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No Fear Here
Friday, 31 October 2008
Grossed out by CNN
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: America the Beautiful

Letter to CNN Editor regarding media scare article:

I just read Les Christie's today's article CNN.com titled "7.5 million homeowners find selves 'underwater'". This is your healining article on cnn.com. I feel that this article is missleading and falls into the category of "media scare". I am not saying that the article doesn't have valid points, I am merely commenting that its presentation is biased.  It states: "
At least 7.5 million American homeowners are "underwater," owing more on their homes than they are currently worth, according to a report released today. In other words: If they sold their homes today, they'd have to bring a check to the closing, CNNMoney.com reports." But, how is this different from 2 years ago? 3 years ago?

The way I see it, is that the article doesn't factor in key info: how many homeowners of those 7.5M have had their home for less then 2 years? It's got to be much much more then 7.5 million. right? Of those who just bought their homes, of course if they were to sell them instantly right away, they would lose some money due to various closing costs. I think that the article would be a lot more meaningful if it talked about this. The correlation of states that have the most people "underwater" is with the fastest grown states! Arizona, Nevada, having the highest rates correlates with the fact that it had the largest population influxes and probably has the most new home buyers under 2 years! Here is your very own CNN article on this topic.

According to yoru front page article, article: Nevada is the hardest hit, followed by Arizona, Florida, and California per the article. Gee, what were the fastest growing states 2 years ago, with the most new home buyers... let me see... According to your other article, Arizona was #1, Nevada #2, Florida #9 on the fastest growing list. Therefore, this is a media scare article. It would have been much more meaningful to talk about home buyers that have had their homes for over 2 years or whatever is the normal break-even point for a NEW HOME BUYER!

Therefore, the way this article is presented and the timing of this article to me, is a media scare. I am disappointed that you do this.


Posted by anteojos at 7:56 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, 31 October 2008 8:01 AM CDT
Thursday, 14 February 2008
More alarming news from Leeds
Topic: web stuff

Well, one of the strangest places I've ever been to, Leeds, with its history of Knights Templar, its reach cultural heritage, its amazing location, it's Americanised environment with McDonalds, Starbucks, etc, it's origin as the home of some of the London bombers, and now this. Three teens kill woman and videotape the attack. Sickening.

 


Posted by anteojos at 1:36 PM CST
Wednesday, 2 January 2008
In the news this morning....
Topic: Day to Day

Posted by anteojos at 7:27 AM CST
Monday, 24 December 2007
Scott Rigsby
Topic: Hot People
Scott Rigsby is hot because he is the first double amputee to go to Kona and complete an Ironman Triathlon. Go Scott! Scott overcame all the challenges that he was faced with to come in under the 17 hour cut off, and now is helping enspire and educate and emancipate others. Sure inspired me. Go Scott Go. You can read more about Scott here. When I first started training for trying a tri, I met a spin instructor who runs a great non-profit organization. He didn't have a hand, but could still go to Kona, and has done so many times. It is very hard to swim or bike without a hand, and I would imagine, even run. Transitions have to be really tough too. Seeing first hand as someone does it who has a disability, really takes away any excuse if you have all your limbs and eye sight and such.

Posted by anteojos at 12:29 PM CST
Saturday, 22 December 2007
Happy Saturday

Wow, I just realized that a bunch of people have posted to this blog in the last year then I realized. Anyway, those of you who I don't know, thank you for reading, and I hope all is well with you. Some of your comments really touched me, and some were, well, strange.

Anyway, hope everyone on earth has a Happy New Year, full of hope, joy, and health.

It's almost 2008 and I don't have my new year's resolutions done yet. I also didn't grade my 2007, but I know I didn't do that well since I can't even remember my list!

I do want to learn 50 more vocab words in Hindi in 2008. This isn't much, but I doubt that I'd have more time then this. I am more anxious in general right now then ambicious, so I am not going to think about any more goals today.


Posted by anteojos at 9:54 PM CST
Sunday, 2 December 2007
India Is WOW
Topic: On the road

I am now doing the ORD - Delhi – Mumbai – Pune – Mumbai – Frankfurt – ORD – MIA – Key Largo – Miami – West Palm Beach – ORD all on multiple coupons of one PNR.

 

Currently, I am in a hotel room in Mumbai. It is very cold in the room but no way to fix it. For dinner I had tanduri local fish, and a dash of trying to learn Hindi. Here are expressions that I can’t remember:

·         Sorry

·         Please

·         How much

 

I don’t know why. I do know 2 ways to say thank you and hello, but I can’t get the one way to do the above.

