there's really no choice... be careful out there, practice your MSF training, remember why you love it, spread your wings... and fly.

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And so it finally happens

Posted on Tuesday, August 19th, 2003

Dave!They say that there are two kinds of motorcyclists... those that have dropped their bikes, and those that will. Well, as of yesterday, I've not only dropped my beautiful new ride, but also had one of the most terrifying experiences of my life... and I've been skydiving, scuba diving, bungee jumping, traveled around the world, and was once held up at knife-point.

But, before I get down to it... I'm okay. More importantly, my motorcycle is perfectly okay.

Anyway, it all started this past weekend when I decided to take one last ride before heading over to Seattle. I ran up the canyon and played around in the dirt a bit, and ended up tapping my left handlebar into a tree as I skidded around a corner. It roughed up the edge of my grip a bit, and my clutch level seemed a little loose up-and-down, but it in no way appeared bent or damaged.

Fast forward to yesterday, and I get back from Seattle completely bored from the drive... all I want to do is get my motorcycle and hit the road. So I take a quick trip to Wenatchee. On the way back, it happens. I am coming off the highway to a stop in the left-turn lane, downshifting and braking front and back. Just as I'm stopped and have put my left foot down, the clutch lever snaps off! Now, I still have both brakes on full, so the bike doesn't go anywhere but, with clutch released, it lurches forward so violently that I am thrown to the ground on my left side. Fortunately, I break the fall of my Beemer, so no damage occurs (my pride not included!).

In no time, I manage to get myself upright and on the road again with half a clutch lever (tricky to ride that way!) and limp to a local cycle shop that's (luckily) just down the road from my apartment so I can get a new clutch lever. And that's where it's pointed out to me that oil is leaking from under my faux "tank." On the verge of freaking out over what could have ruptured in my engine, I order the part, then run home and start a take-apart to find out what's gone wrong. Ends up, BMW forgot to put an O-ring on my oil cap! So much for BMW attention to quality and detail.

So today Cashmere Cycle gets me set up with a new clutch lever, and my ride is good as new... not even a scratch. But the experience of having an out-of-control motorcycle throw me flat on the highway is something that I won't soon forget. I guess I should feel lucky that I was still braking full when it happened so that my ride didn't get away and scatter across the road. But there is a part of me that's still pretty upset that BMW would use such a brittle metal for their levers. I mean, if it were to have snapped outright, I would probably be okay with it. But the fact that it could fracture (with no apparent damage) and then snap completely at such an un-opportune moment as stopping on the highway... well, that doesn't seem like a safe material to be using for such a critical part. I can't imagine the horror of something like that happening with my brakes on the highway!

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The Friday Five: Last But Not Least

Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2003

Dave!1. When was the last time you laughed? Just now when I read how inane this week's questions were.

2. Who was the last person you had an argument with? An idiot telemarketer who would not take "no" for an answer.

3. Who was the last person you e-mailed? Me! Last night I came across a great deal and wanted to be sure I would remember it, so I e-mailed it to myself.

4. When was the last time you bathed? I take a shower every day...I can't remember the last bath I had.

5. What was the last thing you ate? Dinner... two Hawaiian sweet bread buns with Spanish rice and cheddar cheese in-between.

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Road trip!

Posted on Sunday, August 24th, 2003

Dave!Since I'm at 470 miles on my motorcycle, and it's due for a check-up at 600, I decided that a 380 mile trip to Spokane would put me too far past the mark when you add on the fact that the 120 mile trip to Seattle (where my BMW dealer is at) would total 970 miles. Oh well, there's always another trip to Spokane. Or is there? I mean, summer is running out, and warm-weather days are getting fewer. And then I look out my back window and see this...

How in the heck am I expected to sit in a cage for 3-1/2 hours on a day like this? There is no way I am not riding my motorcycle to Spokane! So now I am unpacking from my carry-on bag into my new Joe Rocket Pack, which is about half the size. Since I am a very light packer anyway, it's not much of a change, but it does make me question whether I really want to carry a fresh pair of jeans over now that I'll be carrying them on my back (hey, they are heavier than you think!).

Categories: Motorcycles, Travel 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

180 Miles Later

Posted on Sunday, August 24th, 2003

Dave!Well that was fun. My 180 miles into Spokane was uneventful except... after an hour, my ass went numb... and a half hour after that, my legs started cramping up, so I decided to stop for a break. It would seem there really is no comfortable way to spend 3-1/2 hours on my motorcycle, which I suppose is to be expected, because a cruiser it is not! (half my kingdom for highway pegs!) Even so, there was still much fun to be had (Highway 2 has plenty of interesting curves that makes it really sweet for bikers, and you see a lot of them on the road here). I found out that the F650 GS has no problem at 110 mph, which makes passing much more fun than it has a right to be. I also found out that it is folly to wear my Joe Rocket Pack for more than 15 minutes unless it's empty, which is fine because it straps to the handles on my "passenger seat" easily enough. All things considered, it was a much better ride on a motorcycle than trapped in a car! That pleasant thought has me even more worried that snow could be just two months away. How am I supposed to survive the winter if I won't be able to ride?

