Relaxing–Jr. is grooming me–the side of my right pinky tingles…

April 27, 2007 at 7:58 pm | Posted in ASMR, Miscellania, Politics | 1 Comment

Ah….French television. French radio. French politics. Grooming birds. Preening birds. Eagles eagles gross eagles gross gross gross gross pointy pointy eagles. Ego bonus. Eagle pick. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevvvvvvvillllllllllllllllllllllllll. Sensitive, tingling sensation in the bottom left side of the right pinkie finger. Sensitive, ticklish sensation in the bottom left side of the right pinkie finger. Gross eagles. Gross gryphons. Wild Gryphons. Sharp eagle talons. Razor sharp beak. Eagle’s nape. Clusters of white, pointy feathers. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeagggggggggggggggllllllle. Easter eagles. It’s the easter eagle! Gross gryphons. Complicated eagles. Easter eagles. Easter bonus. Eagle bonus. Eagle warts. Evil gryphons.

….OK, I know that was weird. There are certain things that soothe me and put me in a relaxed state, and I especially like further stimulating the inner-sides of my pinky fingers to give out a nice, ticklish sensation that I attribute to ulnar nerve entrapment (aka cubital tunnel syndrome) Often this involves massaging slightly above my elbow while listening to TV5, and certain english words and phrases when used in bizarre ways also can help. Ah…simple pleasures. But it’s always good to get hard-core cardiovascular exercises out of the way, first, of course.


A litany of my quirky forms of sabotage

April 26, 2007 at 8:35 pm | Posted in Miscellania | 1 Comment

Yesterday was a bust. Why? I “checked out” at the latter part of the day. Let me elaborate: I’m the type of person that tends to find problems when there are none, worries when there is little or nothing to worry about and obsess about seemingly trivial issues. How I react to these perceived problems of mine varies–but I have names for a variety of my harmful techniques that I utilise when these situations occur.

  • Purging–This is when I take out the good with the bad in a misguided attempt to “start fresh.” For example, suppose I buy 2 litres of ice-cream and I have 2 scoops instead of one and subsequently feel guilty. I’ll come up with the idea that I should only eat “healthy” and as such, throw out all types of junk food in the house, even ones that I haven’t overindulged in. Thus I am destroying everything, kind of like that “Crusader” Esper in FFVI –and it only serves to depress me later. Thankfully, I seem to have finally learnt from past experience that purging is not effective.
  • Obsession-less obsessions–A.k.a worry-less worries–when I worry and obsess because there is nothing tangible or theoretical that I know of to worry or obsess about. It’s kind of like a semi-conscious self-sabotage.  I start thinking: “this day is progressing too smoothly, I’m getting my work done too quickly, I’m being too productive, I’m having too much fun, there has to be a problem for me to consider and even if there isn’t, I should worry anyway. I think there’s a part of me that wants to punish myself when I feel I’m doing well, for reasons that are somewhat unfathomable to me.
  • Checking out–This, as I explained, just happened to me yesterday. I’ll give you the context–I was concerned I was overexercising and was losing too much weight, so I didn’t exercise and started to feel lousy. Past around 5:00, I started to “check out”–not really focusing on anything and just wanting the day to end as quickly as possible so I could get a fresh start tomorrow. The main problem with this is that it becomes incredibly boring and tedious to “wait the rest of the day” out. I have got to stop doing this–it’s very unproductive and is a total waste. And yet I’ve been doing this at least once a week. So hopefully I won’t let this happen again.

That’s the gist of it–this actually isn’t a comprehensive list. That being said, I have made this list to challenge myself to do better in the future and not let these seemingly nonsensical vices get the better of me. Oh, and about that alphabetical analysis of countries idea I keep bringing up–I’m not bothering with it–there are nearly 200 countries in the world and it can take a lifetime just to study the first on the list, Afghanistan.

Where have I been?

