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Monday, June 15th, 2009
10:50 pm
I don't blog much here as I now favor Facebook, Twitter, and other such things. I can be found there:

http://www.facebook.com/gemzombie
http://www.twitter.com/gemzombie

(Or you can just email me at jesse@sloswing.com)

I'm also a Windows Mobile phone user, and recommend the following software for accessing those two services:

Facebook - MS Facebook for Windows Mobile (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/downloads/facebook.mspx) -- It's completely free, and easily the best Facebook software for WM.

Twitter - Twikini (http://www.trinketsoftware.com/Twikini) (it's cheap or free with a post -- like this one -- to your blog mentioning it, not a bad deal!)


Here's a screnshot of Twikini, obviously from someone who's a fan of uh... slutty pop stars :P

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Thursday, July 10th, 2008
10:43 am - Baby on the way...
A year and half since i posted here, but i check everyone elses journals regularly. :P


Candy and I are going to have a baby. Candy is 11 weeks pregnant, and has been suffering really bad morning sickness. She seems to finally be on the upswing, but that's very relative since she's spent 90% of the last 3-4 weeks in bed. I've been taking care of her and the family for a while now. Anyone who doesn't think being a housewife is a real job should try filling in for one for a while...

At any rate, Candy will be due in January. I'm nervous and excited at the same time.

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Saturday, December 30th, 2006
4:46 pm
I haven't been moved to post in months, but the execution of Saddam Hussein is just the catalyst I needed to do so.

Those who know me, and my very conservative ways might be surprised to know my thoughts on this whole thing, which I find surprising myself.

I have long been a supporter of the Iraq war and specifically the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. There is no doubt in my mind that the evil this man has done will have had lasting effects throughout my lifetime. I've never pretended that he was the most evil man we could have helped remove from power, there are some pretty awful things going on this world, but there are far less useful acts we could have worked on too.

When the debate was going on whether to invade or not, I was for the invasion but my reasoning only partially included the standard WMD reasoning. I remember saying two things at the time: 1) The political repercussions of the war would probably come back to hurt republicans, but that was worth it in order to do the right thing. 2) The primary reason for invasion was the removal of Saddam in order to prevent the massive torture and death rates that his regime inflicted on his own people, and it would be a mistake to make WMD the primary reason.

I was right on both accounts, as far as I'm concerned, though I think the media made WMD the primary reason, while the administration didn't do a good enough job explaining the full reasonings.

At any rate, my point is that humanitarian reasons should have trumped all else in our reasonings, it certainly was my reason for support.

Since that time I have witnessed some pretty horrific acts. I watched the Nick Berg Beheading in it's entirety. I watched a scene from one of those faces of death movies where these people chopped off a man's limbs one at a time. I've watched scenes of torture that make the actions at Abu Grab look like a party. And through all of that I just had my ideals enforced that we, as self-imposed humanitarian, owe it to the world to lead by example, and help bring civility to more and more people. I know that how that sounds, it's very self-righteous, but I've reconciled that with myself.

But even though I've become more resolved on all of this over the past few years, something interesting happened as well... I believe I have almost completely reversed myself on one issue: the death penalty. I'm still of the mind that the punishment should fit the crime, and that some people deserve death, but I can't see myself as the final judge for such a thing.

As for how this relates to Saddam... I understand that it is out of our control, and this is the way things are done in countries like Iraq, but I'm still bothered by it. I think what bothers me most is how so many people revel in it all. Dancing in the streets, and being happy at any death to me is not a good sign. I am of the mind that the death of anyone, no matter how cruel the and deserved of punishment the crime was, is not something to celebrate and be happy about.

And as i look at the pictures of Saddam's body shown on the news I see one other thing that bothers me. Now, a hanging death is not going to be pretty, but I'm trying to figure out how blood ends up on his face from this? [Edit: I found this in an article I just read, which explains it: "At 6:10 a.m., the trapdoor swung open. He seemed to fall a good distance, but he died swiftly. After just a minute, his body was still. His eyes still were open but he was dead. Despite the scarf, the rope cut a gash into his neck."]

I am a realist. I know that some of the things they say about this are true, such as that this will bolster some people's confidence, and make them feel better. But while I accept it, I wish it weren't that way.

So there you have it, I find the whole thing disappointing, sad and disturbing.

