Sunday, October 29

Ha Ha

I found this in the news: Americans snub invitation to pay $500,000 for Clinton birthday party

When America's liberal elite were offered the chance to pay up to $500,000 each (about £260,000) to attend Bill Clinton's 60th birthday extravaganza tonight - with the added promise of a private Rolling Stones concert - a packed house was expected...

No one was coming so they priced it to go go go! Prices dropped down to $1,710 for just the concert. The weird thing, though, would be that his birthday is in August and last night was the end of October. I'm not taking pleasure in seeing someone's bad luck, rather it's more of a reality check. And as one comment on the article said, "How refreshing to read that some wealthy Americans do not have more money than sense after all."

Halloween in Madison, Part IV

It's good to hear that things are puttering out on State Street without a major incident. Here to the southwest, people are still being noisy out in the street but it is quieter that earlier. People in groups of 4 to more than a dozen are heading to the south and west down Park and Dayton. Once again, people are mostly on the west side of Park, in a small constant stream, maybe averaging about 1 person to less than about 10 feet. I also see trash by the sidewalks.

I just saw a food trailer heading south. Overall, there have been lots of police cars and taxis driving around this evening.

Click here to see a time line of how it went down.

Halloween in Madison, Part III

In this last hour, the road traffic has definitely died down. However, people are still moving north on Park towards State Street. Lots of noise on the street now. Lots of shouting and yelling along with occasional honk. People are walking up the west side of the street in groups from about 4 to 12. As I look now, there's a long line of people from the SE corner of Park and Dayton all the way back down the west side to Park to the rail bridge. Some people actually crossing Park and heading west on Dayton away from the downtown.

Saturday, October 28

Not Quiet on the Western Front

In this last hour, things have changed a little bit. Traffic on Park Street is slightly higher than normal in both directions, starting to quiet down but there's a lot of hooting and shouting coming from the west. Groups of people up to about a dozen are heading north and east at Dayton and Park and Dayton and Johnson. Some people are randomly running east across the street. No one's on the bike path. Looking out my window, there's a slow but increasing trickle of people heading north up the west side of Park from the neighborhoods. Occasionally there's honking and cheering.

By the way, the AP story about Madison is on the top of the right column on Drudge.

I Am a Rock

Today is Saturday. Here in Madison, it's the Saturday before Halloween, which means people from across the country come to throw a big party on State Street. A really really big party. So big, it's on the front pages of Fox and CNN (granted it's the AP so it's the same story, verbatim). So big that for the last four years, it's climaxed on a Sunday morning at 2 am with pepper spray by the po po.

They city, by the way, is going to fence in a public street and charge admission in an attempt to keep the crowd small and under control.

I'm perched in the penthouse on top of the new Smith Hall on Park Avenue, I mean street. I'm two blocks west, 4 blocks south, and six floors up from the western terminus of the festivities. Yesterday, there was higher than normal traffic and very loud people were walking towards State Street until after midnight and things were still by about 1 am.

Wisconsin beat Illinois today after being down at half. I'm reluctant to let this out to the world, since this is a blog, yet no one ever really reads it, except for a few people (thanks for reading, if you're one of them) that I've overcome being born and spending the first 3 years of my life in Illinois. Man, that's an ugly state. Having grown up 5 miles north of the border, from first hand experience I can say that you can tell when you've crossed over. Chicago isn't too bad, but the rest of the state can't decide what it wants to be.

Anyway, after a home football game, for about an hour, starting about 15 minutes after the game ends, Park Street gets more backed up than the Des Plaines River, 'water on pavement' indeed!, and gobs of people cross it heading east. So that happened like normal, but larger than normal groups of people have been heading north all day. There's also a hockey game one block east of here, too.

Today hasn't been too exciting. I have a single room so, I've, how to say, been alone all day long. It made me think of the Simon and Garfunkel song. I've been rather idle all day. I kind of knew it would happen when I signed up for a single room last year.

Though, it's not completely bad. From Friday afternoon to Saturday night is really the only time of the week when I don't have to do anything so there's plenty of time for reflection. Who am I kidding? By associating with the GOP I've destined myself to a life of solitary money counting in my study. I've never really had to much of what people call "social skills". In fact, in school, I was always better friends with the teachers than with anyone my own age. I attribute that to the fact that neither I nor the teachers were never much into "power rangers". Ugg, how I hated that show. It's still around, in fact.

