moses galore

i developed a hella sore throat while at work this afternoon, and i feel the familiar heavy tiredness now. it’s time for my next cold. i think i would like to request a bubble to live in. maybe i should seal myself into my house with duct tape, after a visit to Costco. If i plan it right, i could probably stay in the house for the rest of winter.

in other news, i have decided that my cat’s designation is One of One. This is related to the fact that i circumvented Netflix’s insistence on sending me things other than Voyager by moving the “long wait” disc to the bottom of my queue. I also took a break from sending movies back for about a week, and I seem to be less throttled now.

don’t. take. the bait.

i’ve got a new phrase for myself: _tear bait._

so many stories of deaths that are heartbreaking, yet do not directly affect me, have come my way in the last week that i have to force myself not to cry. _don’t do it, self. the only connection you have to that cat’s owner is that a former friend once fancied himself her boyfriend, fifteen years ago. you’ve never even met her. don’t cry._

oldest and highest mileage VW diesels sought

“http://www.vwvortex.com/artman/publish/volkswagen_news/article_1907.shtml”:http://www.vwvortex.com/artman/publish/volkswagen_news/article_1907.shtml

SWEET! I can’t wait to see the winners. I know 9Westy isn’t a contender, she only has 120k and is a 1982. I am sure they’ll find something from the first model year sold here, 1977, and diesels are famous for going 300k plus miles on a single engine.

From my experience on the VW diesel message boards, i’m not sure the typical VW diesel aficianado, especially one who drives a 30 year old vehicle, is really going to enjoy driving a Toe-Rag, but hey. The recognition will be great.

news junkie

i’ve been paying a lot more attention to the news. i think it might have to do with the fading of republican control on capitol hill. anyway.

two things read recently that I find disturbing:

“‘Hate Crime’ of Beatings Divides a Campus”:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/27/us/27guilford.html?ref=education

I went to Guilford. It’s a Quaker school. During my brief tenure there, as part of certain required courses that _all_ freshman take, I listened to South African refugees speak about their experiences of being brought to America by the Quakers, and had tea with a Montenyard family whom the Quakers had helped get out of Vietnam. A part of school orientation was to visit an underground railroad stop in Greensboro.

Most Guilford students come to the school seeking an education that includes content about human rights, justice, and activisim. Why else go to what is, frankly, a small liberal arts hippie school?

Apparently the student body isn’t as self-selected as I thought. This incident makes me very sad. I am sure many professors at Guilford are doing some soul-searching right now. That’s just because of the _violence._ If this actually turns out to be a hate crime? This will shake the college to its core.

“Coal-To-Liquid Diesel Fuel: A Bipartisan Issue That Unites Environmentalists With Farmers”:http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/coalto_liquid_f.php#ch01

I know very little about liquid coal fuel, and I’d like to get a more balanced view, but it does not sound like such a hot idea. While I’m glad there are legislators putting forth specific legislation to increase domestic alternative fuel output, this stuff sounds like a _bad_ idea. I know so little about coal, however, so I could be swayed.

I hope that “Obama”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/09/AR2007010901503.html isn’t involved in this because of pressure from coal interests in his state.

BPAL: The Phantom Calliope

bq. _”Ghostly, glowing, sweet and dark: black cherry, patchouli, cassis, cardamom and verbena.”_

Cherry. Yuck. If it weren’t for the cherry this would be pretty fantastic, but cherry either doesn’t agree with my nose or with my skin chemistry. J patiently inhaled my wrist after I tried it, but he agreed: not one of my best. I’ve put the whole bottle up for sale.

j meets the family

it went pretty well. we brought home mad leftovers.

a short time ago, we had this conversation:

l: do you want something more to eat?

j: i was going to have a meat and cheese plate, but you don’t have any meat.

l: ham.

j: i didn’t see any ham in there.

l: the ham we brought home from my mom’s.