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Lucky Me

Posted on Monday, August 25th, 2003

Dave!Nobody stole or vandalized my motorcycle in the middle of the night (which was my biggest worry for this trip!).

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Home Again

Posted on Monday, August 25th, 2003

Dave!Coming back home was a little easier than the trip over, and I only had to stop once in Wilber, Washington to take a break for my aching legs and numb ass. Overall, it was a great ride, and beats the heck out of being stuck in a car.

A few things I learned...

  • Scratching your nose is no longer the simple thing you thought it would be when cruising down the highway in a motorcycle helmet.
  • The high plains of Central Washington generate enough wind to make motorcycle travel very interesting (especially when your ride weighs only 430 lbs!). Why they don't try to harness all that wind energy for electricity is beyond me.
  • Highway 2 is a very popular route for bikers, as I saw more on the road this trip than any other.
  • And, most importantly, proper positioning of your testicles before embarking on your motorcycle journey is pretty damn important, as you will not have an opportunity to make adjustments at 70mph.

And since I am now drastically past the 600 miles for my service inspection, I suppose my next trip will be over the mountains to Seattle. I can't wait.

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The Friday Five: Higher Education

Posted on Friday, August 29th, 2003

Dave!1. Are you going to school this year? Uhhhh... no.

2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate? 1984.

3. What are/were your favorite school subjects? School was pretty boring because the classes all seemed so rudimentary. The only "classes" I enjoyed were my advanced independent studies, where I could study what interested me.

4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects? I enjoyed home economics least of all.

5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite? I was blessed to have a series of incredible elementary teachers... Kindergarten: Mrs. Beck, 1st: Mrs. Jones, 2nd: Mrs. Green, 3rd: Mrs. Cummings, 4th: Mr. Rogers. Middle School was a complete boring waste of time that killed my desire to ever go to school again but, when I got to High School, Mr. Brooks renewed my love of mathematics and learning in general, so I guess he'd get the top spot.

Categories: Memes 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Humanity

Posted on Saturday, August 30th, 2003

Dave!I have long been horrified at the USA's constant belief that our way of life is the "correct" way and should be forced upon the rest of the world. Believe it or not there are other civilizations, cultures and societies out there that have been around far longer than our measly 220-some-odd years, and it is the height of ignorance and stupidity to suggest that they are somehow "unacceptable" because they don't live the way we do or believe the things we believe. I've lost count of the number of times I've been visiting a foreign country and been embarrassed by some stupid thing our government is doing in the global community or (more likely) some stupid thing being done by other American tourists right in front of me... all because they just can't get it through their fat heads that the "American Way" is not for everybody.

Keeping that in mind, it is a rare event for me to come out and condemn the actions of another nation because I feel what they are doing is "wrong" according to me belief structure. I understand that other people have different beliefs, and not everybody should be required to think about things exactly as I do. But there are times when actions transcend beliefs, becoming "basic human rights" issues, which makes it impossible stay silent when I read something like this:

In Nigeria a 30-year-old woman named Amina Lawal has been sentenced to be buried up to her neck and then have people throw rocks at her head until she is dead, all because she had a child out of wedlock.

Now my first reaction, naturally, is one of shock and horror that such a brutal and senseless act could be sanctioned by any government (let alone the people living under it). But I accept the fact that other societies have different views on "moral behavior" and fully realize that Nigerians have the right to live according to beliefs that are not my own. If adulterous sex is a known crime that is punishable by torturous death and you get caught breaking that law, then you should expect to pay the price your society places on such actions. Do I think it is wrong? Certainly. But I look at the situation from an entirely different cultural viewpoint so what I think shouldn't enter into the picture.

Except it really does. First of all, I cannot condone torture in any form, and death by stoning is just that. Furthermore, it's not like this woman is a mass-murderer or child rapist or anything. Her crime is having a baby. A basic human instinct is propagation by sex and a consequence of this is pregnancy and birth. Such an instinct is what enables the human race to survive, and being punished for such a primal part of our nature is just wrong (well, unless you are the parents of Pauley Shore, Carrot Top or Martha Stewart)... I don't care what your "culture" or "society morals" dictate, bringing forth life is not an act that should result in death. Some might argue that birth outside of a family is a bad thing and justify it with all kinds of ridiculous reasons, but I just don't buy it. If this woman were married and had a child, but then the father died and she were no longer married, would she be put to death then? Of course not, but this is a logical extension of such backwards thinking in the first place.

And then we get into the whole area of women's rights. The problem here is that the (alleged) father of the child denied he had sex with the woman, and was released. Apparently no further action is being taken to confirm the man's innocence or find the real father if he is telling the truth. Never-mind that modern technology (like DNA testing) is available to verify facts, he just gets to walk. So even if I could get behind the death penalty as punishment for having a baby, I absolutely cannot get behind selectively applying death by gender (or race, or eye color, or any other intrinsic criteria that is based on who you are... not what you believe). Women and men are treated differently in all cultures and, since men and women are different, this is understandable (though not always within bounds of reason). But to be punished selectively because of something you cannot change is a gross violation of human rights that should not be tolerated on principle, it has nothing to do with religious or cultural beliefs.

