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Archive Page: Summer 2008


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Unmentioned Highlights From Previous Quarter

I can hardly believe it, but here it is, a full two seasons where I have kept myself out of the workforce, focusing almost exclusively on trying to get my computer files in order and backed-up (whenever I wasn't battling inconsistent waves and varying intense degrees of sleep cycles. The largest headaches confronting me are, again, battling with attempts to ''clean up'' the bulk of my remaining unedited soundfiles, but I have been equally besieged with the burden of needing to go through all of my personal file folders and rename a massive amount of folders, files and documents, because of incompatibility issues between ''Windows'' and ''Macintosh'' -- not only will ''Windows'' not allow the same latitude for naming folders & files as ''Mac'' (even & especially in ''OS9'') , but some folders named in ''Mac'' will not open at all in ''Windows.'' During this time I'd finally decided to experiment with various ''Linux'' OS distributions and found that once again I had to go through all of my files renaming everything so that everything could be read as compatible across all platforms (I won't know for sure until I've backed up all of my files on data discs and done a completely new scrub of ''Windows XP'' to see if I can clear up some random issues I've been experiencing with the way the system ignores & overrides my preferences).

During all this time in limbo I have also made attempts to re-establish contact with my sister and father, and as a result of what I have been learning from their perspectives I have been more and more resigned to acknowledging how much of a dishonorable person my mother has always been all these years.

Nostalgia has been catching up with me more and more., which manifested itself somewhat tangibly when I used my credit card ''rewards'' gift certificate to acquire a few DVDs of several movies I'd remembered well from the 1980s. I'm still feeling urges to return to Kansas (several ''YouTube'' videos of severe midwestern summer storms has fueled this urge ever more), but I still keep having deep thoughts of Kaua'i as well. West Virginia is now off the table as far as I'm concerned, now that I've seen more clearly what kind of people, governance, education and economics dominate the state as a whole. Whatever I may decide to do, I'm feeling that a change of location-- whether it be out of the city or just a change of immediate housing situations --is bound to take place sometime later this year or during the following year, dependent of course on mitigating circumstances.

June 20-22, 2008 (Friday-Sunday)

Tried to do a rush on trying to finish up renaming and saving my personal files, but it turned into a final round of more corrections and refinements in an attempt to make the ''Mac-to-Windows-to-Linux'' transition most comfortable & manageable.

As a result of the extra refinements I've once again bucked my plan to re-kickstart my regular church attendance routine. I did however finally pull out the stops and posted my online employment application (the one I tried to put in last month before I was informed that they no longer accept ''paper'' applications); I did not like the presumtiveness of many of the questions on the application, but I tried to be as forthright as I felt I could without compromising my principles and I ''lied'' and ''acquiesced'' where I was more or less expected to.

June 24, 2008 (Tuesday)
20:25, Hawaii Standard Time.

Went in for my preliminary interview and to fill out employment-related paperwork in connection with it this morning just a half-hour short of noon. I had received the call to come in yesterday morning, somewhat of a surprise I'd been contacted so quickly after having submitted the application. So far I'm getting the impression that this company cares more sincerely about their employees much more so than that sham of a company I'd wasted eleven years of my life with. We're anticipating a follow-up interview & orientation Monday morning.

When pau with the interview (and in-office drug test, like a preggers-test/DNA-swab thingy) I rode around town a bit, cutting through Waikiki, stopping off for several minutes at Wailupe Park on Kalanianaole Hwy, then taking a detour on way back to the apartment and looping Nuuanu Pali Drive.

July 1, 2008 (Tuesday)
22:50, Hawaii Standard Time.

Was too bummed out and worn out to relay the events of yesterday, and I'm really not all that enthusiastic about mentioning today's goings-on, either.