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Friday, May 19th, 2006
2:10 pm
Editing done by me. Original story here

"Cuban [Communist Dictator] President Fidel Castro, who [may turn] turns 80 this year, enjoys [fictionalized] vibrant health and will live to 140, his chief [propoganda] doctor said.

Doctor Eugenio Selman-Housein, who heads Castro's [propganda] medical team, denied [out of fear for his life] that the longtime leader has Parkinson's disease [despite what everyone else sees], as the CIA reportedly believes.

"Every day they [see] invent a new one," Selman-Housein said. "He will live 140 years [because we all know that being a communist allows you to exceed all records to date]."

Castro's [true] health, once[and apparently still] a taboo subject in the communist-led island, has become a topic of discussion [in cuban prison] since he fainted in public in 2001 and slipped and fell before television cameras in October 2004.

Castro, who quit smoking his trademark cigars in 1986, has [dictated] led Cuba since 1959. He [might turn]turns 80 on August 13. "

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Sunday, March 26th, 2006
8:45 pm
stolen from Marcelo
The Rules:
1. You can only say YES or NO!
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages you and asks!

Taken a picture naked? : Yes
Made out with a member of the same sex? : No
Danced in front of your mirror? : Yes
Told a lie? : Yes
Gotten in a car with people you just met? : Yes
Been in a fist fight? : Yes
Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back? : Yes
Been arrested? : No
Left your house without telling your parents? : Yes
Ditched school to do something more fun? : Yes
Slept in a bed with a member of the same sex? : Yes
Seen someone die? : No
Kissed a picture? : Yes
Slept in until 3? : Yes
Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by? : Yes
Played dress up? : Yes
Fallen asleep at work/school? : Yes
Felt an earthquake? : Yes
Touched a snake? : Yes
Ran a red light? : Yes
Had detention? : Yes
Been in a car accident? : Yes
Pole danced? : No
Been lost? : Yes
Sang karaoke? : No
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? : Yes
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? : Yes
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? : Yes
Kissed in the rain? : Yes
Sang in the shower? : Yes
Got your tongue stuck to a pole? : No
Ever gone to school partially naked? : No
Sat on a roof top? : Yes
Played chicken? : No
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? : Yes
Been told you're hot by a complete stranger? : No
Broken a bone? : No
Mooned/flashed someone? : Yes
Forgotten someone's name? : Yes
Slept naked? : Yes
Blacked out from drinking? : Yes
Played a prank on someone? : Yes
Felt like killing someone? : Yes
Made a parent cry? : Yes
Cried over someone? : Yes
Had sex more than 5 times in one day? : Yes
Had/Have a dog? : Yes
Been in a band? : Yes
Drank 25 sodas in a day? : No
Shot a gun? : Yes

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Monday, February 27th, 2006
12:55 pm - What are you afraid of?
This is a serious question that I hope to get some responces to. I want to know what you are afraid of... but not really on a personal level. I want to know what your fears are in terms of America, the World, or Society in general.

What do you see as the biggest Domestic issue or threat? How about globally?

I'm reading a book that addresses some of this, and it's got me thinking. So how about a little un-scientific survey to satisfy my own curiousity.

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Monday, February 20th, 2006
7:02 pm - Human rights
Warning: Politics by a grumpy conservative

There are so many people that lack basic rights that we enjoy here in America. So much so that I find it ridiculous that people complain at all in the US... I mean, I see their point in some cases, yet I don't see them making a stink over things world-wide.

What got me thinking about this was an article I just read that says Google failed to get the proper license to operate in China (I'll overlook the fact that only at the end of the article does it say that Google actually does have a license, they share a license with a sister company in China... a practice most US companies that operate in China do. Seems like article had an agenda to make Google look bad,but that's a topic for another time).

In the article we learn that China has a "Ministry of Information". Wow. How do you justify controlling "information" at such a high level? I'm sure this is one of the lesser infringements by the Communist Chinese government, but it's one that boils me. In fact, I'd argue that it's up there because there is no freedom without truth. I mean, the government controls what people are allowed to know. That's a whole lot different than protecting the public from something dangerous (and even that is a fine line that our government has a hard time not crossing).

Is there general apathy towards this sort of thing? Does anyone else find this sort of thing apalling? Yes I know that there are people that are killing other people over a comic strip, something I found even more troubling... but I can spare some anger and resentment for the Chinese government too. People are jailed if they merely mention political opponants. The Chinese government has banned "Brokeback Mountain" because of it's homosexual themes. You'd think that'd inflame the liberals...

