No Protesting Allowed

America is supposedly the world’s standard for freedom and democracy. If you were to play a drinking game where you had to take a shot every time Bush said “freedom” or “democracy” during this upcoming State of the Union address you’d be on the floor by the end of the first sentence. Well, if you were to actually read the various laws already on the books you’d know that the federal government could care less about freedom or democracy for the most part.

There are two bills right now that are pretty upsetting to me. One called USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act Of 2005 and the other Secret Service Authorization and Technical Modification Act of 2005. A few excerpts from these two bills.

There is hereby created and established a permanent police force, to be known as the `United States Secret Service Uniformed Division’.

… make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony …

willfully and knowingly to enter or remain in any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance

by inserting `willfully, knowingly, and’ before `with intent to impede or disrupt’;

The first one, from what I can tell, basically creates a uniformed federal police force that can arrest anyone at events of “national significance” on suspicion of committing a felony. The second one appears to make it illegal to “impede or disrupt” events of “national significance” if you’re within a posted/cordoned off/restricted area. Okay, I get the cordoned off and restricted areas as I assume this is where significant targets are, but what are “posted” areas? What would stop them from making the entire venue a posted area and then arresting anyone who shouted “Fuck off Mr. Cheney!”?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

It’s time we quit worring about the terrorists and start worrying about our own government. If you think they aren’t creating laws like this just so they can exploit them in the way I’ve described you’re insane.

Update: Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House gallery after refusing to cover up a T-shirt bearing an anti-war slogan before President Bush’s State of the Union address.

How to poop at work

My friends all know I’m a huge fan of flatulence. Thanks to Garren for this.

We’ve all been there but don’t like to admit it. As much as we try to convince ourselves otherwise, the Work Poop is inevitable. For those who hate pooping at work, following is the Survival Guide for taking a dump at work.

Crop Dusting

When farting, you walk briskly around the office so the smell is not in your area and everyone else gets a whiff but doesn’t know where it came from. Be careful when you do this. Do not stop until the full fart has been expelled. Walk an extra 30 feet to make sure the smell has left your pants.

Fly By

This is the act of scouting out a bathroom before pooping. Walk in and check for other poopers. If there are others in the bathroom, leave and come back again. Be careful not to become a Frequent Flyer. People may become suspicious if they catch you constantly going into the bathroom.


This is a fart that slips out while taking a leak at the urinal or forcing a poop in a stall. This is usually accompanied by a sudden wave of embarrassment. If you release an escapee, do not acknowledge it. Pretend it did not happen. If you are standing next to the farter in the urinal, pretend you did not hear it. No one likes an escapee. It is uncomfortable for all involved. Making a joke or laughing makes both parties feel uneasy.

Jail Break

When forcing a poop, several farts slip out at a machine gun pace. This is usually a side effect of diarrhea or a hangover. If this should happen, do not panic. Remain in the stall until everyone has left the bathroom to spare everyone the awkwardness of what just occurred.

Courtesy Flush

The act of flushing the toilet the instant the poop hits the water. This reduces the amount of airtime the poop has to stink up the bathroom. This can help you avoid being caught Doing the Walk of Shame.

Walk of Shame

Walking from the stall, to the sink, to the door after you have just stunk up the bathroom. This can be a very uncomfortable moment if someone walks in and busts you. As with farts, it is best to pretend that the smell does not exist. This very uncomfortable walk can be avoided with the use of the Courtesy Flush.

Out of the Closet Pooper

This is a colleague who poops at work and is damn proud of it! You will often see an Out Of The Closet Pooper enter the bathroom with a newspaper or magazine under his or her arm. Always look around the office for the Out Of The Closet Pooper before entering the bathroom.


A group of co-workers who band together to ensure emergency pooping goes off without incident. This group can help you to monitor the whereabouts of Out Of The Closet Poopers, and identify Safe Havens.

