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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in yzhang3's LiveJournal:

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    Sunday, October 13th, 2013
    8:37 am
    This is the end - or is it a new beginning?
    Getting dumped is not fun.

    First, I just want to remark that LiveJournal has really improved its layout of the interface. I want to address the hiatus, but also to help document some of the great things that have happened in my relationship with the love of my life, Manyun (Summer) Yang over the past five years. I have not contributed to this LiveJournal in a very very long time. In fact, it's been many many years. I guess the reason is because I didn't have to use it as an emotional outlet. I want these next entries in the next several days or weeks or however long I am able to keep up, to be a memory hole, somewhere where I can put my thoughts.

    Let me begin at the end, and then start talking about the beginning. Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of our first contact. It was a day that began great and ended bitterly (for me at least). On Friday, Summer had fallen asleep around 8:00 PM, and didn't wake up until 9 AM on Saturday morning. It began with Summer having not eaten dinner the day before. Our car had been in an accident and was being repaired. We went to pick up the car, return the rental car, and then headed over to eat lunch at Tofu House. She complained that I spoke too loudly.

    Later, we went to my father's house in the afternoon, to see my sister who had returned from school for the Columbus Day holiday. During this time, we watched an episode of Revolution and then started watching Breaking Bad. Summer had mentioned that it was the #1 show on IMDB. Two and a half episodes in, we started dinner. After dinner, on the drive back home I asked Summer how she felt about our anniversary. She said that she felt sad.

    I asked why. She cited the many things that had bothered her about me, that she didn't love me, and that we should divorce while she's still young. I asked why. She said that living with me is very boring. She brought up the old litany of things that I had promised to do but did not. There had been times before where she brought up divorce. There had been even more times when she said that she did not love me anymore.

    I could have changed the topic, continued home and watched Breaking Bad until the Sun came up. It was not to be. After we got home, there was more talk, going into areas that we never talked about before, how we would divide up our things, where would she live, what would she do, what her plans were. It was going to happen sooner or later. I just chose the wrong time to step on the landmine.

    An explosion rang in my head as I began to understand what was going on. She was leaving me and there was nothing that I could do. She arranged to stay at her friend Isabelle's house. She then went to pick up some cardboard boxes to put her things. After coming back, she began packing. I have not been able to sleep since helping her get the boxes into the car. Memories of happier times keep coming back, bubbling up from deep in the ocean of thoughts floating in my head. The times that she felt embarrassed about me, the times that I made her cry, the times that I had lied, the times that I had disappointed her, they floated up too. As if looking through a Pensieve, each time I wanted to reach out and warn my younger self of how callous, how reckless that I had been.

    It's all too late now.

    Current Mood: contemplative
    Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
    6:58 pm
    My experience with the Police, or why I will never buy a house in Johns Creek
    I had kept mostly quiet about my run-in with John Creek's Finest in the spring of 2009, but the Trayvon Martin shooting, especially the rules that apply only to minorities in this country has prompted me to speak out about my experience. In March of 2009, I was working late and was driving from our office in Midtown back to my parents house around midnight. This was on a Friday night.

    My parents live in the mostly Asian city of Johns Creek, a formerly unincorporated area between Duluth and Alpharetta, but now turned into a city so that people can enjoy the privilege of paying more taxes. As I drove north past State Bridge Rd on Medlock, noticed that a car was following behind me with the headlights off. I didn't give the matter too much thought. Because I was low on gas, I decided to pull into the Shell Gas Station on my right-hand side on Abbots Bridge. (Note: If you are in the area, you know it's the gas station that always turns their lights off at night). That's when the car behind me lit up its blue lights. I pulled up to the pump with the police car behind me.

    Now, It's been a very long time since I've gotten a ticket, (ask progressive about my diamond status), and forgot that I should stay in the car. Especially since I had even seen Chris Rock's sketch about what to do when getting pulled over. I stepped out of my car and asked the officer. Why did you pull me over? The officer then spoke sternly asking me to get back in my car. As I went back, he immediately went into his vehicle, and called in what I heard was a "code 240" or something similar. Soon, there were two more police cars at the gas station.

