Archives For September 2004

The House of Representatives is voting on the Marriage Protection Amendment (formerly the Federal Marriage Amendment) today.

edit: passage of the bill failed: 227 – 186

new name, same stupid prejudices. i was going to write about something completely different today, but i got a glimpse of this in my mailbox and now my hackles are raised.

i don`t need the government to tell me who should and should not be married, we`ve tried this before and it doesn`t work. it was called miscegenation and the all the same arguments about the sanctity of marriage came up then too.

the driving force behind these amendments; the original one and the newly disguised idiocy; seems to be the Christian Coalition of America; more good Christianity at work for you. what happened to separating Church and State or did that go out the window when the current commander in chief installed a hotline to god in the White House?

there are far more important issues at hand. homosexual marriage is not going to destroy the sanctity of marriage; based on my experience; i think heterosexuals have had long enough to screw it up.

i don`t hear any outcry that the bachelor, bachelorette, who wants to marry a millionaire, wife swap, trading spouses or any other programming of that ilk were destroying the sanctity of marriage. why? because they`re not. people are still getting married in droves and divorced just as quickly, because there is no such thing. it`s a concept, a more that changes from generation to generation. from women`s suffrage to wearing pants to women entering the work place, each one of those were considered a threat to the sanctity of marriage in their time.

from betty bower – america`s best christian

it`s silly season again, well it`s usually silly season but it`s ramping up. i truly can`t wait for this to be over, whatever the result. i just want the politicians to go back to what they do best, gouging us.

and there is a new Mr. Snaffleburger animation up, as well as a new little goth girl.

remember children Mr. Snaffleburger & the Snaffleburger Corporation says:




vic and i have been going through a process since January 2002 to begin our lives together.

we had two applications in the works, an I-130 which is an application for an immigrant spouse and a K-3 which is an application for the same spouse to enter the US while waiting for the I-130 to process.

after much back and forth; my application initially got sent to the wrong office; in Monterey when it was supposed to be sent to Santo Domingo; had to be sent back to Barbados, that process alone took 12 weeks; mail to and from embassies travels via APO, which goes to DC to process first before being sent on. my K-3 got approved in January 2004 and i finally arrived in the US in March, i was given a packet from the embassy in Barbados that issued my visa to give to the immigration officer when i landed, this contained all the paperwork processed by the Barbados office. About a week after i arrived, we got a letter from the USCIS office in TX, which was processing our I-130 that we need to submit more information, including proof that we had been living together since we`d been married; at that point a week; we had joint bank accounts; impossible since i had no social security either; copies of our wedding and divorce decrees; which they already had at least three copies of; and letters from friends and landlords etc. we prepared a packet after we found and apartment , signed a lease together and submitted that an all the other info they asked for back the TX office.

In August we got a letter from the National Visa Centre and the USCIS office in TX that my application had been approved and they were forwarding my paperwork to the Trinidad office to allow me to enter the country. bearing in mind i had entered the country legally 5 months before, been in contact with them on more than one occasion by mail; because i had to notify them when we moved into our new apartment, required by law and when i applied for my work authorisation, also required by law. they didn`t know i was in the country.

the saga isn`t over yet, we now have to apply to change my status, which requires that i take another medical; i took one in late February which is supposed to be valid for a year, i have to get fingerprinted; again — i got fingerprinted in February when my application was approved, i got fingerprinted when i entered the country, i got fingerprinted when i applied for my work authorisation.

and because a change of status application currently has a two year processing time in TN, i will have to take another medical if my application is to be processed, plus i`ll have to pay to apply to renew my K-3 visa and work authorisation if my status change is not processed in time.

to date we`ve spent over $3000, not including airfare and we don`t even have a lawyer and can probably look forward to at least another $1000 before we`re done.

hypocrites & parasites

September 23, 2004 — Leave a comment

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive. Why do you see the speck4 in your brother`s eye, but fail to see  the beam of wood  in your own? Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me remove the speck from your eye,` while there is a beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother`s eye. Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around and tear you to pieces.