The stresses began yesterday, from what should have been the beginning of a somewhat uplifting day/week, as I went to keep my appointment for my new job (what they called the ''orientation'' phase). It went from bad to worse, beginning with my forgetting to bring the lunchtime meal I had prepared early in the morning, then discovered that I had also left my wallet (hence, all of my identification that was required) at the apartment, which also meant that I was riding around without my operator's license. On top of it all they demanded all sorts of personal information about family and/or acquaintances (supposedly for ''life insurance beneficiary'' purposes, etc.) that I was not only immediately not privy to but had no way to access any of that information from their  ''controlled domain''  setting (it was supposed to be an ''all day'' on-location orientation, but it felt more and more like ''lockdown'', as they weren't too keen on the idea ''rescheduling'' for a later date when all of that [supposedly] necessary information could be gathered and on-hand, nor did they [quote]  ''...like you to leave''  [close quote] during the allotted half-hour lunch break... during which time I could've returned to the apartment and gathered up most of the materials & information they had requested). When I had assured them, after two and a half hours, that there was absolutely no way I could access or track down ANY of this supposedly 'important' information they were requesting from such absolute confinement, they finally allowed me to reschedule my orientation for Wednesday morning.

As if surfing on a tsunami of dread, I was next greeted with a collections note from the managing company of the rental property where I reside, proclaiming that I was being assessed an accumulation of ''past due late payment fees'' in a letter dated two weeks earlier. So naturally my concern was to clear up what was more than likely an error (or series of errors) on their part (an on-going trend, unfortunately), and I kept getting 'passed around' within their departments, with no one seemingly willing to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone where we could review my bank statements against their records -- I even tried to talk with someone physically in the office, where I stopped into on impulse en route to paying my telephone/internet bills -- I felt as if I was deliberately being avoided.

I'd find out this afternoon, when I returned the call left on my answering machine last night, that 'avoiding' me was  exactly  what they were doing, for as they had explained to me a couple of times during my phone calls with them, they had transferred my case over to an attorney to act as a collector on their behalf. So I discussed with the attorney all that I had already explained repeatedly to the property management reps: that I had not seen any of the numerous attempts to get me to respond to their demands prior to this collection notice dated June 18, postmarked June 19, nor had I received any attempts at contact from the attorney's office, which both he and the property management reps claimed to had been sent from his office. In any event, the attorney and I had spent about 10 to 15 minutes on the phone going over the information he had on hand from the property management company and comparing it with my notes and bank statements, and between the two of us came to a realization of where all of the major discrepancies stemmed from (and yet again it was due to some shoddy record-keeping on the part of the property management company, which I had been saying all along). The lawyer thinks he can assure me that he can explain the discrepancies and clear away any further confusion.

One thing is certain, however, and that is all of these shoddy payment handlings and records-keeping SNAFUs which seem to crop up on average like once every year or year and a half will be coming to a well-deserved and very long overdue ''abrupt end'' ...because as I'd explained to the attorney, these sorts of Phukkupps NEVER began occurring UNTIL after the office instituted the policy of no longer accepting ''in-office'' payments and forced us to begin 'mailing in' our monthly payments. But when I decided to walk in ''unannounced'' yesterday afternoon I took VERY STRONG NOTICE that this ''mail-in only'' policy of theirs had clearly and loudly been  repealed -- so from here on out I am not sending another 'check in the mail' EVER AGAIN, instead, it's ''cash on the barrelhead,'' hand me my RECEIPT, PLEASE!!! No more B.S. from these clowns!

Spent much of the day trying to record and/or download most of the remaining collection of songs and/or radio dramas which have either been avoiding my detection or would be designated as ''replacement'' files for the crappy stuff I'd been forced to endure and/or fight with, largely because of having to make recordings in  ''Windows''  OS because of many sites either not being  ''Mac compatible''  or not compatible with any ''Macintosh'' system prior to  ''OS X.3'',  which leaves me VERY 'out-of-the-loop.' Most of the replacement files were of the  Matsutoya Yumi  album I had been working on since earlier this year, and if this expensive-assed  ''HP/XP''  system hadn't been such $#!T (I don't know if it is a trait of ''Windows,'' of ''Hewlett-Packard,'' or of the stinking ''Realtek'' soundcard, or a combination of any or all) I could have had what became a project of OVER SIX MONTHS (and  still  not satisfactory ...nor complete) over and done with in less than two days!!! So this time around I was fortunate enough to (VERY BARELY) be able to access some shyt called ''IMEEM.com'' for almost all of my ''Yuming'' files to use as replacements for the ones I'd recorded in ''Windows''-- as well as finding most of the final few I want/need to complete my personal  ''iTunes''  music library --and some next to almost utterly IMPOSSIBLE site called ''multiply.com'' -- where I was able to find (very) slightly better ''repostings'' of the  ''Let George Do It''  radio drama series I needed to complete my personal collection (which were the same ones uploaded onto ''archive.org'' but for some reason all the ''blackout spots'' are not quite as severe, which is 'good enough', as far as I'm concerned, because I am no longer desirous or graced with the necessary expense of time & patience to fight with that crap-ass sound editing tool trying to ''fix'' the files, especially given the fact that I am feeling the tight squeeze for what little remains of my hard disk space, which all that much editing would swallow up in no time flat.