Safe Havens

A Safe Haven is a seldom-used bathroom somewhere in the building where you can least expect visitors. Try floors that are predominantly of the opposite sex. This will reduce the odds of a pooper of your sex entering the bathroom.

Turd Burglar

This is someone who does not realize that you are in the stall and tries to force the door open. This is one of the most shocking and vulnerable moments that can occur when taking a poop at work if this occurs, remain in the stall until the Turd Burglar leaves. This way you will avoid all uncomfortable eye contact.


A phony cough that alerts all new entrants into the bathroom that you are in a stall is called a Camo-Cough. This can be used to cover-up a Watermelon, or to alert potential Turd Burglars. The Camo-Cough is very effective when used in conjunction with an Astaire.


An Astaire is a subtle toe-tap that is used to alert potential Turd Burglars that you are occupying a stall. This will end all doubt that the stall is occupied. If you hear an Astaire, leave the bathroom immediately so the pooper can poop in peace.


A watermelon is a big poop that creates a loud splash when hitting the toilet water. This is also an embarrassing incident. If you feel a Watermelon coming on, create a diversion. See Camo-Cough.

Havana Omelet

A case of diarrhea that creates a series of loud splashes in the toilet water. Often accompanied by an Escapee. Try using a Camo-Cough with an Astaire.

Uncle Todd

An Uncle Todd is a bathroom user who seems to linger around forever. This person could spend extended lengths of time in front of the mirror or sitting on the pot. An Uncle Todd makes it difficult to relax while on the crapper, as you should always wait to poop when the bathroom is empty. This benefits you as well as other bathroom attendees.

Karma 4 5, Joe 0

When it rains, it pours.

  1. Doesn’t look like I’ll be going to Cold Play since the tickets are with a friend who’s no longer talking to me.
  2. Roommate troubles.
  3. I accidentally spilled an entire drink onto Dana’s laptop rendering it completely broken.
  4. My flight back from San Diego was diverted to Portland. At 1AM this morning we departed for Seattle’s airport. I arrived home around 5AM.
  5. My phone died the day before I was supposed to leave. The replacement phone arrived today and does not work either (not to mention it’s the wrong color). I bought a complete turd of a phone as a replacement for now, which is killing me.

I’m exhausted and completely drained from the last week or so. Thankfully I have a ton of bathroom work and a small contract job staring me in the face. Not. On the bright side the two California Burritos I brought back from San Diego survived the trip and are currently awaiting me eating them.

Year in Review

This year has been filled with amazing highs and amazing lows. I’m looking forward to what 2006 has to offer. I’m looking forward to looking forward and moving on, but let’s take a look back at what happened in 2005.

  1. I started the year as a newlywed.
  2. I learned a few things about my new home Seattle.
  3. Lauren and I moved into a larger condo.
  4. I started working for on a full time basis
  5. After much lusting I bought a fat new plasma TV.
  6. I spoke about MySQL’s FULLTEXT indexes at MySQL UC and visited Las Vegas for the first time.
  7. I watched in amazement as my dog had intimate relations with my cat. I, of course, took video and posted it to my blog.
  8. My first visit to Vegas ended badly.
  9. Not everyone though Anthony Federov sucked as bad as I thought he did.
  10. I started hacking on my condo with mostly positive results.
  11. I briefly thought about returning to school, but was stopped dead in my tracks by a horrific GMAT score. More studying and another go at the GMAT is currently on my horizon.
  12. My dad got a huge promotion at work.
  13. launches the first AJAX based dictionary lookup on the web.
  14. I tell the world just how badly Detroit, my former hometown, sucks. Subsequently, I am now in the top five on Google for “detroit sucks”.
  15. I lost another 25lbs (11.3kg).
  16. I completely renovated my kitchen.
  17. bought a Google Search Appliance, which is possibly the ugliest box ever put in a colo facility.
  18. We launched Enotes 6.0 after about 1.5 man years of work. This will go down as one of my greatest work accomplishments to date. I’m still amazed at how well it came together and how well the team worked to get this out the door.
  19. Lauren and I end our marriage.