    Once backup arrived, the officer then came and asked me to hand him the driver's license and registration. I had not been drinking, and I don't smoke or do drugs, not even Tylenol. He asked me why I had pulled into the gas station. I told him that I had run out of gas. He said that this station was closed. I disagreed, and slowly took out my wallet. I put my credit card into the machine, and it showed that it was ready to fill.

    At this point, the officer pointed to my car bumper and told me to sit there. As I sat down, one of the other officers in the other vehicles came over with a dog. Together these two gentlemen plus their best friend searched the inside of my vehicle, opening up the glove box, the center compartment, and the cup holder. The force at which they opened the cup holder caused it to break away from the back of the center console. Then, they made me stand up while searching the inside of the trunk, emptying out the contents onto the ground, including my laptop bag.

    Having found nothing, the officer faced me and said that back on the road earlier I was driving on the median line, and not staying in my lane, and that was the reason he pulled me over. He said that he will give me a verbal warning and advised that I drive home. No thanks, I'm going to fill up on gas first.

    After picking up my possessions and putting them back in the car, I bought a tank of gas. Sure, I wasn't exactly shot with a pack of skittles in my hand, but I was guilty of wearing a black Old Navy Hoodie. I had seen the performance fleece commercial featuring those smiling white kids and thought that I would be just as cool if I had one too.

    I learned a couple of very important lessons here:
    1) Never get out of your vehicle when pulled over until the officer states otherwise.
    2) Do not worry about civil rights. I have none.

    Note: Since that incident, the Shell Gas station is now a Valero Gas station. The hoodie has since been given to a friend who would have better use for it. I still drive the car, even though the rear cup holders don't work. I don't think I'll ever move to Johns Creek.

    Current Mood: sympathetic
    Thursday, August 18th, 2011
    10:36 am
    Bank of America is a bad caller.
     I haven't posted to this journal in a while, so it takes something that is truly upsetting or disturbing to get me to write something. I'll be the first to admit that as with other activities in my life, I've been procrastinating on adding content here. But Livejournal does offer an outlet for when I feel the injustices of life are just too overwhelming.

    For the past several weeks, I have been woken up in the morning, as well as several calls during the day by a company with the number 1-800-671-8487. After seeing this number popping up for so many days, I decided to call back. The number turned out to be for Fantasy Line. The recording indicated that it could be some type of phone chat service. Realizing that this could be a potentially costly phone call, I hung up. Now, I have never called a service of this type on purpose before, so receiving a call like that was quite a surprise. Was there someone looking to chat with me? Highly doubtful. There had to be something going on.

    Looking up the number online, I came across a page here: http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-866-671-8487. Other users had similar experiences with calls from this number, and more than one also mentioned Fantasy Line. However, a couple had also mentioned that some telemarketers would spoof their caller-IDs so that it would show up as the phone number when they make a call. The next morning, I waited for the caller to call again.

    It was Bank of America offering some kind of health protection plan. Bank of America, a company that should have been allowed to fail. I was OK with it getting money from the TARP. I was OK with it acquiring Countrywide. I was even OK with the shotgun marriage to Merrill. What I am not OK with is deceptive telemarketing practices. How could they expect anyone to purchase this service when the number that they're calling from does not even match that of the caller ID? These phishing tactics should not be used by an institution such as this. I am ashamed for how low Bank of America has gone in this regard. Anyone who has had a similar experience should contact the FTC as soon as possible.  Their online complaint website is: www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.

    If Dodd-Frank doesn't rein them in, maybe the FTC will...