April 23, 2007 at 7:19 pm | Posted in Miscellania | 2 Comments

Hey everyone. I know it’s been like five days since I last posted but I’ve been sitting for my sister Stephanie’s (check the blogroll) rather obnoxious bichon-frize at her house and she left no functional computer. Oh well, I suppose it really isn’t that big of a deal. Today just happens to be my birthday. As I type with 1 finger while letting Jr. nibble on my already cartilidge-deprive fingernails (he’s focusing on the thumb now) I ruminate on my past 28 years and how little I have accomplished. OK, I’m done ruminating; it no longer serves a purpose for me in this context. Today was invigorating to be sure; I returned some digital component cables for the wii at the price-gouging Future Shop, forgot my headphones for my  birthday run, but managed to run for 95 minutes through a park off Blythwood I only rarely frequent–I was starving after but satisfied my hinger with a rainbow sushi salad combo and two birthday cupcakes. Anyway, this welcome-back post is getting kind of lame, and the French background  news is causing my skin to tingle while I think about ulnar nerve entrapment and cubal-tunnel syndrome and other stream-of-consciousness rants so I’m ending the post for now and hoping for a better one tomorrow.

Robert Mugabe’s tyranny continues to unfold

April 17, 2007 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Miscellania, Politics | 2 Comments

Remember in one of my first posts how I made some of my opinions known of the Zimbabwe crisis that is of President Mugabe’s own making? Well, news there continues of course and I thought it pertinent to continue to check out the situation there. This Robert Mugabe is very bold and has no sense of humility or shame. Read these two articles and see for yourself:

My favorite quote from the first article is from the Minister of Information and Publicity Sikhanyiso Ndlovu: “Pro-opposition and Western organizations masquerading as relief agencies continue to mushroom, and the government has annulled the registration of all NGOs in order to screen out agents of imperialism from organizations working to uplift the wellbeing of the poor.” So to be clear, Zimbabweans are starving, the government is acknowledging that there is a real food shortage and that it is a crisis, but Mugabe is so consumed with keeping power that he’s more interested in checking the neutrality of NGOs (non-governmental organisations) that provide vital food aid then he is letting them continue their work. He’d rather see more Zimbabweans starve–at this point regardless of their political affiliation, then have food agencies help the citizens because some are allegedly helping the opposition. Does not this man realise that the poorer the average citizen becomes, the less popular he will be? Whether he does or not is immaterial: he is so consumed with power that he either is living in a bubble where he cannot logically connect the two aforementioned points together, or he knows his regime is in real danger of falling and is going for broke–crushing even any hint of opposition feeling he has nothing to lose.

To be sure, Mugabe does have a lot to lose. He has become addicted to power in no small part because of the luxuries it affords him–the comforts of large housing, wealth and bountiful food. He’s had this for 27 years and does not want to lose it. Mugabe has become a tyrant and Zimbabwe a tyranny. In some ways, Zimbabwe is beginning to resemble Kim-Jong il’s North Korea, but with one very major difference–Zimbabweans remember when their country was referred to as Africa’s “bread basket”–they have clear memories of when the country was prosperous and most know that it is Mugabe who is to blame despite his vicious restrictions on the press, unlike in North Korea where the great majority have no memory of anything better than the total poverty that they live in and have been brainwashed into believing that the rest of the world is even worse off. 

As a final note, some food for thought: what is the difference between a tyranny, a kleptocracy and a technocracy? I’d appreciate some feedback on this question; political-science definitions vary and the term I used for standard authoritarian governments, “technocracy”, may be inaccurate or inadvertently made up.


The ambitious country profile project

April 16, 2007 at 5:01 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

Those who read my blog regularly may recall me hinting that I would like to undertake a vast, practically impossible project: to document and analyse every single independent nation recognised in the world today. This would include current events, poltical structure, history etc. Can I do this? Why do I want to do this? Because thus far, I feel my learning of current events have been too random, without any structural basis behind it. I like it when things and issues are categorised; it’s part of my personality. At any rate, this on-going, possibly life-long project is at least worth a try. Of course, I’m really only doing this for myself; it gives me a good excuse to expand my knowledge about the world and obtain a better understanding as to why certain parts of the world are the way that they are. First up is Afghanistan. 

An additional note: there are 193 offcially recognised countries in the world. I myself have been to five of them: Canada, the U.S., Mexico, the UK and Israel, which means I have visited a total of…2.591% of the political world. How many countries have any of you been to?

Of wolves and twilight

April 15, 2007 at 3:40 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

My posting is still on the lax side–what can I say? It seems that when I have spare time and it’s a choice between blogging and playing Twilight Princess on the wii, I invariably choose the latter. I got the wii three days ago and I’m not even five hours into the game, but it’s clearly staring to become an enjoyable past-time for me. So, for today at least, in lieu of an analysis, I’m simply going to link a news-item of particular interest to me today–the crumbling political situation in Pakistan. It’s become quite clear that Musharraf has no real authority over the country’s security, borders and ability to implement rule of law. This makes him a hypocrite, because when he obtained power through a coup in the year 2000 it was precisely for those aforementioned reasons, including some others, that he justified his actions. He may be a general, but he seems to be rather cowardly as both a general and a leader. Ah well.

