Thursday, October 18, 2001
Wednesday, October 17, 2001
Sunday, October 14, 2001
Today's article in the New York Times (linking the Yahoo article to be on the safe side) about the couple who started the company is intriquing, though. The couple is now separated and he has his new girlfriend working in the office. It seems like there is still lots of emotion hanging on and I wonder about what it must me like to work there with all this going on in the very same place (the office and his apartment are one and the same). Now I am more interested in keeping up with the site. Ah...a little real life sex opera is better than fiction.
Thursday, October 11, 2001
Trade in Honey Is Said to Provide Money and Cover for bin Laden
Title of my graduate studies thesis (still in progress)...Beekeeping in Yemen as Civil Society. I think I may need a spin doctor.
Thursday, October 04, 2001
A palace has been there since the late 19th century, though the current structure dates to 1926. It is redecorated every year with a mural made out of corn, grasses, flowers...sort of a Rose Bowl float gone homey. And it is used for community activities and to promote the historic significance of agriculture in the region. I really want to see this place! And I ordered 38 more cards, depicting the palace in many different years.
The things ya learn on the Internet.
Sunday, September 23, 2001
Thursday, September 20, 2001
Tuesday, September 18, 2001
Monday, September 17, 2001
Friday, September 14, 2001
Thursday, September 13, 2001
And the one person who I thought would support my opinions has failed me.
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Monday, September 10, 2001
The World Bank (more accurately, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will hold their General Meeting that weekend in D.C. I will be joining protesters from all over the world (though mostly the US) in exercising our political voice telling those organizations that they had better come down from Stratos* and start looking at the world from where the world lives. I am not part of any organized protest. I am going on my own. I am going because I want to hear what is said without the mainstream media coloring it with corporate paintbrushes. I am going because I am tired of always saying I want to do something and never actually doing anything but talk. I am going because I need inspiration.
There is a teach-in all day Sat that I will attend and the "permitted event" is a rally on Sunday which is actually billed as "kid friendly." I am not so sure it will be and I wouldn't ever consider bringing a child to something like this, but I am over-cautious on that account. I am concerned about the violence these protests generate. I am not going to be involved in any violence. I abhor it as a total breakdown of intelligence and an illegitimate means of expression. I don't really know what to expect. And it makes me very nervous. Though not nervous enought to not go.
* Credit for Stratos reference to When Corporations Rule the World, David Korten.
Sunday, September 09, 2001
Saturday, September 08, 2001
Friday, September 07, 2001
Anyway...one of the others in the graduate group just sent out an email chastising people for not using the board, so maybe there will be a change.
WebCrossing has free discussion board software online so anyone can use one of the best bits of coding around to set up their own forum. So...I set up a board for my graduate studies program. This is a group of people who are not great with technology, but knowing this software will not be difficult, I had high hopes.
Stupid me. There is a wonderful post I know everyone in the group would have an opinion on. I waited and waited. No one responded. So, I sent out an email telling everyone there is a great offer on the board and everyone should take a look and put in their two cents. I got a flood of emails saying basically "Oh yeah! That is a great idea. Tell Katie (the poster) to go for it!" ::::sigh:::: They could have all just as easy posted this to the board so that Katie could see it without me having to forward all the emails and putting more mail in boxes that will just get lost in the overflow.
And so I am teary. I know...it is silly. But I just can't understand why people don't take the time to use technology to its better possibility.
Sunday, September 02, 2001
The tapes are Ian Carmichael reading the book Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. It was written in 1889 and is a travelogue of sorts, but not really. It is very funny. And fascinating. And poignant. A scene describing what it might have been like at the signing of the Magna Carta brought tears. Mostly it is funny. Uproarious in places. Giggly in others. And though it was written more than 100 years ago, some of the observations...nay, most of the observations are as fresh as if written last week. Mr. Carmichael's voice is at once soothing, cultured and downright friendly. He reads the British elongated vowels in such a way as not to appear pompous (as some of those BBC folk can sound). Truly a joy.
Saturday, September 01, 2001
The mall is huge...one of those rambling place where it looks like they just keep adding stores willy-nilly. I had no idea where the Apple store would be so I entered through Macy's and headed for the cosmetic department. The mall entrance is always through the cosmetic department so they can try to make you inhale whatever it is that causes uncontrollable spending on stuff you don't need. I heard one salesperson ask another "Did you see the line of people waitin' to get into that computer store?" The other answered "Idiots." I bit my tongue, which was hard 'cause I was holding my breathe, and continued on.
The line wasn't of epic proportions, though earlier I guess it had been. I waited an hour, but I had my Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency to read while waiting so it wasn't bad. There were some employees wandering up and down the line showing off PowerBooks and letting people play with them. Others were handing out free water. People were walking by, gawking at the line and asking "What are they giving away?" I replied, "Nothing." (they do give out t-shirts, but no one was there for those). Disbelief abounded. One disbeliever talked to a saleperson for a bit and decided to get in line. I saw her with what looked like an iBook box a little later. Wow. Imagine being able to impulse spend like that?!
The store is the same as all the others, but the Genius Bar is on the left instead of right (see article in MacCentral), which suits me just fine. I like my genius on the left. I will confess here that I am not yet a Mac owner, so I can't tell you all the wonderful things they had for people to play with, but let it be said that this is the way to sell computers. Stations you can walk all around so it is easier for a group of people to watch a demonstration. Bright lighting and clear, clean space. Places to sit. The music was a tad loud, though there were more than a few Depeche Mode tunes on the playlist, so I was happy enough. Just a wonderful experience.