    Current Mood: impressed
    Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
    11:55 pm
    Monday, October 12th, 2009
    9:46 pm
    On why I just don't write as much
    Today a good friend discovered my blog. She's amazed that I had been writing one for all these years. I'd have to say I'm a bit surprised myself. Since signing up for Facebook a few months ago I had barely touched this livejournal. It seems instead of being a creator of content, I had in fact become a consumer of the status update. Sure, for those who are vapid, crass, or loquacious the status update has truly displaced the blog as the de facto outlet for one's thoughts. I for one still maintain that the longer form provided by a blog is superior. We are all bombarded by constant reminders of how our friends are doing, an ambient awareness of what's going on that causes us to not be as introspective as we need. Perhaps I am not as angry in my old age, or perhaps I'm just not as opinionated as before. Nevertheless, I really had almost forgotten how to write. It's not eloquence I lack. It's content.

    Maybe I'm not reading enough books. Maybe I'm not going out enough. Maybe I'm just becoming too lazy. Perhaps it's time to rediscover the joys of posting my thoughts, of venting my frustrations on this public medium, no matter how small of a corner it may be on the internet. No more super pokes, no more opinion polls. You can Like or Unlike, you can Comment or Link, but you can't take away my voice.

    Today also marks the one-year anniversary of the day I met someone special. The day that propelled me on a collision course with adulthood, a new era of responsibility, enlightenment, and understanding. I hope it all means a change for the better. Until next time...


    Current Mood: tired
    Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
    7:58 pm
    Hummers
    Now that GM is finally being parted out like an 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme,  there's surprising news of the Chinese buying the Hummer brand. Now, I'm not about to make fun of SUV owners and their ilk, or just what they plan on doing that could increase the sales of one of the most American vehicles on the road today. In a country with people the size of small shacks and McManses getting larger than Zeppelins, it would make sense for GM to market such an oversize vehicle for such an oversize population. What in the heck are these new Chinese overlords going to do with these cars? Of course with its new modern infrastructure and thousands more miles of highways going up, China will eventually become as fat if not fatter than here, but isn't it a little too early? It could end up a wash like Lenovo, or worse, it could be another Black Stone in the filthy cesspool of CIC investments. Well, if life gives you hummers, then you might as well make them, right? Now, we will all be eagerly awaiting the Shanzai version, the Bummer, to come to a dealership near you!

    What else will the Chinese buy next? What vestige of American Capitalism remains to be brought to bankruptcy court next?

    Current Mood: Alarmed
    Sunday, April 12th, 2009
    7:53 pm
    SEALS 3, Pirates 0
    In what can not be called an upset, the Navy SEALS today sent three of the Somali pirates that had seized the Maersk Alabama's captain Richard Phillips to their eventual outcome. For the several days that the Bainbridge had been stationed near the ship, I had been wondering when Heroic Measures were going to be taken. I guess today was as good a time as ever. The question is, if the Pirates learn not to mess with American ships in the future, would it not be beneficial for ships passing through the area to fly the US flag, at least until they are out of harm's way? If I were a captain looking to protect my container ship, that's what I'd do.

    However, this does not improve the undelying condition of poverty in Somalia that is causing these guys to go out here. How do we handle that problem without having more Blackhawk Downs?

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/04/12/somalia.pirates/index.html


    Current Mood: okay
    12:44 pm
    The China Price
    Sometimes, I feel sorry for all the Chinese business acquisitions that went sour, and caused them to end up losing their rice bowls. Blackstone, Morgan Stanley, and IBM Thinkpads come to mind. How could these bureaucrats compete with the financial acumen of some of the most  sophisticated investors and businessmen on the planet? Throw in a little conflict of interest, payola, and the Chinese have ended up buying the chaff. However, if there is a central government decree to go out and spend money on things, the result could be a load of BX, er BS.