July 4 - 6, 2008 (Friday-Sunday)
''Weekend in Review''

I probably would have started work Friday had it not been for the "4th of July" holiday/weekend (they were hoping I could start the very next day after ''orientation''-- Thursday --but I told them it wasn't likely that I'd be able to get everything in order so soon and that I'd be willing to start with them Friday, ignorant of holidays as I usually am, but they informed me the office would be closed... of course... ''management'' always get their holidays off). Instead, I used Friday's time to balance my checkbook figures and start keeping track of them again (after having disregarded them entirely for over a year and a half) and went out to pay my rent & utilities and do some semi-extensive grocery shopping (I had basically been trying to 'deplete my reserves', as it were, and limiting my typical habit of hoarding stock in the uncertain light of what my continued status as a resident in this apartment complex was going to be). I rather reluctantly broke my ''no canned/bottled drinks'' [slash] soda-pop bans by purchasing a trunkload of 12-packs of soda, rationalizing that since I'd soon be going back into the workforce they'd come in handy -- although I'd ''technically'' broken this principle a couple of months earlier when I'd purchased a 12-bottle pack of  ''Heineken''  (which I had also done on this shopping excursion).

My father called Sunday evening, finally returning a message for him to call me Tuesday night / Wednesday morning, because these goobs want all this personal information in order for my application to be complete, and part of what they claim they need are other family members' Social  ''not supposed to be used for ID''  Security numbers! Not only did he call at a very inconvenient time (when I was trying to get my stuff squared away in preparation for Monday's work assignment), but he kept closing his ears to any explanations I was giving about why they really shouldn't be asking for anybody else's number except in the case of dependents & such, my speculations as to why they might be requesting such information for employment, or the simple fact that I was not being ''singled out,'' as he kept trying to insist, but that EVERYONE was being required to submit this information, and instead he kept trying to tie everything in to my  ''birth certificate''  and 'which one' was the ''Original'' and ''which name'' was on the job application and/or on the Social Security card, and on-and-on-and-on circular, non-stop and not listening to a single rational and factual explanation I kept trying to lay out before him... I swear, it was WORSE than trying to hold an intelligent political or social discussion with a goosestepping mindless zombie Neo-Conservative Republican! I felt really uneasy about raising my voice at my Dad, but quite honestly he was irritating the hell out of me.

Partially as a result of the distraction (but primarily as a result of my characteristic procrastination) I did not begin to get started on the tailoring of my issued pants until later in the night. I'd simultaneously began reviewing & ''fixing'' my  Matsutoya Yumi  song files over in the  ''Win-HP,''  because for some shyt reason the editing program kept refusing to open the files  which it had created! Of course, the PC programs had to make certain that it was going to be no free & easy ride for me working over there either, since all of my ''info tags'' I had worked long & hard to supply to each file were unceremoniously stripped away, and since of all the programs littering my PC hard drive only a small handful will playback  ''.aiff''  audio files -- NOT EVEN  ''iTunes'' for ''Windows'' -- despite the fact that ''AIFF'' is an  ''Apple/Macintosh''  STANDARD! (I'm telling you, LINUX is SOOOO in my future!)

August 21, 2008 (Thursday)
22:35, Hawaii Standard Time.

Okay... I should have done this long ago, but I figure now is as good a time to share my thoughts about this, since speculation is heating up all over the place....

Regarding Sen. Barack Obama's  ''vice-presidential''  picks for his running mate, I have said from the very beginning that the ''smartest'' choice he can make is Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. This would be the only wise choice for him mainly because of the  ''Hillary Factor!'' 

Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party campaign was so heated and nasty and overly drawn out that she made it more than obvious that she would "say" and "do" anything to get what she wanted, and her most rabid supporters-- mostly hopeful and often equally angry women --have bought into her disruptive political shenanigans so enthusiastically and so completely that they would actually sit-out this election or vote  against  Obama out of spite and a feeling of "rejection/abandonment" if he were not to place Hillary on the ticket with him.

If Obama were to  ''give in''  to all of this pressure from Hillary supporters, he would be perceived as  ''weak'' and ''manipulatable''  not only by his Republican rivals but also (and especially) by his own Democratic constituents! (Look at all the flak he's getting for suggesting to his supporters that they help pay off Hillary's ''debt'', which she ran up staying in the presidential race long after it was crystal clear that she had absolutely no chance whatsoever of securing the Democratic Party's nomination but was also money spent running the most ascerbic campaign against Obama throughout that race). It would also be perceived by many as ''Bill'' returning to the White House and influencing policy.

The only way Barack could hope to placate and assuage the most radical, frothing mouthed Hillary supporters, the majority of them being women who supported Hillary for no other reason than that she was a ''woman'' seeking and having a *REAL* shot at the highest office in the nation, Barack would NEED to select Sebelius based primarily on that one simple fact that she IS a  ''woman.'' 

But there are *other* advantages to a Kathleen pick... among them are:

 (1): she is the governor of a "Red State" -- and a ''Mid-Western'' state, at that...

(2): although she is a ''Democrat'' in a ''Red'' midwestern state, her popularity there is high...

(3): she has a proven track record of ''standing up to'' corporate interests...

(4): she is not perceived as a ''Washington Insider''. 

If Obama makes any other choice other than Kathleen Sebelius, it would  have to be  Hillary out of sheer necessity... but it would be the cruelest ''double-edged'' sword he could possibly be faced with, being simultaneously both the absolute  best and worst  choice he could make in this campaign.

August 28, 2008 (Thursday)
14:30, Hawaii Standard Time.

...Anyway, no surprise that Barack chose  Joseph Biden  of Delaware for his VP running mate ... I still say his best choice would've been Kathleen, keeping with both her ''femaleness'' and her ''freshness'' (so much for being the  ''change''  candidate, huh?). Of course, if he had gone with the candidate I'd originally considered would be his best choice prior to his presentation of any ''lists''-- and had not that former candidate insisted (perhaps disingenuously) that he was not interested at all in the ''Number Two'' spot --he would've gone with...  John Edwards!  ***OOPS!!!***

By the way, LOVED Rep. Kucinich's  ''Wake Up, America!''  speech! If Dennis Kucinich is not the next president after Obama (or, God forbid, ''McSame'') then there truly is no hope left for America (...''politically'' speaking, that is).

Anyway, none of that was the ''real'' reason for this journal entry. I came just to add another typical rant -- this time about the ''tea'' my mother sent me. I had asked her about a week or so ago to see if she could find  ''Lipton Peach Tea''...  NOT  ''herb''  tea. Of course, I knew as soon as I said it I was going to get sent specifically what I did not ask for (this is the woman, after all, who when asked to make a request of my sister who lives in Kansas City to send me a couple of  ''Jayhawks''  T-shirts almost screwed it up, saying I'd requested  ''SEA-hawks''  shirts). Deciding to conduct a search on the Lipton company's website, I discovered that they do not offer ''peach tea'' teabags... only that powdered ''instant'' garbage. So now I'm wondering if I'm tripping in believing that I used to be able to buy the stuff in teabag form when I lived in Kansas (which I'm almost certain I was, along with ''blackberry'' and ''orange''), or if my memory's just been ''effing'' with me all this time?

Major source of irritation: I cannot figure out why for the past week or two now I have been unable to access any of the streaming videos on ''Comedy Central's'' website via the PC? Shockingly, the Mac, with its obsolete ass, is still able to access them, but playback is a choppy crawl and way out of sync with the audio. No matter... I'm planning that by next week I'll be finished with my remaining few soundfile edits and I'll be scrubbing the entire system again anyhow.


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