It’s amazing how much can happen in a single year isn’t it? This year I started a new job, traveled to two countries and five states, renovated my condo and ended a nine month old marriage.

Here’s to 2006!

Breaking the silence

It is with a great amount of sadness that I am announcing that Lauren and I are ending our marriage. In early September Lauren moved out of our condo in Seattle into her own apartment. I’m not going to go into specifics as it’s a rather personal matter. What I can say is that the split is amicable and that we are still on speaking terms.

So what now? Well, once the legalities are finished Lauren will no doubt get her CPA and go on to be highly successful. I, on the other hand, will continue to work at Enotes, live in Seattle and continue with my plans for world domination. You’re probably wondering what the hell I’ve been doing for the last few months as well. In no particular order …

  1. With Lauren gone and an empty room in the condo collecting dust I put up an ad on craigslist for a roommate. I had a few responses, all females oddly enough, and ended up with a crazy girl from New Zealand who will be known on this site as Kiwi. All is going well and she’s even been nice enough to put up with my current bathroom renovations.
  2. I bought a LandRover Discovery Series II for snowboarding and trips to Home Depot.
  3. John and I have been spending a day each weekend snowboarding at Crystal Mountain in Washington.
  4. In early December I went to Las Vegas for one of my fraternity brother’s bachelor parties. Don’t ask for details as they’re quite hazy.
  5. For Christmas I flew home to Michigan to surprise my mom for Christmas. Needless to say she was rather shocked to come home one day and find me sitting in the living room. I miss good home cooking.
  6. For New Year’s I went over to Brad’s place for food, good beer and great conversation. As usual it was a great time.
  7. My current project is renovating my bathroom. I’m done with the tiling for the most part. Pictures will ensue.

My plans now are to focus on me for a while. I’m going to do some traveling, finish working on my condo and set up the entertainment system I’ve been slowly putting together for the last month or so.

Life will go on.

Brokeback Mountain

I went with a friend to see Brokeback Mountain, also known as “The Gay Cowboy Movie”, this last Sunday. I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing a movie about two guys falling in love, but being the movie buff I am and the immense critical acclaim and press this movie was getting I figured I didn’t have anything to lose. Boy was I wrong.

Forget that there are two guys kissing and, yes, having sex. Put that aside for just a second. Let’s instead focus on how absolutely boring this movie was. I felt like I had ran a marathon at the end. And the acting? If Heath Ledger gets an Oscar for his performance it will be a complete and utter travesty. You can’t understand a word he says, when he does actually say something and the entire “plot” moves along at a snail’s pace.

My other problem with this movie is that it quickly brushes over what I think are important plot points. Highlight the following for plot spoilers. Jake Gyllenhaal’s character has illicit affairs in Mexico with male prostitutes, another affiar with a ranch hand in Texas and winds up being killed for being gay. A total of five, maybe ten, minutes are given to these stories.

Overall, I’d say this movie is something to avoid at all cost and it’s not because it’s two guys falling in love, it’s because it’s just a terribly acted and horrifically told story.

A few bits of wisdom

  • Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.
  • If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  • It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
  • Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
  • Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
  • The second mouse gets the cheese.
  • When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
  • Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
  • You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
  • Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
  • We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
  • A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Via Dave.


I’m attempting to be more diligent in my shopping habits. Instead of simply going out and buying whatever the local big box has on the shelf I’ve been looking into various manufacturer’s websites and shopping around online for the best price. Today I bought the Sony SA-VE367T for my new receiver.

It dawned on me that I spent about 20 minutes searching manufacturers’ websites, searching Google for reviews/prices and then purchasing exactly what I wanted for about 50% less than retail. Simply amazing.

What are your shopping habits online? I use manufacturer websites to get model numbers and specifications, Google for finding user/expert reviews and pricing and then usually check out since they often have the best pricing and free shipping. What about you?