    However, there are other times when I think they really deserve the lot they've ended up with. Starting with the ban in 2006 of Six Apart, which hosts this livejournal blog, and now culminating with the rejection of Coca-Cola's bid for the Huiyuan fruit juice company in China. Whenever the government makes a bold and arbitrary decision like this, it shows to outsiders just how autocratic and closed the Chinese system really is. When CNOOC's bid for Unocal was met with a wave of derision by Congress, the main argument from lawmakers was "China wouldn't let the United States buy an oil company there, so why should we let them do it here?".

    Beijing's response to that could have been a general easing of such policies, and allowing such token transactions as the Huiyuan deal to go through, thereby signally to the rest of the world that China is willing to let down its barriers, and that there's nothing to fear. With so many new deals in the works, Rio Tinto, Petrobras, how many of them will now be struck down because of this flap? This could be the landmark blunder that could cost China in the coming years much greater amounts than the mere $2.4 Billion that Coca-Cola wanted to pay.

    Hopefully this will serve as a warning to other companies looking to do business in the great roach motel economy of China. Money checks in. It don't check out.

    http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1886024,00.html?iid=sphere-inline-bottom



    Current Mood: sad
    Thursday, April 9th, 2009
    6:22 pm
    Paying Retail
    I recently saw the motorola krave in a Verizon ad on TV. I was surprised at how similar it looked to a Motorola phone that I saw in China in the summer of 2006 when I went home. Upon further examination, it was indeed the same phone. There had been a few stories about the dismal sales of the iphone throughout Asia. The main explanation given, was that the Asians and the Europeans pay the full retail price when new technologies come out. However, Americans are weaned on the habit of having the cost of the phones subsidized by the subscription costs. This is a double-edged sword, because although it does allow people who might otherwise not purchase a phone to get one, it decreases the drive of these companies to sell their most high-end products. The inverse could be said for pharmaceutical products. In the United States, there is not a government department that handles negotiation between the healthcare industry and the drug companies to lower the price, so Americans end up paying a much higher retail price for drugs, but Americans also get the best new drugs. Just as the early adopters of the Tesla Roadster who paid $100,000 get to subsidize the $49,000 sedan that's coming out, those who pay retail must exist for prices to come down. Perhaps we truly are beholden to the rich who can afford these things for technology to trickle down to the masses. Perhaps that's truly what the free market is all about.

    Current Mood: calm
    Friday, February 13th, 2009
    10:38 pm
    Negotiating Mergers
     I hate driving. I'm not talking about environmental damage or being green. I find it to be a hugely frustrating and generally a waste of time to drive everywhere, especially to work. Although the boredom is quite tedious, the hardest part for me is the merger. There are I would say, two types of drivers. The ones who slow down to let a merging car in, and those who speed up to not let the merging car in. From the day I started driving, I've always had the tendency to slow down to let a merging car in. This may be due to my non-aggressive driving behavior, or the fact that i've encountered too many people who don't let me in, or my belief in karma, or a combination of all three. However, when I merge onto traffic, I always slow down to let the car in the right of way go forward. This has created a problem for me occasionally, where I'm merging, and slow down, while the person in the right of way also slows, or when I'll slow down to let the person in when I have the right of way only to have them slow down. There's got to be a better way of negotiation of merging than this. Maybe a hand signal or courtesy honk to let them know that you're speeding up or slowing down, who knows. How could this problem be remedied?

    Current Mood: aggravated
    Friday, January 30th, 2009
    4:23 pm
    Meeting Christian Lander
     Yesterday, the creator of the hugely popular blog, "Stuff White People Like", Christian Lander, came by to hang out at the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club in Little Five Points. If there were a whiter place than East Atlanta in Georgia, then I wouldn't know where it would be. I mean, you got a grocery co-op, an independent book store, two bike shops, a diverse group of people, wow. Anyways, Mr. Lander regaled us with funny stories about how he got to where he is right now, from thinking about the idea with his friend Miles to getting a sit-down with William and Morris, to Randomhouse publishing the book, to a run-in with Jerry O'Connell. If you were there, you know what I'm talking about.