I have hope for China though. I think the internet will break them. You can't censor the internet... it's just not possible. They are doing a heck of a job trying, from what I've read, but blogs are quite popular over there now, and considering how many people there are in that country, I have a hard time believing that the government will be able to keep it all in check. I theorize that the internet is a fast track for democracy. It certainly works the other direction. Now that Iraqis are free of Saddam's rule and well on their way to an independent democracy, the number of internet users there has skyrocketed. I read an article about how there are many enterprising people setting up wireless internet hotspots all over Iraq. Good for them.

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Friday, February 10th, 2006
11:08 am
Prince rules.

He still has it.

That is all.

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2006
10:15 pm - Help a fellow dancer
Hello all. Friends of ours, Marcelo and Drew (dancers in LA), have entered a contest, and we're trying to lend a little support. Read this and vote for them if you are so inclined.


==============================
Vote for us at gizmodo.com!
Faithful readers will recall that Drew and I recently entered in a contest at the gadget blog gizmodo.com to win a brand new IBM ThinkPad. The contest was to make a 60-second film noir called "Laptop Confidential" and upload it to YouTube.com - Drew and I pulled out all the stops and we ended up with a really great movie.

Out of the 100-plus entries, we made the final ten! And this is where we need YOUR help!

All you have to do is go here:

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/announcements/laptop-confidential-vote-time-153088.php

And vote for our movie (called "Sucker for Dames"). You don't need to register or give your email address or anything. Just click and vote.

You can see the first five finalists (including ours) here:

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/announcements/laptop-confidential-finale-uno-153079.php

The second five are here:

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/announcements/laptop-confidential-finale-dos-153083.php

We're really proud of our little film and we truly think it's the best one of the ten. We'd really appreciate your help in making it number one! Again, you don't have to register or give an email address or anything - just go to the URL and vote! It really doesn't take any time.

Thanks so much!

(tell your friends)

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2006
5:23 pm - We make a good team
Quite some time ago Candy had a plan for Tastyn's Bedroom. She's good at designing, and I'm fairly good at the implementing. Well, it's finally done (took a long time cuz i'm lazy and procrastinate on projectgs). It's a shame that we're going to be moving and someone else is going to enjoy my hard work.

When we moved in this room (the whole house!) was one color, with ugly small baseboards (also painted the same ugly color), carpet, and no design at all.

Here's all that's been done.

  • New floors. Pergo flooring to replace the ugly dirty (and dust attacting) carpet.
  • Beadboard all around. To give the room that East Coast flare that Candy misses so much. Decorative molding added to the top of the beadboards completes the look.
  • Substantial Baseboards. As opposed to the 1.5" baseboards that the house came up with.
  • Window Casing. The walls in this house have rounded edges everywhere. Not very useful when you are trying to put molding on top of beadboard and make it look good. So I added a simple window casing to make every fit flush and flow nicely.
  • Lots of paint. I've never used so much white paint before.


Take a look at my handy work!



Damn we're good. Pottery barn, eat your heart out.

current mood: accomplished

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Tuesday, January 17th, 2006
12:47 am
"But you fool, I do Love you"
"Why didn't you tell me before"
"Because I didn't know until you hit me"
-- From the Movie "But the Flesh is weak"

Best line in a movie ever. Only in a movie from 1932 could this work.

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Friday, December 30th, 2005
10:28 am
I post this only because I know my daughter will love it. So this serves as a reminder to myself to show her.

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Thursday, December 29th, 2005
7:59 pm - KornZombie
I just had one of those weird awkward and embarassing moments. Maybe you've had one too.

As I was driving home from work today, I decided to listen to a little music before putting on my current audiobook (The Stand). So I popped in the copy of Korn's "Kick the PA" I made. Now, those who know me know that I don't sing... publicly. Here I am driving up Broad Street screaming at the top of my lungs, as I am wont to do in my car often.. (Let's face it, that's a large part of any Korn Song... screaming), when I pull up to the light. An older midsized pickup truck with a camper shell complete with a couple of kids in the front seat pulls up next to me and starts honkin' and yellin' at me while flashing me the "OK" sign. An obvious "hahah, you dork, we caught you making an ass of yourself" moment if I ever saw one.

The only thing I could do was shrug, give them the OK sign back, and ignore them.