Matthew 7 v 1 – 6

everywhere i go online, there is someone whinging or making blanket statements about Islam and how inhuman a religion it is. Christianity is no bed of roses either, from the original Crusades against the same Muslims to the massacre of the new world peoples, to slavery. i could go on.

Islam is a war-like religion? and Christianity is not. the soldiers at Abu Gharib, weren`t they Christians too? Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, George W. Bush all good Christians right? all peace loving and abiding by the basic principle of Christianity right?


the basic principle of Christianity is LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

everyone seems to have forgotten about turning the other cheek.

it`s not easy to do, is it?

particularly in light of how many lives were lost. but invading Iraq and carpeting bombing the hell out of Afghanistan in the name of retaliation for September 11 isn`t going to make it any better and rest assured; maybe not today or tomorrow, or next week or next year or during this administration or the next; someone else is going to feel wronged by US foreign policy and decide that America must pay and make September 11  look like a cake walk.

anything done to extremes is bad. Islamic fundamentalist and Christian fundamentalist are part of the same evil that has corrupted a good idea with bad dogma. no religion has the market cornered on what is right; no matter what you`d like to believe; and the reason for that is simple; we`re human and we are imperfect. there will never be a perfect society or a perfect religion and if we want to continue to survive we need to realise we`re all flawed.

meet The Sims?

September 23, 2004 — Leave a comment

i`ve had a copy of the Sims since last October when i renew my .mac membership; it was one of the freebies. well owned might be a better description, i had it shipped to vic and it was in her possession until recently.

i installed and attempted to play it for the first time yesterday. i create characters and make sure they`re employed, housed, fed, practice good hygiene and social interaction, ad infintum. i played for five minutes before i though this sounds remarkably like what i have to do everyday.

what is the point?

i`m not much of a gamer. i grew up with the first generation of computer games that weren`t about the rendering, but more in like with the chose your own adventure books, then came the arcade classics and finally; for me at least; the atari 2600/5200 consoles. i enjoy the occasional one person shooter or arcade type space game but the idea of playing a game that imitates real life just leaves me cold.

over the Labour Day weekend i played halo on an Xbox and it was quite entertaining but i learned my lesson about console gaming four years ago. while i was living in fl and i had a lot of time on my hands, i rented a PS2 and Oni from Blockbuster for a week and in that week, i did very little else. i would come home from work, a little after 5 pm heat up dinner and sit in front of the tv until 2 and 3 am, get up at 6 and play for at least an hour before i had to get to work. luckily i only lived 10 minutes away. i decided after that i didn`t need a game console in my house because i`m the type of person to play until the game is licked and that`s not conducive to good family relations.

i do also enjoy playing games on my computer but having seen many a keyboard destroyed but abuse of whatever the `fire` is, i tend to keep it at a minimum, particularly on my personal machine and at work you don`t really want something that encompasses your whole screen and requires three or four different prompts before you can quit, so i stick to the word games on yahoo.

metallica; i know, i know, i shouldn`t be giving them my money anyway; is playing Nashville in November at the Gaylord. i figured i could swallow my pride and go see metallica, i mean, when am i going to get to see them live again and assholes or not, they kick much ass. the tickets are expensive but not quite out of the realm of possibility and it is just me; whoever i can convince/coerce to go with me would be responsible for their own tickets, i have vic`s blessing and finally the show is at Gaylord, no money for the evil Clear Channel. all paths are clear for me to go see metallica.

not so fast. the show is a Clear Channel Entertainment event. which in one fell swoop puts paid to my ability to go. i`m willing to turn a blind metallica`s greed, exorbitant prices and the household budget for the month of November, but at the end of the day i wont give up my tiny moral anthill.

i don`t support Clear Channel and their business practices and i`m not going to give them any of my money, even if i`m going to miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime.

the ever changing seasons

September 22, 2004 — Leave a comment

time flies when you`re having fun. it`s hard to imagine that at this point last year, i had just resigned from a job i loathed and an employer i had no respect for and was having panic attacks.