    Anyways, afterwards he opened the floor up for questions, and I was able to get in on it. So here goes: "As an asian guy who's not white, what can I do to make more white friends?". Obviously I'm throwing a softball here, but then again, I'm not Christ Matthews. To which Mr. Lander replied, "Well, this book right here gives you a lot of good hints, on how to not only befriend White People, but to increase your importance in their lives. You just need to share with them a little bit about your culture. It doesn't even have to be true; you just have to let them believe that this is a bit of your culture that you are only sharing with them, so they can feel super-special. For example, you can say invite some of your White friends over for some kind of Fish Ceremony, and you tell them that it involves putting $50 cash in an envelope and giving it to the host, not only have you increased your standing, but you just made like $300!". This is just hilarious.

    I've always been a big fan of this blog, and have been tracking it ever since Slate picked it up a while back. As Mr. Lander pointed out, it's actually quite hilarious how these activities are associated with "Whiteness" when it is actually talking about how privileged these people are to be able to enjoy these things. Believe me, nothing hurts more than hearing other Asian people call you out for being white for simply going to a museum or supporting Barack Obama or owning designer furniture that you sit on only to listen to A Prarie Home Companion while playing Scrabble..

    I remember my friend's Vietnamese trainer talking about how she would never vote for Barack Obama because his wife is "too ghetto". It's time for the yellow to be more mellow, seriously.

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/01/29/dcl.lander.stuff.white.people.like.cnn

    On a side note, my camera of six years had chosen that moment to epic fail, so I only have some cell-phone pictures. Was it about time to upgrade from 3MP to 10+ MP? Maybe. I did the right thing and put it in the electronics recycling bin at Best Buy.



    Current Mood: amused
    Thursday, January 29th, 2009
    1:26 am
    There Will Come Soft Rains
     I play few video games. I play even fewer PC games. However, just as I had gotten the original Xbox for Xtreme Beach Volleyball, or the Wii for the Umbrella Chronicles, there came a new game that would result in another hardware purchase. I recently purchased a Nvidia 9600 GT for the sole purpose of playing Fallout 3.

    Set in a post-apocalyptic future where the Chinese and the Americans fought an atomic war, your character, a resident in an underground vault, is in pursuit of your father who disappeared many years ago. The graphics are simply amazing, and there are many scenes that were very realistically portrayed.

    I've been playing this game on and off for the past few weeks, and haven't really made it through yet. The overall feeling that I get, though, isn't a feeling of satisfaction, but a feeling of sadness. I keep thinking of how terrible it would be if it all came down to this, and the only things left were ruined husks of what was once buildings. Set in the Washington D.C. area, many sights that are familiar to us can be seen, L'enfant Plaza, the National Mall, etc.

    I had to stop myself yesterday after seeing an especially depressing scene. In a townhouse in the Georgetown area, there are the remains of a family who perished in the nuclear fallout. In the home is a working servant robot called "Mr. Handy". Unaware that its owners have all died, you can still ask Mr. Handy to complete tasks that were programmed for it, such as pick up the groceries or walk the dog. There was one task that was especially sad, in which you can ask it to read a story to the children.

    Upon executing this command, I followed Mr. Handy to the children's room. In there, I discovered their skeletal remains on the bunk bed, along with a teddy bear. Mr. Handy, still stopped and blissfully read them a haunting poem, which I later discovered was Sara Teasdale's "There Will Come Soft Rains". The contents of which describe a world in which Humanity no longer exists, but the world continues going.

    At that point, I had to turn it off. I hadn't played it since.