I'm such a dork.

current mood: embarrassed

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Wednesday, December 21st, 2005
1:19 am - Why Not, everyone else is doing it...
4 things stolen from Marcelo and Audra
FOUR JOBS YOU'VE HAD IN YOUR LIFE:
1. Deli Worker
2. Computer Hardware/Softare Tech
3. UPS Customer Service Agent
4. Software Engineer

FOUR MOVIES YOU COULD (AND DO!) WATCH OVER AND OVER:
1. Casablanca
2. Office Space
3. The Nightmare before Christmas
4. Better Off Dead

FOUR CITIES YOU'VE LIVED IN:
1. Paso Robles, CA
2. Heber City, UT
3. Santa Barbara, CA
4. San Luis Obispo, CA

FOUR TV SHOWS YOU LOVE TO WATCH:
1. Family Guy
2. Smallville
3. Sopranos
4. My Name is Earl

FOUR PLACES YOU'VE BEEN ON VACATION:
1. Catalina Island
2. San Francisco, CA
3. LA/Hollywood
4. Georgia

FOUR WEBSITES YOU VISIT DAILY:
1. Myspace.com
2. foxnews.com
3. sinfest.net
4. Livejournal.com

FOUR OF YOUR FAVORITE FOODS:
1. McDonalds
2. Chocolate Chip Cookies
3. TA's Burritos
4. Sushi

FOUR PLACES I'D RATHER BE RIGHT NOW:
1. On Vacation in New York City
2. On Vacation in England
3. Dancing in LA
4. Catalina

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Sunday, October 30th, 2005
10:16 pm - Pet Peeves
I realize I'm a geek. It's never been in question. Geeks in my day invented stupid things like g33sp34k and the like. I never found it cool even back then, but it never *really* bothered me. But now I realize it was a gateway dorkness. It became obvious that this was a mistake when "LOL" became popular. Basically someone who was too lazy to type ROFLMAO (already a horrible acronym) decided LOL was the best alternative. Undoubtably it was an AOL user.

I would personally like to throttle the first person who decided that instead of something "owning" (already a horrible phrase), it now "pwns". Stupid typos are now cool? My worst typo is "teh". When I do it, it's honest... but now it's "teh cool" to be stupid.

Most of the time I'm proud of being a geek... but it's harder and harder to be so these days.

Of course this isn't a geek limited thing... somehow being "sick" became "cool". I blinked and almost missed that little language quirk. I don't think that was invented by a geek... well, at least not by a techie geek.

current mood: annoyed

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Tuesday, October 11th, 2005
6:43 pm - Firsts...
Stolen from audra/marcelo

First best friend: Mike Nelson in Utah
First car: '72 Datsun 510
First kiss: Shawna Sumi
First break-up: Cherree Faulkner
First screen name: gemini
First self bought album: Batman soundtrack by Prince (same as Marcelo... weird)
First funeral: My Cousin "Bear"
First pets: Siamese Cat named Sabrina (or Breenie as we called her)
First piercing/tattoo: none except for accidental punctures :P
First credit card: Wells Fargo Card (Student Visa)
First enemy: Benji Wyatt
First big trip: Moving to Utah from Paso Robles when I was 5
First musician you remember hearing in your house: Buddy Holly
Last cigarette: Poker game, years ago.
Last car ride: Driving home from work
Last Hookup: Never had a "hookup"
Last good cry: Over the Summer
Last movie seen: Family Guy Movie
Last beverage drink: Desani
Last food consumed: McDonalds Cheeseburger
Last phone call: A loan telemarketer while I was typing this.
Last time showered: This morning (every morning)
Last shoes worn: Vans
Last cd played: I was using my wife's Tori Amos CD to test my new DJ system
Last item bought: Paid for Shipping, sent out a bunch of Original Jitterbug DVDs
Last time wanting to die: Never
Last website visited: www.swinginthecolony.com -- doing some work on the site.

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Friday, August 19th, 2005
8:59 am - Damn you Marcelo
1. Go here.
2. Pass it on.
my answersCollapse )

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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005
4:12 pm
I wanted to keep track of things on a realtime basis over the weekend, but the internet access at the hotel didn't work, so I skipped it. So now I'll recap the weekend.

Thursday:

Candy and I (as well as the rest of the SLO gang) arrived in the evening, and were able to catch 2 of the three sets of Jonathan's band. As always he put on a great show, and I think he now leads the finests Big Band there is. This is because of the quality of the musicians, and the song selection. Hearing Man from Mars live like that makes me really feel like I'm listening to one of teh great bands of the past... it just feels authentic.