j: oh. well i wasn’t going to eat that now because if i eat some now, i won’t want to take any home with me. is that ok with you?

l: sure, that’s fine. i’ll eat it, or make soup or something.

j: now what would be really nice is if she had put some of those little rolls in there too.

l: she did.

j: your mom is a real nice lady.

throttling the icy death falling from above

so _apparently_ over the weekend we’ll be experiencing icy death falling from above, or “frozen white death from above”:http://www.mondomundo.net/archives/006957.php as some prefer to call it. i’ve warned J, but i think he’s going to come visit anyway. in preparation i went to the farmer’s market at lunch and obtained a small pile of nice looking firewood, as well as an obscene number of calories from the seafood restaurant. their hush puppies are really quite remarkable.

i told a co-worker about this adventure later in the day and he said, “you can’t fit a pile of firewood in your car!!” ah, the wonders of the beetle. i believe its curved design fools the eye, and it appears smaller than it actually is. the pile of wood used maybe one-third of the available space in the hatch, and would keep my fireplace going for at least a few days if the worst happens and we lose power.

as for the evil masterminds at netflix and their machiavellian strategies to keep me away from Voyager, well, i have now put other things at the top of my queue. i might as well.

i also called easily a dozen local video stores; none had Voyager for rent. i checked out two other online services, greencine and intelliflix. both have voyager, but greencine is based in california, so shipping time would be a little long, and intelliflix has a slightly scary website, a kind of, “we’re trying way too hard to get your credit card number” sort of site.

so i decided to give “sui_generis'”:http://sui-generis.livejournal.com/ suggestion to use bittorrent further consideration. it appears that i have the _hardware_ to burn a dvd; i’ve also got a copy of osx tiger sitting, un-installed, on my shelf. maybe dvd burning software comes with it? i guess there’s one way to find out.

Throttled!

throttle.gif Ah yes, it has finally happened. Except the way it’s happening is kind of… weird.

I’d heard of the infamous Netflix throttle– it made the news. If you go through a lot of movies in a month, you’ll have far more new releases marked “Very Long Wait” than you did when you were a new user. If you turn your movies in too quickly, the turnaround time starts slowing down.

Over the winter break, I decided to embark on a a Star Trek: Voyager marathon. With seven complete seasons to the show, that’s a lot of hours of tv to watch. I was dismayed to find that my favorite local video store did not have Voyager. Neither does the iTunes music store. And the discs are wildly over-priced (which might explain why the video store doesn’t carry it).

So I turned to Netflix. I loaded my queue with all of the Voyager discs, in order, at the top of the line. I even increased my subscription so I could work through them faster.

This worked great for about a month. Now the turnaround time has slowed down– not a surprise, I guess. But what’s weirding me out is that they keep sending me movies in my queue that are _not_ Voyager. As far as I can tell, they’re going to the movies that are placed right after Voyager, and sending those in order. I’ve got four of these non-Voyager discs in my posession right now, and I’m betting I’ll have a fifth before long.

Obviously, increasing my subscription to five at a time has backfired completely; it just put me on the throttle list that much faster. So i’ll be bumping my subscription back down.

You know, if they want to limit the number of movies I get a month, yes, I wish they’d be more honest about it. I get that they need to make money to stay in business. Why not let me throw scads of money at them for a month or two if I want to rent 24 disc in 30 days? It would still be cheaper than my one other option, buying Voyager.

But it’s absolutely infuriating that they’re sending me movies, just not the ones I’ve said I want. It’s so… lame. What the hell are they accomplishing by doing this? I guess it’s some weird almost passive-agressive way of _sending me a message._ C’mon guys.

So, I dunno what I’m going to do. I might remove everything but Voyager from my queue. I can save a record of it and reproduce it if I want to later. If I had a second mailing address, I could open a completely separate Netflix account and they’d be none the wiser. I could experiment with dividing my queue into two different queues.

Or check with other video stores..

Or decide to stop watching so much tv…