Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Gerrymandered? Isn't it messed up that my district looks like this? I wonder what the logic is behind building voting districts that look like roadkill. Here's the full state.

posted by Alison 8/20/2002 09:24:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Today was the Georgia primary. My whole family went out and voted at my old elementary school. The building was pretty empty, which just goes to show you how much your vote can count in a primary election. I called the election headquarters of Greg Hecht, a neighbor of mine who happens to be running for congress, before I went out to vote. I asked his campaign manager, Joe, about how Mr. Hecht felt about the DMCA. Joe admitted that he didn't know what the DMCA is, much less his candidate's position, but he asked me to send him a copy of the legislation. This isn't exactly a big issue in this area, but it's what I use as my ruler for deciding who to vote for. I'm a little ambivalent about not being able to get the information I wanted. I'm going to get to be the one who explains the DMCA to Mr. Hecht's campaign manager, but that probably won't make any difference in how Mr. Hecht will treat the issue. I voted for Mr. Hecht anyway since I didn't know anyone's position on the issue, and it was more that I didn't have a reason not to vote for someone living just down the street. Maybe I'll go to his house and ask him myself if he gets past the primary.

Updated results for all of Georgia can be found here.

posted by Alison 8/20/2002 09:13:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Monday, August 19, 2002

I need a mini cooper. I built my own on the mini cooper web site, and even with a sunroof, a CD player, and the works I can still afford to buy one. I'm not really excited about the lack of space, but that's what happens when you buy a car that's called a mini. What I do like about the mini cooper is that it doesn't quite look like any other car. Plus, it remains cool without feeling over-thought like the New Beetle (A dashboard flower vase? Do I need that?). My brother dismisses it as too 'European-looking,' but I kind of like that. It reminds me of old-school British engineering (the UK is the home of Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin).

I saw a lot of the older models when I was in Japan and I thought they were a really neat looking, even if you could crush them by stepping on them. The new coopers have the benefits of BMW safety engineering and seem to be one of the safest cars around. It even passed the 'Dad test.' My father is an avid mechanic of both planes and cars and even he liked the new minis. I'm thinking about going for a test drive.

posted by Alison 8/19/2002 11:41:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Anagram Fun

I could never find a good anagram for my name because of all the vowels and a 'z'. But now I have a few good ones:


posted by Alison 8/18/2002 12:34:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

This might explain my behavior after half a Margarita. Although, my intial reaction is usually what keeps me from drinking more.

posted by Alison 8/18/2002 12:29:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Saturday, August 17, 2002

Like tacos and wonton soup, it sounds like sushi might be the next thing to become a mainstay of American cuisine. I've made sushi by hand before and it's a lot of fun and not too much troubles if you don't mind getting messy. My personal favorite is avocado and bacon sushi, which I'm pretty sure is not served in Japan. My favorite sushi in Japan (besides eel) was salmon sushi with onion and mayonnaise served on top. It usually sold for about 75 cents. Now if we could only bring over this coffee drink. It tastes like a coffee yoo-hoo to me, but a few of my friends got quite addicted to it when we lived in Nagoya.

posted by Alison 8/17/2002 06:01:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Saturday, August 10, 2002

I went out and watched the movie Signs with Melanie last night. I was never one of those kids who bragged about watching Freddie Kruger movies when I was in elementary school. I blame my cousin Chuck for ruining me for scary movies after babysitting me and forcing me to watch Piranha 2. When you're four years old the idea that flying man-eating fish exist isn't much of a stretch. After months of looking under my bed for piranhas I was done with scary movies.

It's been almost two decades since and I'm still a big baby about thrillers. There where several times when I actually covered my eyes and then peaked out through my fingers when nothing happened. At one point during the film Melanie turned to me and said, "This is the most stressful movie I've ever seen." I can't help but agree. Signs is definitely for people who are looking to do something besides relax when they watch a movie.

posted by Alison 8/10/2002 01:13:00 AM : (0) comments : splink

Thursday, August 08, 2002

I like this weblog. It gives me an idea of what my life would be like if I grew up in Miami instead of Jonesboro, Georgia where there are only 8 Cubans in the entire county. It probably wouldn't be much different at all except I'd probably have a better tan and eat better.

posted by Alison 8/08/2002 02:55:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

A new algorithm has been found that will quickly and accurately identify whether or not a number is prime. (paper here) This algorithm has no immediate uses; there are faster, yet slightly less accurate, ways of finding primes. With locating prime numbers (the largest are upwards of about 4053946 digits) time is the biggest limiting factor. However, computer scientists are addicted simple and elegant algorithms. On another subject, maybe I should have my students build something like this next semester.

posted by Alison 8/08/2002 02:47:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

I was kind of excited about moving home for a few weeks: free food, quality time with my pets, unfettered access to cable. However, I'm quickly remembering why I was so eager to move out when I was 18. No one in my family can walk up to someone when they are in another room and need to say something. It must be shouted across the house. At least half a dozen times a day I hear 'AAAALLLISONNN!!' Whether I parked my car in the wrong spot or whether my Dad needs to tell me that Iron Chef is on TV I have to drop whatever I'm doing and find out what my parents want. It's like living with two overly sensitive car alarms.

I'm also back to doing family chores, which I forget about ten minutes after I'm instructed. After living by myself I got used to cleaning things when they look dirty and doing laundry when I run out of socks.

Luckily, I do get to spend quality time with my dog and cat. My cat is slightly brain damaged from a fever it had as a kitten, but it seems to be intelligent even if it falls down a lot. Today it climbed into the mail truck when I received a registered letter. At least it's not one of those cats that need to pee on everything.

posted by Alison 8/06/2002 11:47:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Saturday, August 03, 2002

I got my first taste of gambling on the drive back from Kansas. I drove with a fellow southerner, Chris, whose father works in a casino south of Memphis. We went the Horseshoe. I have an aversion to slot machines (although they are a great place to put your loose change). With slots the gambler has to do all the work. I want someone to spin something or throw something. I need service. So I went to the pit and I won on my first trip to the roulette table, on double zero no less.

There were two scary things about the casino:

  1. The availability of cash was astounding. The casinos actively encouraged people to cash their paychecks at the casino through bonuses and there was an ATM every few feet. I could just imagine myself blowing all of my grocery money on blackjack.
  2. Upon my second trip to the roulette table the guy next to me won $1,700. And when the dealer passed chips I felt the scary hand of greed squeeze my insides and I had to leave the casino before I started selling body parts (but not after depositing all of my quarters in a slot machine).
I still managed to walk out of the casino with $50, but if I hadn't won in the beginning I probably would have walked out with just pocket lint.

posted by Alison 8/03/2002 12:07:00 AM : (0) comments : splink


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