    To my amazement, there was an article today in Wired that talked about the same thing, how depressing Fallout 3 can be.
    http://www.wired.com/gaming/gamingreviews/commentary/games/2009/01/gamesfrontiers_0126


    Current Mood: depressed
    Sunday, January 18th, 2009
    4:12 pm
    Obama-based products
    I've always been amazed at just how many different kinds of products and merchandise have been created to celebrate the candidacy, campaign, and now the presidency of Barack. Now, there are a preponderance of articles  describing this phenomenon. Although not all of this memorabilia will rise in value, I do find one of them rather sweet. That is, the new Limited-time only, Yes Pecan! flavor from Ben and Jerry's. I've had my fair share of Willie Nelson' Magic Brownies and Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream, but this new flavor is just downright Presidential. Want to get a taste? Go to your nearest scoop shop. Now that's something that's collectible, fun, and enjoyable.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5478458.ece


    Current Mood: warm
    Sunday, January 4th, 2009
    12:59 pm
    Madoff madeoff with ripoff: bestoff now worseoff
    This poem was found in the comment section of a recent article about Bernard Madoff in Slate Magazine.



     the rich are mad at madoff

    who led them down the pathof

    steady returns with no downturns
    a nest egg of compounding payoffs

    how could it be that one of thee
    could eat his own and comeoff

    like Mother Teresa caring for the rich
    collecting the offering for Madoff

    taking confessions of pampered possessions
    by bestoff with lotsof to layoff

    dear Father I have sinned to raise the question
    what is Madoff madeof

    for this I accept eternal damnation
    and join the middle class ripoff



    Current Mood: bored
    Friday, December 26th, 2008
    12:05 pm
    American't
    Remember a couple years ago when I was in China and was marveling at the incredible infrastructure present, RFID subway tokens, maglev trains, highways to somewhere, etc? Well, it seems Mr. Friedman, always the canary in the coal mine of globalization, has written an Op-Ed in the New York Times talking about what America needs to reboot. I'm mostly in agreement with what he's espousing, but the thing that struck a chord with me was his opinion on changing the immigration policy. It used to be that the best and the brightest of the world came to the United States to be educated. They stay here, create valuable research and development, creating millions of jobs and thousands of patents, and bringing forth new technology that changes the world, while simultaneously making the country wealthy. Well, with these fortress-America policies enacted since 9/11, we only allow students to come here if they promise to go right back after they graduate? That's insane. By spending all our capital and investing in their skills and training, the least that America should do is offer Permanent Residency to anyone who gets a graduate degree in the hard sciences. Get a Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering? Pass Go! My parents came here a long time ago because they saw America as the land of opportunity. Now, my friends are all going to work elsewhere, China, Dubai, because that's where the opportunities are. How much longer can we sit on our collective fat asses? If we don't do something soon, we will all end up living in a Third World Country, like Detroit. It's not just the Automakers that need to reinvent themselves.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/24/opinion/24friedman.html?em


    Current Mood: pessimistic
    Tuesday, December 16th, 2008
    1:33 am
    The End of American Capitalism
    With Bernie Madoff's magical money pyramid collapse, American Capitalism has reached a new low. Never before have so many people lost faith in the market system of the United States. How will we regain that trust? It don't know. I don't even have any witty retorts at this time. Check back later for updates.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2206739/ 

    Current Mood: busy
    Saturday, December 6th, 2008
    1:01 am
    Slumdog Millionaire
    If you see only one movie this year, make it Iron Man. If you see only two movies this year, make it Iron Man and Tropic Thunder. If you, however, see three movies, then one of those must be Slumdog Millionaire. The story of a Chaiwalla working at a call center and his trip to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is definitely the surprise hit of this year. It's not quite Bollywood, and it's not quite Hollywood. It does highlight the disparity between the rich and the poor in India, but it also highlights how with determination, one man can really achieve the dream. Of course, it's got a happy ending, but the journey from start to finish is what sets this movie apart. It's not an art film. It's really an action/romance movie. Some camerawork reminds me of Bourne, and some torture scenes make me think of Guantanamo. Seeing the yearning masses going about their lives and seeing the bleakness of their existence makes me feel very fortunate to be living in the United States. I will certainly make an effort to not become impatient with any customer service representatives in the future. I predict Best Picture Oscar.