You can read more about Amina Lawal's struggle at Amnesty International's Australian site by clicking here. You can also sign a petition on the site to let the Nigerian government know that they can't ratify an agreement enforcing basic human rights, and then turn around and allow something like this to take place. You can make a difference.

Categories: News - Politics 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Random thoughts

Posted on Saturday, August 30th, 2003

Dave!Just a few things that have been plaguing me as of late...

Clueless Drivers: A flashing yellow light means slow down and proceed with caution... it does not mean stop.

Arby's: Would it kill you to put a cheese sandwich on your menu? I am tired of having to order a "Market Fresh Beef and Swiss" sandwich - without the roast beef - and still pay as if I had a piece of dead cow on my lunch (and you get it wrong half the time anyway).

Clueless Drivers 2: When making a left turn, stay in your own lane... here is a helpful illustration:

I am getting very tired of having you barely miss me when you whip through your turn in my lane. If I ever get hit from one of you morons, I'm shoving what's left of my motorcycle up your ass.

President Bush: Still waiting for those "weapons of mass destruction" to surface, lying dipshit.

Clueless Drivers 3: When you see a red light ahead, don't slow down to 1/2-mph hoping that it will turn green when you finally make it there. It's a stop light, so pull up to the line and f#@%ing stop already. I can only hope that one day you get a pissed-off trucker behind you who will shove your stupid ass into the intersection for being such an idiot. I'd bust up your shit myself, but my 430-lb. motorcycle isn't going to make much headway against your idiotic 6-ton 2-mile-per-gallon SUV. I'm going to have to start carrying incendiary bombs so I can just light your shit on fire... I bet that would get your lame ass moving.

Child Molesters: I don't care how many years you spend in prison, you can never "repay your debt to society," so society doesn't owe you a damn thing when you get out... stop deluding yourself you f#@%ing piece of shit.

Clueless Drivers 4: If you and/or your piece of crap vehicle is not capable of going the speed limit, you shouldn't be on the road in the first place.

Pier 1: People don't like annoying commercials, and your idiotic spots featuring a screeching Kirstie Alley doing stupid shit while dressed in those freaky-ass prom dresses are doing nothing but making me want to avoid your stores (or wish I was dead.. and sometimes both at the same time). Seriously, no commercial would be more effective than a washed-up actress nobody cares about annoying people.

Categories: DaveLife 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Bernard Pivot Questionnaire

Posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2003

Dave!Since the Friday Five has been pretty lame lately, I've noticed a few other Fivers have turned to the Bernard Pivot Questionnaire, made famous by James Lipton on his show "Inside the Actor's Studio."

What is your favorite word? "Frotz." It was the magical spell of light from the old Infocom game "Enchanter" (and its equally excellent sequels, "Sorcerer" and "Spellbreaker"). To this day I still love the sound of it (yeah, I'm a geek... get over it). If you need a real word, it would have to be "malaria" I watched a movie once where a character had said that "malaria was the most beautiful word in the English language" and, after thinking about it for a minute, I had to agree (though I think the word is actually of Italian origin). If anybody remembers the name of that movie, let me know.

What is your least favorite word? "Empowerment." It sums up everything I hate about all those sappy motivational "empowerment" posters that are supposed to make you fall in love with the idea of idiotic corporate buzzwords like "Teamwork," "Perseverance" and "Commitment." Every time I see one these laughable prints, I want to gag and then crap on it (the parodies, however, are priceless!). If employees were truly empowered, they wouldn't need a poster to tell them about it.

What turns you on? Literally, Elizabeth Hurley... I cannot get past my obsession with her. Figuratively, kindness turns me on. It is so easy to be cruel, hurtful, or destructive... but stumbling across true acts of kindness reaffirms my faith in humanity and turns me on to our possibilities.

What sound do you love? Elizabeth Hurley saying anything in that kickin' English accent of hers. Sometimes while I am working, I'll put on the movie "Bedazzled" for background noise (which is stupid, because I'll just end up watching the film again and not get any work done at all, but hey... it's not like anyone ever gets tired of looking at her, even in mediocre and predictable films like this).

What sound do you hate? Honking horns and train whistles... particularly in the middle of the night when I am trying to get some sleep.

What is your favorite curse word? Muthaf#@%er. I truly wish it wasn't but, whenever the shit hits the fan, that's the word that pops out of my mouth.

What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? Translator. I love words and languages, and it would be pretty cool to have a career that would allow me to travel the world, meet new people, experience new cultures, and learn new languages.

What profession would you not like to participate in? Politician. I'd rather die than be associated with the slimy crack-heads that seem to litter the American Political machine.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Took you long enough, bitch! (I'd like to think that god has some street cred to him).

   

Elizabeth Hurley

Posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2003

Dave!I just got an e-mail from some random guy I don't even know asking "Why in the heck do you like Elizabeth Hurley? She's a crap actress!" To which I respond... are you f#@%ing kidding me?

I stole this image of the brutally hot Ms. Hurley from the Sexy Sexy Elizabeth Hurley Pictures site.

   

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