Wednesday, March 19, 2008

At Least, It Was Until It Broke

I'm thoroughly convinced now that bad people go to the gym. Having my zune stolen marks the 3rd item of value stolen from me while at the gym, and also raises the important question of who in their right mind would be stupid enough to steal a zune? I really just...and I know this is sad...can't imagine life without my music collection and my podcasts (mmm...public radio, so dead pan and delicious), especially when at the gym, and so I wasted no time in replacing it with a zune 80, which is an 80 GB, 2nd generation of the first. Bigger battery life, a glass screen, an aesthetic re-design, a new touch-pad-but-also-clickable "sqircle" button, etc. Actually, as much as I love the term "squircle," as the button is a square with heavily rounded edges, Microsoft names it the zune...pad, or soemthing stupid, I don't recall. I think the most important upgrade with the new generation is that this is actually novel hardware, as opposed to the face-lifted Toshiba Giga-beat, which is essentially what the original zune was, that was rushed out on to shelves so that Microsoft could get their foot in the market in time for the holidays that year.

Whatever. All of these things were enough to sway me towards the 2nd generation zune instead of an ipod. It arrived in just a day's time thanks to amazon prime, and after an evening of use, it basically bricked. The unit froze during a file transfer, and afterwards when the software was insisting that it, for some reason, needed to re-flash the firmware, my brand new zune 80 proved to be un-firmware-flashable. A total bummer, or so my spoiled, privileged ass thought. Amazon, though, has a really prompt product return service, and the day after next I had my replacement, which works just fine.

I hate dwelling on negative things that can't be helped, changed or positively resolved, but I really wanted to find out who stole my original zune. I had left it on the floor accidentally and found it missing not 20 minutes later. If it was something I had lost on the street, I could understand more if I never saw it again, though I still think that the ultimately honest thing to do would be to turn it in to the police station or use craigslist, but in a gym, where you know that the person who forgot a certain expensive device on the floor will be back to look for it and to check the lost and found with about 99.99% certainty, not turning it in is a pretty shitty display of character. Enough ranting about that though; what's done is done. I had been hoping that when I eventually upgraded, I was going to give my old zune away or donate it or something. Now someone else certainly does have it, just not anyone that deserves to.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Responding to Hate; An Open Letter to Rep. Sally Kern

A representative from Oklahoma, Rep. Sally Kern, was recorded making an anti-gay speech at a conservative Family®-based political group's meeting. Media coverage of the fallout from the release of the recording is here, and the recording is available on youtube, here. The youtube piece was produced by an LGBT political action group, the Victory Fund. My response:
Rep. Sally Kern,

My response, my opinion, is short and to the point: I think that the irrational hate that you are capable of expressing publicly makes you wholly unfit for your office. I think that to compare the gay men and women of this country to terrorists...pardon me, to say that we are even more threatening, and to describe us as a cancer, is to proclaim a brand of hate that is no less vitriolic and dangerous than the speech uttered by the KKK decades ago. I am a member of a community that faces violent acts of harassment and intolerance, and you, in your position of influence and responsibility, are contributing to, and enabling, that climate of violent intolerance. An uneducated individual who already harbors feelings of homophobia, and who hears his state representative claim that the homosexual down the street is more of a threat to him than terrorism, may choose to respond to that "threat" with violence.

I think you were right to say that you jeopardized your position with your words. As a gay American who feels affected by the horrible words you choose to share, I hope to see you loose office.


- Christopher

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Look Away!

I had to blog this because it is vile. My housemate and I have had a Indian meal moths, also known as pantry moths, in our...well, pantry. When first we noticed the problem it just seemed like we had an annoyingly large influx of these harmless little moths fluttering around the house. A couple weeks later, it was pointed out to me that moth larvae were crawling on the walls of our pantry room. Disgusting. We threw out all our open grains and sugary goods, sanitized the room, and started storing grains and similar sundries in tighter containers. The moths would appear in small numbers every now and then, but never as much as that first time. Once I had found that a moth had managed to actually lay eggs in a container of loose Tazo green tea that I had, and anyone familiar with the shape of the tins knows that this particular moth must have either been the Houdini of its species, or it was equipped with a miniature welding torch (which you have to admit is just a little cute, with the little matching face shield and all)

Recently I had noticed some moths hanging out in the pantry, and I've been trying to keep a watchful eye on which dry goods looked like they had been used as a breeding grounds. Last night I discovered one of those things that is so horrifyingly vile that when you see it you shudder and feel the need to retreat to a place far far away. I was trying to find a container of sunflower seeds for a salad, and while I noticed a container on the top shelf that looked like it was the same shape, it didn't seem right for a thing of sunflower seeds to look like it was filled with a greenish-grey spongy material. Turns out moths had laid eggs in the seeds and had filled the container with a dense webbing, which may have also been mixed with mold. Stuck on the surface of the container were all the moths that had matured to adulthood but couldn't find a way out, and had later died. I can't describe how disgusting a chore it was to rinse off the sunflower seeds so I could use them in the salad.