Friday, October 22, 2004

PIPA Report

The Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) released an interesting report yesterday.

Some interesting results from the report:

Despite the conclusions from the Senate Intelligence Committee:
    72% of Bush supporters still believe that Iraq had WMD's or a major program for developing them (compared to 26% of Kerry supporters).
    56% of Bush supporters believe most experts say prewar Iraq had actual WMD's (compared to 18% of Kerry supporters).

After Charles Duelfer, the chief weapons inspector selected by Bush & Co. to investigate whether or not Iraq had WMD's, presented his report to Congress, 57% of Bush supporters thought he had concluded the Iraq had WMD's or a major program to develop them.

56% of Bush supporters believe the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission report stated Iraq was directly involved in, or gave substantial support to al-Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.  In fact, the commission said the opposite.

There's a lot of other information in the report (like the perception of how of our countries feel about our invasion and Bush's reelection).  If you like numbers, you might be interested in seeing the questionnaire along with the results here.  And the press release here.  I find it psychologically interesting the way the numbers came out, but then again, I'm not a psychologist.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Various Updates

I have bad Car-ma:  Last weekend I was working on my car (see next update item), when a great freak accident happened.  I have a retractable power cord reel that hangs from my garage ceiling, and like most retractable items you pull on it a little bit to get it to retract.  Although it was hanging on a big-ass hook screwed 2 inches into a stud, it decided to pull loose and land on my car.  Fortunately for me, it landed entirely on the windshield, destroying it,  and only make a small (1mm square) chip in the paint.  I drove around Sunday with sunglasses on, just in case the glass decided to fall in on me.  It's a common windshield for VW, so I was able to get it fixed on Monday (instead of waiting weeks for parts).

Beyond FM:  The item I was installing in my car last weekend was my new XM satellite radio receiver.  I finally got it (mostly) installed and put back together Monday, and it's totally sweet.  The original reason I decided to get XM was for a talk show from some ex-NY radio people, but there's a ton of other good programming.  After driving to Denver last night, I'm pretty sure that driving with an XM radio is more dangerous than driving while talking on the cell phone.  I think I spent half my time looking at the XM display as I was turning the dial because it tells you who's one each channel as you browse.  I'm sure it'll be a little better once I figure out which stations I like, and also set up the preset buttons.  I think it's going to be super sweet when I'm driving to the slopes this season.

This just in from CNN: Martha whips up crab apple jelly in prison

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Holy sh!t, Qwest finally credited me.

The backstory:  When I moved into my house in February of 2002 Qwest told me I could get DSL including 2 free months of MSN as my ISP.  Wow, what a deal!  Well it turns out that DSL wasn't actually available, so they canceled my order (without telling my BTW).  What they didn't cancel, however, was my subscription to MSN.  So, after the 2 month free trial period they started billing me for MSN (which I couldn't use).  For a long time after that I called them monthly and frequently got bounced around between Qwest and MSN people with everyone pointing fingers at each other.  Eventually I just got sick of calling and I stopped.  Ever since then I've had a charge of $43.90 that has carried over from bill to bill.

Now DSL is available at my house and I decided I wanted to get it, but before I signed up I wanted to get this old issue fixed, because I figured it would only complicate issues down the road.  So I call up today and voila, the very first person I talked to credited my account.  Granted, I haven't actually seen the credit, but I'm going on faith right now that they fixed this mess.  Plus I have the name and direct extension of the person who did the work, so I can call and harass them.

By next Wednesday I'll be cruising at high speed again.  Yee-haw!  Qwest has been taken off my shit list (for now).

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Sinclair to broadcast anti-Kerry film

In case you hadn't heard, Sinclair Broadcasting Group is forcing their affiliates to broadcast an anti-Kerry film shortly before the election in a blatant attempt to sway public opinion.  Sinclair is the largest owner of local television stations in the country with 62 stations in 39 markets.  This is the same company that wouldn't let their affiliates broadcast the April 30, 2004 episode of Nightline in which Ted Koppel was to read the names of soldiers killed the Iraq war.  I don't care where you stand politically, if you can't see that this is a serious abuse of public airwaves then you need to wake up.

There's some good information on Al Franken's blog about what you can do.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Bling Bling

If you thought John Dyer was big pimpin' before, check out his new spinner wheels:


Tom F. and I both agreed that John's newly painted Civic need a little bling in the wheel department, so I went to the auto store and purchased some sweet spinning wheel covers.  As an auto enthusiast, and anti-rice activist, it's a little embarrassing to go into an auto store and ask for these things.  I felt like I should have worn a disguise or something.  Christine and I snuck over to the Dyers after the Merc and installed the spinners under the cover of darkness.

John called me this morning, and I couldn't keep myself from laughing when I picked up the phone.  He apparently enjoyed them, because he said he almost wet himself when he saw them.  Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Yesterday I met Lance Armstrong

And by "meet", I mean stood 50 feet away from him.  But really it was like we'd known each other for years.

Lance's Tour of Hope made a stop in Denver yesterday so I took a half day off of work to attend.  According to the American Cancer Society, one of every three women and one out of every two men are at risk of developing cancer in their lifetime.  Those are crazy odds, but thanks to people who have participated in clinical trials in the past, the odds of survival are equally astounding.  Over 60 percent of children with cancer are enrolled in clinical trials, compared to just 5 percent of adults with cancer. Clinical trials have helped dramatically improve the cure rate in childhood cancers from less than 10 to 75 percent in the past three decades.  The bottom line message that Lance wants to get across with this ride is that more people need to participate in clinical trials if we ever want to find a cure. 

Lance's trainer, Chris Carmichael, was also there.  I had him sign a copy of his new book, and I also got a picture with him.

Friday, October 1, 2004

Return of the Uber Golf

Finally I have my R32 back!  Total days from accident to completed repair: 44.  FORTY-FOUR!!!

That 44 days includes :
    14 days of the car sitting at the dealership gathering dust while waiting for parts to arrive
    14 days with the parts in stock but the mechanic being unable to work on the car
    5 days waiting for a new rear side window to arrive

The side window thing is screwey.  In order to do the job properly, they needed to remove the window.  For some reason on these windows, removing them means that you have to put in a completely new window.  I can believe that you'd need a new rubber seal, but not a new window.  I find myself wondering why, in the previous month when the car was sitting at the dealership, didn't someone order a damn window?  And why did the body shop remove my old window (rendering my car pretty useless) without having the replacement parts on hand?

But I'm just glad to have my car back.  It's time to drive.