After that late night dancing ensued, and Candy and I (completely sober mind you) stayed up until around 3:00am dancing while DJ Giselle yawned. She's a good sport, because we were the last couple on the floor. She played great music, and Candy and I had some great dances. What a way to start the weekend.

Friday:

Because Candy and I decided last minute to not compete at all, we took the day easy and didnt' compete at all. We did a little shopping and preparation (food) for the weekend. We came back in time to watch some contests and get ready for "New Years Eve 1935" (and Mora's band).... which was the theme that night. Candy took quite a while getting ready, but once she did... wow!!!!! She turned heads everywhere. I can't tell you how many comments she got. Guys kept coming up to me telling me what a lucky man I am (as if I didn't already know that). Emily called her "New Years Barbie", which was amusing. We danced all night again, except this time we drank... a lot. We ended up down by the pool later and listened to fellow drunk people talk crap and basically have fun. It was at least 5 or 6 before we went to bed.

Saturday:

Hangover! Recovery took the better part of the day, but we did manage to make it to a few classes and watch more competitions. Bill Elliott was on tonights agenda, and the them was Pirate night (a theme I skipped). Candy wasn't feeling well so she rested a while, but finally made it down to do some dancing. Once again drinking ensued, and dancing/socializing until the sun came up was our real theme. I remember seeing the sun before I fell asleep.

Oh yes, I can't forget to mention me trying to step over some chairs and doing a face plant. Everyone seemed to get quite a kick out of that. As drunk as I was, I remember as I was falling thinking quite clear that I need to find a way to roll and land on my back, otherwise I was going to break something. I think the agility that has come from 7 years of dancing saved my neck on that one. At any rate, I won't live that little incident down anytime soon.

Sunday:

Hangover part 2, but not as bad this time. More classes and contests, but by this time we're so tired dancing just really wasn't happening much. After the awards Candy and I left so that we could get home before the crack of dawn. I love Stompy Jones, but we'll get a chance to see them soon when they come to Atascadero for our own event.

Overall thoughts:

Wow, what a fun weekend. Some of the best dancing I've had in ages, and almost all of that was with Candy. I danced quite a bit with Nao from Japan, which was excellent. We love seeing them every year, and It's neat to see their improvment over time because they are really away from any good swing scenes there. They are pretty much it, but they do remarkably well for that kind of isolation.

I was inspired once again.

Monday:

Back to SLO for Madonna Inn dancing. Usually I'm depressed upon returning to our small scene. But Candy joined us, as it was my birthday, and I had a good time. Some decent dances with the locals, and as always great ones with my wife. I got my jam, and a card signed by the locals who are really appreciative of me. A good birthday :)

Lessons:

Last week a reporter showed up to my lessons on Tuesday and interviewed me. An article in the weekend edition of the Atascadero paper about us was featured on the front page (what can I say, there's not much news in our little burg). I expect a big class tonight... ugh. I almost regret the article as I don't know that i'm ready to handle a class that size in my garage. It's already been far too crowded lately.

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Friday, July 15th, 2005
3:48 pm
Last week, I ended up spending $1100 on tires and a new water pump for my car. That kept me from taking a trip to visit Candy and her family while she is in Georgia.

I had a lot of work to do, so at least that part worked out... except I'm very stressed out. We had a lot of work to do in a little time, and there was in no way near sufficient testing. Despite my warnings on this we went ahead ahnd released it (i work on internal tools so our stuff gets used immediately upon release). This backfired in many ways as I figured, and i've been expected to fix a lot of it since other folks are working on other things. I usually don't stress at work, but when coupled with other stress things in my life, it's been too much.

So I told Dan i wanted to take Friday off. I had a few things I wanted to get done such as work on a website, and do some yardwork... But the problem with that is apparently it's so out of character for me to take a day off that my motives are suspect.

The other day at work we were discussing vacation time.. and since i've been an employee for so long, i get something like 4 weeks off a year. But after we accumulate so much, we can't accumulate any more. I dont' know how much i have stored up, but i'm pretty sure i'm at max capacity... hence another reason. What sucks is i really have no money to enjoy my vacation time.

I asked if i could cash some out, but I can't. Half of it would be perfect, but nope. I'm not sure what lesson i should learn from all this is.

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2005
4:26 pm
I miss my family

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