I don't think I'm such a weirdo. In Walden, Henry David Thoreau writes

Society is commonly too cheap. We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other. We meet at meals three times a day, and give each other a new taste of that old musty cheese that we are. We have had to agree on a certain set of rules, called etiquette and politeness, to make this frequent meeting tolerable and that we need not come to open war. We meet at the post-office, and at the sociable, and about the fireside every night; we live thick and are in each other's way, and stumble over one another, and I think that we thus lose some respect for one another...The value of a man is not in his skin, that we should touch him.

I had to look up the entire quote instead of paraphrasing. I like Henry and philosophy. He also wrote, among other things, about how life is too fast and complicated, and about how we're too materialistic. One of the more interesting things would be how he published Walden in 1854.

How many times have you met someone you knew and this ensued: Hi. How's it going? Fine, and you? Good. ... ... So did you hear about ___ ? Yeah, isn't it crazy? ... ... Well, I'm going to be late. See you later. Bye. I hate when that happens.

Without a cell phone I live a simple life. I'm all of about 10 people here at the UW without one. For people my age, what seems to be the main point of a phone? Scheduling musty cheese exchanges. Henry stresses quality over quantity.

Another quote I like is by Ben Franklin who said "Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none."

I started writing this post after arriving back from dinner at the cafeteria. There's a lot of musty cheese in there. People have the most empty conversations. I can tell, because I eat alone so I hear other people. Probably the most empty one was one girl to another: "Oh my God, how do you get your hair like that?" The other then went on to explain how.

Since it's Halloween, for the last few days people have been 'dressing up'. In other words, the freshmen are even more annoying than usual. Some people actually try, the best one I've seen was a black guy with a wig in a suit and those funky sideburns dressed up as Jules from 'Pulp Fiction'. It was pretty good. Tonight, I was in line behind half a dozen goth punk emo pirates. Putting on black clothing and pirate bandannas doesn't count as anything. Then when I sat down, some guy a few tables away had a porn-star handlebar mustache.

Then I came back and wrote this. I don't know what to do. I refuse to study on a Saturday. I've done all I feel like doing for the paper this weekend. I've found a new hobby in making filler pictures for the Beacon. I also get to work on my Adobe skills. I've got a good handle on Photoshop and InDesign, so now I'm working on Illustrator. I've developed a new title style, but it's a secret, for the paper. Hopefully, the next time we change looks, they'll consider it. I'm now working on choosing a new font scheme. Futura for the headlines would go along well with the title, I think, if you want a hint. I like it because both look sharp, modern, new, and strong. I haven't really decided on the body text, it ought to remain serif, though. I've found that I really enjoy doing design and layout. That with Adobe are valuable skills for an engineer.

Another ambulance just went south on Park. People are probably getting plastered all around the city tonight.

I expect the Halloween to be a flop this year. I can't imagine people paying to go on a street. People just want to get pepper sprayed by the cops. The young liberals just need to practice their solidarity against reason. This is getting long; I ought to wrap it up. SNL comes on at 10:35, but it's really crappy this year. And I'm not procrastinating so I can't think up any fake news now.

Wednesday, October 25

Glorious Day for DFPPPMPF

Capital City-Today at 12:33:18 pm, the DFPPPMPF passed glorious milestone. Thanks to excellent guidance of great ruler and DFPPPMPF chairman for infinity, Mike, the "Dial F for Fay" weblog received two thousand visitor.

A capitalist computer from ISP 216.79.193.#, or the notorious 'Guildford County Schools' in Greensboro, North Carolina, of loaded this world wide website. After do searching of 'mcdonalds versus subway statics', the imperialist engine of search Google sent.

This glorious achievement only further proves success of the Dial F People's movement against Wisconsin's tyrannous methods of manifestation.

In a national celebration, day of holiday was declared. Handle of national record player was cranked 9 and 5/8 times anti-clockwise allowing assembled Capital City residents to hear the first three songs of superb state band Beat-L's newest record, Comrade Paprika's Joyful Hearts Co-op Association.

Speeches were given. Cork popped loudly.