 

I am overtired. This morning from 7 am I was sightseeing Delhi, including climbing all the towers of all the mosques and mausoleums, this is after doing the elliptical in the hotel, after a 16 hour flight. I then grabbed the 4pm flight to Mumbai and here I am. I should probably add that I’m able to put in about 2 hours of hindi study and 4-6 hours of work too, each day Sat-Sun.

 

Tomorrow I go to Elephanta island in the morning, a bit of sightseeing in the afternoon, and then work. And then I drive to Pune in the morning on Tuesday.

 

I could talk about some of my adventures here:

·         The poverty

o       People washing themselves on the side of the road

·         The lady that didn’t speak Gujarat or Panjabi or Tamil or Hindi or Urdu or anything anyone could think of that was eating leaves with white powder

·         The “single ladies” not allowed up in the mosque and my instant new friends from Delhi

·         The monkeys and the stray dogs

·         The cows of Delhi

·         The Sunday used book market

·         My favorite part was Himala’s tomb and the lotus temple

 

Posted by anteojos at 12:25 PM CST
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
bringing you a dose of stupid news

i woke up early to try and look at my team's assignment, but they are late. so i looked at bbc news instead. found some stupid stupid stuff.

Man marries dog to ward of curse.

Man marries 15 year-old daughter and knocks her up (while still being married to his regular wife) becaus Allah told him to do so. Angry villagers who failed to get the courts to do something, almost kill him for insest.

This is the country where I'll be going to in two weeks. I think it would be an interesting kind of tourism to do "news tourism". Like, take a camera, and go to India, and find these people and take pictures of them and interview them. Like, what were you thinking, and why? And how silly!

 


Posted by anteojos at 6:39 AM CST
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Happy Halloween
Topic: readings
I am a bit stressed out and procrastinating online, as you can see. Today is Halloween and we had 0 trick-or-treaters which makes me sad. I started the day by re-memorizing (my pathetic Halloween tradition) The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. As my command of the English language improved, I understood the poem more and more. Prior to taking my English speech coaching, I was daunted by the difficult poem. You may not think it is difficult, but if you try to read it well, it is not an easy one, trust me. Now that I am not struggling with the language part or the reading of it any longer, I can actually move into the realm of analysis. So, here goes my musing about this. Even if you actually know me, you will find this incredibly weird.Here's a refresher on the poemOnce upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
 

Now, here is a random blog that I surfed: http://kevinlovespam.blogspot.com/

 Here, Kevin, the writer of the blog, quotes out of the bible: "Broken by God’s Kindness…


Meditations on 2 Sam 7:18-29

David sat before the Lord, broken, awed, silent and overwhelmed until he could hold his joy in God and happy tears back no more… “Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, "Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant's house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord GOD! And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord GOD! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it.” (7:18-21)"

 

I always take a humanistic view of the bible when I read any versions of it. I look at it as a book. I tried to have it "live for me" as many religious people say it lives for them, but that doesn't work for me. But I do think it is a very good, interesting, and important piece of literature.

So, here is the point: the comparison between the depth of emotion portrayed in the bible and in Poe's poem.

In Poe's poem, the main character is trying to forget Lenore, but can't. When the raven first enters, after the narrator regains his composure, he is overjoyed. He is smiling because the raven brought a respite from his sorrow. And then he realizes that really, the raven is just there to have the narrator lose all hope to ever see even so much as the ghost of Lenore and to stop drying to not think about her/not be able to put her out of his mind ever again, making him arrive at an even worse, a much more, utterly more hopeless state, due to the full realization of it, then he was before the raven came.

Anyway, the narrator's experience is the opposite of David. He is first happy and then he becomes broken and saddened.

Both show the author's immense understanding of a very complex emotion. Poe does it in a short poem and I think that's great. Also, the whole concept is really really twisted, so now I like the poem even more, evermore.

 

Posted by anteojos at 10:09 PM CDT
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
This is what my taxes pay for?
Topic: America the Beautiful

This story touched my heart. It is about a man who let his dog shoot him because he forgot to put the safety on his gun. He had to be airlifted by helicopters and stuff. I ask you, who pays for such stuff? Probably my federal or state taxes! I am so tired of hearing how many stupid things people do. I once dated a guy whose brother shot him in the head with a pellet gun by accident. This happens in rural areas all the time, apparently.

In other news, man bites police dog and police officer! Specifically, he almost pulls The Tyson on the dog.

Why I woke up at 5:30 to get some work done and am now surfing bbc news, and blogging about it, I don't know. I think it's stress.


Posted by anteojos at 6:24 AM CDT

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