I’m now updating this post later on in the evening after watching the concluding part of PBS’s news war. I’ll say it one last time: everyone owes it to themselves to watch this highly compelling and informative documentary on the state of both American and world media. I think it’s a very important program.

Wii obtained

April 13, 2007 at 8:24 pm | Posted in Miscellania | 2 Comments

I obtained the wii this morning and am liking it so, this being the very first day I have it combined with the fact that I only set it up in the evening means that this will be my only posting today. Normal posting will resume tomorrow.

An example of Al-Qaida hypocrisy

April 11, 2007 at 4:31 pm | Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

A tragic event occured in Algiers today when 23 people died in 2 bombings. Al-Qaida in North Africa claimed responsibility, but remember that they were previously known as GSPC way back in 1992 before Al-Qaida was nearly as prominent. Algeria’s battle for independance from France as well as its post-colonial history is unfortunately rich with internal contradictions and strife, and at times it seems like its independance became a wasted opportunity. Regardless of what the GSPC calls itself now, its actions are especially reprehensible because they kill the very people they claim to represent in far greater proportion to their supposed targets. This quote says it all: A March 3 bombing of a bus carrying workers for a Russian company killed a Russian engineer and three Algerians. A December attack near Algiers and targeting a bus carrying foreign employees of an affiliate of Halliburton killed an Algerian and a Lebanese citizen.

Well there you have it. Alright, I know this entry and analysis is sort of sloppy, as I’m just not in top blogging form today, but this is the last time I’m going to allow this to happen. It’s the last time I’m going to allow myself to slack off regardless of the reason; I promise. From tomorrow onward, all the bugs have been ironed out, and I’m going to do an honest and thorough analysis and editorial of as many stories that catch my eye as I can. You’ll see; this is not an empty promise.  

Talking in the act

April 10, 2007 at 9:37 pm | Posted in Miscellania | Leave a comment

Using my crappy Motorola V3 RAZR phone, I finally was able to encourage Jr. to say “I love you” on camera.  It’s relatively faint and not his clearest iteration of the cuddly phrase that I believe he often uses in context. I probably won’t be able to show him talking again because the phone only gives you a 4-second window each time; it’s far too difficult. I need to get a real camera-phone, or better yet, a camcorder.

Hm? That’s odd–Wordpress states that my own video of my parrot talking does not meet its security guidelines. I’m not sure what I did wrong–perhaps a direct link will work. Well, if this works, then enjoy.  

News of the world

April 9, 2007 at 5:35 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

The following stories caught my attention today:

So firstly, we have tens of thousands of Shiites calling for the removal of American forces in Iraq. I think, in itself, this is certainly a fair demand. The entire American occupation, from the administration to the military, have already shown their woeful incompetence. There’s a really good book I think you should read detailing much of this called The Assassin’s Gate. I know that there already are a lot of books on this subject out there already, but I think this is one of the better ones. Also, an insider unveiled his report a couple of days ago, and his revelations are depressing but hardly shocking. But, from an outsider’s perspective, I can’t help but feel that Al-Sadr shot himself in the foot years ago. His religious convictions may have obliged him to “resist” all occupying forces, but surely he knew that it was and is the Sunni extremists that were doing the majority of the killing, massacres and raping. Even Shiite extremists were very pleased when American forces deposed Saddam Hussein and, as bungled and corrupt as the invasion may have been, it still seemed pretty ingratuitous when in less then a year Sadr started attacking US forces. If this was truly his intent, at the least he could have waited until the US took care of the Sunni insurgency, in fact ally his militia with them, and then fight the Americans after the Sunni extremists had been rooted out. But now it is too late; the dye has been cast. Al-Sadr has declared his militia an enemy for years now, and the “coalition” has no choice but to engage. In my opinion, this doesn’t seem to be very savvy on Sadr’s part.

Well, I told you I had some bugs to work out and I still do; I’m getting constantly interrupted by Jr. and the IM. I won’t have time to comment on the rest of the stories. Next time I write a blog entry I’ll set my IM to ‘busy.’

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