I collected lots of little product booklets to hang all around my workspace so I am always inspired not to spend too much money on books and save up for my first Mac. I think it will be an iBook. I had never seen one, and it is lovely. And after spending six months around Mac discussion groups, I am sure I will like its performance. Oh how I wish I could have walked out with a computer. But I didn't have to leave the store empty handed...I have my Mac t-shirt.
Planet is an organization dedicated to making the world more aware of the need for family planning. They link the environment, poverty and disease to the lack of family planning. This is not an approach I would want to deal with on an exclusive level, but I do like it as one way of looking at human suffering and environmental degradation. And they have four postcards to use as an introduction to the site. I sent off a dozen of them.
Friday, August 31, 2001
I tried to link a picture of my bumpersticker from My Yahoo, but I am doing something wrong and it won't work. So, the image can be found here. It's a cool expression...go see it.
Saturday, August 25, 2001
Tuesday, August 14, 2001
Tuesday, August 07, 2001
Anyway, I have received a couple emails from Casa Alianza and I am looking more closely at the organization. It is "an independent, non profit organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation and defense of street children in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. Casa Alianza is the Latin American branch of the New York-based Covenant House, whose President is Sister Mary Rose McGeady D.C." I am not usually trusting of faith-based charity, but again, like Alternative Gifts International in my earlier entry, I am hoping my faith in their faith is not misguided.
I worry about help comes with strings, like the children must agree to some kind of service to religion. That when the kind people at Casa Alianza "try to change an attitude or conduct, we have to suggest and create alternatives together with the children", I have to hope it is not an offer they can't refuse. I do feel this is the case with this organization, but how do you know for sure? I would prefer a world without any religion at all. Just human beings relying on human beings. I think humans are good without the threat of a god or devil.
Along comes the Internet and I discover Novica and eZiba. These organizations promote artisans all over the world and give them a place to sell their goods. I liked that I can read about the particular artist I am buying products from and thought I had found a creative gift idea. I could give a beautiful handcrafted gift and know the person who produced it has the opportunity to make a living wage. And then, last fall, I stumbled quite by accident on Alternative Gifts International.
Alternative Gifts also has the religious component, but it is interfaith and has less of an overt feel to it. Of course, that is an entirely subjective comment, but I am as un-religious as they come and I am comfortable with this organization. Their mission is to "send authentic, life-giving gifts to a needy world - gifts that build a partnership with oppressed people in crisis and that protect and preserve the earth's endangered environment - to nourish and sustain a more equitable and peaceful global community." They do this by taking your donation and making 90% of if available to organizations that provide low cost business loans to women in Gaza or provide AIDS education to people in Rwanda and Mozambique or give a servant child a chance to go to school in Haiti (the 10% that Alternative Gifts does not pass on is used for administrative costs). These are only a few of the options you might chose as gifts. They have "33 sponsored national and international relief and development projects." The recipient of the gift will receive a card with the details and information about the organization.
I purchased two Alternative Gifts last winter and put the cards in envelopes I decorated with ribbons and glitter. My sister got it in the Yankee Swap and didn't want to trade if for anything else, and was quite protective that no one else got it from her. It may not be something you can wrap in a big box and put under the tree, but it sure is a gift that will not gather dust or find its way into the next year's Yankee Swap.
Tuesday, July 31, 2001
While I am on the subject of prepared foods. A few others I like are:
Thai Kitchen: Make sure you check to see what other ingredients may be needed because meals are not always complete. And this site is annoying. An applet that makes it load slow.
Taste of Thai: Buy a t-shirt, help an elephant.
Amy's Kitchen: All veggie, all the time.
The trouble with prepared foods is that they are often really high in sodium. Amy's Kitchen is better than the Thai choices on that account.
Monday, July 30, 2001
Sunday, July 29, 2001
Saturday, July 28, 2001
Actually, the "How to Find Your Own Purpose" page reads deceptively obvious, but really...have you ever sat down and written out what you like about yourself, how you most like spending your time and your idea of a perfect world?
And I was asked if I have written such a list. I've thought of those things, but haven't actually written the answers out. So, here goes....
I like that I am always wanting to learn more. I like that I am happiest when I am living simple, which does not mean living without modern conveniences. It means I don't want for the latest fashions, fancy vacations, jewelry, elaborate home. I like that I am trying to live my life without labels. I don't eat meat, but I don't want to call myself a vegetarian. I don't believe in any god, but I don't want to call myself an atheist. Labels make it so you have to conform to others who wear the same label. I am human, that's all. And there is no way I will conform to being like all humans. Easier to be a non-conformist in so broad a catagory.
My favorite thing to do is travel. I love to wander a city and see what there is to see without having to see something. I love maps, but I can enjoy being slightly lost, too. I also love to read. I like to listen to people talk about politics. Sometimes I participate, but I am often too nervous that I won't be able to contribute intelligent commentary, so I stay quiet, then talk with someone very close about the topics later. Someday I want to write.
Perfect world...I don't want a perfect world. Perfection is boring. I want fair. I want tolerance. I want hope. There isn't nearly enough hope in the world.
Friday, July 27, 2001
paraphrasing Zaphod Beeblebrox in Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams.
There are lots of articles in the "press room" on their Web site, but I would like to write something for my local paper. Something that might grab a suburban techie's notice and maybe make a volunteer out of someone who have never thought of volunteering. I don't really know how to go about this, but I am thinking my very small town paper would be a good idea. I have been thinking I'd like to suggest a regular feature on interesting web sites, written by a different person each week. I have to get my ass in gear and do this.