    Current Mood: contemplative
    Monday, October 27th, 2008
    1:59 am
    Steal the vote!
    This election season, instead of Baracking the vote, or jamming the vote, or rocking the vote, or just plain voting, you might not be able to vote even if you wanted to. Are you a minority? Are you a U.S. Citizen? Are you looking to make a difference? Too bad! Your name might have already been purged from the polls. Voter disenfranchisement is as American as apple pie, baseball, and the writ of habeas corpus. Ever since the days of Boss Tweed, Boss Nass, and Boss Hugo Boss, the political machine has churned out every more ways to keep people from voting. Just as the goal of socialism is to keep people from working, I'm sure this teapot will eventually come dome.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/26/voter.suppression/index.html


    Time Magazine article about the Seven Things that can go wrong on Election Day

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1853246_1853243,00.html


    Current Mood: angry
    Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
    2:12 am
    Early Voting
     This afternoon, I had a few hours free, so I decided to go vote early. Hearing that people were waiting in line a while to vote, I decided to not drive to the office at 141 Pryor Street but instead, ride MARTA. This way, I wouldn't run the risk of the parking meter running out. Upon reaching the government building we were told to line up next to the metal detector. After waiting for around 15 minutes, we were then led to an assembly hall. Upon entering the assembly hall, we were made aware that the wait from that point would be another hour and a half. Having waited in my fair share of lines, most notably at Six Flags and Disney World, I was still utterly unprepared for such a high turnout. The assembly hall was half-full, approximately 200-250 people were already there. The volunteers and workers were very helpful in instructing us on what to do, such as filling out the absentee ballots and where to sit. I only wish I had brought a book with me. It only took 30 minutes for me organize the phone calendar, update all the contacts, and text message my five closest friends about the wait. The rest of the time was spent between dozing, dazing, staring. Only 100 minutes into the wait, we were suddenly told to stand up and go upstairs to the fourth floor. Upon reaching the fourth floor at the election office, I found another line. Due to an inconsistency with the way they were keying in all the absentee ballot forms, some people who arrived after us had their forms processed before us, we were forced to sit around for another 15 minutes or so as our names were called. Certainly First In First Out is a difficult concept to master. From there, we were handed Die Bold memory cards to go to the machines to vote. Not only did Jim Martin get a senate vote, but Fulton County Libraries may have gotten 275 Million USD  in funding. Total time spent: 3 hours 40 minutes. Not much longer than Titanic, and only slightly less plot.

    Current Mood: Sanguine
    Friday, September 26th, 2008
    1:19 am
    Stop Eating Chinese Food!
     One of the candies that I loved eating as a kid, and one that I still eat occasionally now, is White Rabbit Candy. It's a Chinese Milk-flavored soft candy that's got a rice-based dissolving wrapper. Recently, the manufacturer has stopped exporting its products, as well as started a recall due to concerns about Melamine in its products. As we all know, melamine is the ingredient that has caused the death of thousands of pets here in the United States last year, as well as that of many infants in china due to contaminated pet food and contaminated powdered milk. I had thought that I would be safe here in the US, but White Rabbit Candies are in almost every store.

      Up until now, I had not commented on this latest scare from China in a separate blog entry, but this is just unacceptable. Mark my words. In the next 50 years, if China does catch up to the United States in quality of life, it will not be because they have made any improvements. It will be because the United States has deteriorated. This super free-market capitalism-profit at any cost-even if it's human cost, Chinese-style market economy will eventually destroy the country. From Chinese companies importing garbage, to iPod foundries ejecting toxic waste into the water, to air pollution so thick your eyes burn, the costs of progress will eventually catch up to them. I for one, will from now on, stop buying any more packaged food items made in China. No more moon cakes, no more tofu, no more watermelon seeds.

    http://cnnwire.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/25/firm-stops-selling-candy/


    Current Mood: infuriated
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