In honor of great achievement of organized workers of Dial F People's Progressive Party Movement Progress Front (DFPPPMPF), our brothers and sisters of the happy factory products making were gave 5 minutes of lunch. However, lunch was not provided and noble workers donated labour back to the peoples in honour of Great Leader.

Other news, DFPPPMPF reminds people that strife does not go unrewarded. State parliament decreed additional pound of mud and small rocks to each family from recent excess due to great progress in shovel technology which greatly expanded mud and small rock reserves.

Monday, October 23

Gubernatorial Grudge

This photo of the last governors debate was on the front of one of our student newspapers today.

After watching the evolution of the campaigns as they've gone downhill mudslinging over the past several months, I'm rather surprised to see that they allow them to get within 100 yards of each other. On the left, is our darling Doyle and on the right is potential Governor Green. Don't they look cute? What the heck is up with Doyle? That look on his face is indescribable. Is it just me or does he look like the Grinch?

Governor Steals Christmas
December 26, 2006

Madison, WI (AP)-Yesterday, children all across the Badger state woke up to find barren living rooms. Parents were instantly put on the spot as to why promised presents were no where to be found. Though the victims were all children, the dastardly deed has been mitigated by the fact that the alleged acts appear to have been perpetrated proportionately across all demographics.

Rumors currently circulate across the state as to where the gifts have gone. A crucial clue is this home security camera evidence in the image to the right. Additionally, more than a few people have noticed an influx of new items on Ebay for sale with "free gift wrap" being sold by user "bigjim".

As time passes, it seems more and more likely that the governor has some explaining to do. A likely motivation is the need to find large amounts of money with which to pay Wisconsin's huge debts up through fiscal year 2006 created by the lack of foresight by the governor...

And as you can see, Christmas 2006 wasn't pretty. Or how about this, while I'm making up fake news:

Groundswell of Support in Touchy Pay-to-Play Issue Thrusts Governor Confidently Ahead in Debate
October 23, 2006

Madison, WI-

How's that for a Photoshop quickie? I think the story writes itself. Happy Voting!

Wednesday, October 18

Quit Stalin and Show Us Your Marx

An interesting study is on CNN today. It indicates that when it comes to math

happiness is overrated, says study author Tom Loveless.

(that's the direct quote, I swear)

In a nut shell, the United States is producing tons of students that feel good about math but can't actually do it.

Hopefully this is the start of showing that making kids happy instead of actually teaching them things in school is the wrong way to go about educating. Of course, it is good in moderation, in fact the best teachers find the right dose. But public education in general needs to take its focus off not damaging fragile little people's self image and actually teach stuff. It's come to the point where some teachers grade papers in purple instead of red, hoping not to hurt feelings.

In the 15 years since I embarked down the long and winding road known as public education, I've seen math go down the tubes. For instance, in 3rd grade we had to do multiplication tests every week and there was one clear winner. (Some little kids sports, like soccer, don't even keep score anymore.) By the time my siblings were in school, the schools had phased in new flashy color textbooks full of what I like to call "communist math". In reality, it was "Chicago something-or-other math". But kids were nearly able to get away with saying 2 + 2 = 5. As long as they feel good about themselves!

Instead of teaching kids the foundations of math to build upon in the future, they showed kids how to use calculators instead and confused the crap out of them by randomly "introducing" advanced concepts, like variables, in grade school. In a normal college, granted they've made it to one, calculators aren't allowed in math! How will they integrate when they can't multiply? How are they going to go to the store and guestimate how much they'll spend or do everyday estimations as adults?

In high school, I learned the most in the classes that graded the hardest. For example, in an English class where the teacher wasn't afraid to give low grades, the possibility of getting low grades and the potential to get a good one motivated me to read the books, try harder, and seek out strategies to make myself a better writer or else I had to convince myself that the big red 'F' stood for 'Fay'.

Tuesday, October 10

the Beacon: Shining Brightly (like North Korea)

Hi everyone, I'd like to post more often but I'm in the middle of midterms right now.

Be sure to check out this week's Mendota Beacon, (in PDF)! I'm pretty proud of it. I wrote the editorial for this issue. I'm also working on making filler pictures so keep your eyes peeled for those. Let me know what you think about it.

In the meantime, this is absolutely hilarious:

By the way, when I do get posting again, I'm going to try to be funny about it. I've already thought up some things.