i`ve been here, coming up on seven months, i`ve watched what passes for winter here, transition into spring, spring into summer and now summer into autumn. one stage of paperwork is done, i have a job, i`m supporting vic as she goes back to school and i am happy. not just content with where my life is, ecstatic. this is the happiest i`ve been in all my life. ever.

i think i`ve been afraid to voice it, because the gods are going to look at me at go, “hmmm, he`s too happy let`s make his life more difficult.”

we`re going to be struggling financially for some time to come, but i have a great deal of faith in vic`s talent and i`m willing to continue to struggle until she finishes school. there are people in worst circumstances than ourselves, we`re making enough money to keep ourselves housed and fed and make a stab at paying off our debt, besides it`s just money, right? but vic and i are in this together and that fact alone makes everything better.

hooray for hollyweird

September 21, 2004 — Leave a comment

i`m a big movie fan. i will watch almost anything. i grew up with my mother`s taste in movies or more accurately films. she was a huge fan as well and has regaled me with tales of her and my father spending all day at the various movie theatres in Port of Spain watching whatever was showing.

her influence wore off, because in my second to last year of high school, i cut class every afternoon to spend time in one of the six movie theatres in Port of Spain. sadly there are only two left and just barely at that. the theatres that remain are old school; one screen, a balcony with a box area, a house section on the ground floor and the space between the elevated screen and the front row of seats that used to be the orchestra pit.

there is also still a drive-in; or was when i left Trinidad last; that was barely holding on. it was there that my mother too me to see Star Wars, not episode IV, not A New Hope, just Star Wars and i was hooked. it was also the site of some necking that turned into one of the more interesting nights in my life; but that is a tale best left in my mind.

in my love of movies, i`ve sat through; and continue to do so; some truly horrendous shite which far outweigh the gems, but that`s what makes the gems so good isn`t it. there are movies that i`ve avoided, based on the hype generated; prime example being Titanic, which i haven`t seen to this day, movies that i`ve only need to see once that still resonate; Saving Private Ryan, movies that i will watch over and over again even on broadcast television; Shawshank Redemption.

if i had a million dollars

September 20, 2004

well if i had enough money to not have to work another day in my life there are two things i would do; i would paint houses and pump gas.

for the first i`d probably join habitat for humanity just so i could paint and make a difference. i like painting, even ceilings, it`s a relaxing and calming occupation for me. a roller or a good brush, a container full of paint and a blank surface and i can find many hours of calm and comfort and no it`s not the fumes.

although the pumping gas might be about the fumes. gasoline is one of those smells that i like along with rain on hot asphalt and freshly printed material. those are the artificial smells that i can stand. i don`t most other manmade scents very well, even the thought of walking through the perfume section of a department store is enough to give me a headache, much less for the duty free section of the airport.

i can deal with some scents on people although i think most people tend buy stuff that they can smell on themselves and i think the reverse should be true. if you`re buying a scent for yourself, it should blend with your natural scent, it should be subtle, a gentle highlight; not an overwhelming assault.

when you have as many books as we do, you need a way to keep track of them for our own edification as well as insurance purposes.

for the last three months we`ve been making an effort at creating a definitive catalogue for our insurers, it`s been difficult entering each of books by hand in an excel spreadsheet but this weekend to my great joy, i have discovered a new tool that has made my life infinitely easier.

it`s called Books, it`s a tiny little application that; provided with the ISBN and internet connection; will pull in all the book information from a variety of sources not limited to Amazon, the Library of Congress and the British Library. from title to publication date, original price to current price, books provides an fantastic resource for anyone with a library. you can if you so desire acquire a barcode reader for entering your books into the database. the database itself is proprietary but exports to a number common formats including HTML, XML and tab delimitated text

there is even a lending details feature, you can keep track of who has what, for how long and when it`s due back, keeping someone like me who anxiously loans books out extremely happy.

however, the best thing about this wonderful application is that is it completely free. it is mac only but was created under the GNU Public License which means the code is readily available if desire to port it to another platform.