victor's digital stream of consciousness
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Links priscilla in china!
These are a few of my hot links (veggie, of course).
excerpt from an e-mail: "Idealware March 2005 eNews: MS Office vs. Open Office, and Member Databases"
Microsoft Office vs. OpenOffice.org
by Brett Bonfield and Laura S. Quinn
For a while, Microsoft Office was the only office suite in town.
But in the last couple of years, a viable open source option has
emerged: OpenOffice.org. Should you consider OpenOffice?
Will it makes sense for your organization? What are the
differences between these two office suites?
A Few Good Databases for Membership Organizations (Glaring omission: eBase!)
Membership organizations can have a complex set of database
needs, and there's an equally complex market of tools that
have been designed to meet them. We asked seven nonprofit
technology professionals what membership databases they
Reflecting on Life and its Transformations
This is what I'm going to attempt to follow for the next five weeks! Sound crazy? If you know me well, you'd say, "Yup." However, I am finally making a deliberate attempt at managing and tracking my time. And my health is something I'm increasingly worried about day after day. I just want to make sure I'm doing all I can to stay healthy. And warm...
So, ever since I returned from the Philippines I've been absurdly cold. Right now I'm on the verge of sweating since I've just worked out, the heater's blowing right on me, and I have a sweatshirt on. Oh yeah, I've got two computers working hard on both sides of me. I obviously need a mental break from Bay Area weather.
Well, I guess I should share a few things:
Current Stressor: Job Searching while trying to be deliberate about what process to follow, what to search for, and also while balancing my life.
Current Apprehension: Adjusting to life when Priscilla gets back and how much work there is ahead, both in my professional and personal life.
Current Joy: Fresh Laundry
Don't assume I'm not "joyful" about Priscilla coming back tho... You'd be dead wrong. I need my tummy rubbed like Andy Roddick needs a win. And I've got big ideas for her return. ;)
ta-ta for now
Thanks to E via R for the list of blanks (everything is listed from most recent, where appropriate):
Four jobs you've had in your life:Nonprofit Technology Consultant
Ramp Agent for Southwest Airlines
Linux System Administrator
Filemaker Pro Programmer at CSL
Four movies you could watch over and over:Army of Darkness
Evil Dead II
Back to School (umm, btw, they're making a remake of this movie with Cedric the Entertainer – good GOD that's so WRONG! this movie is SO bad. why the remake???)
Four places you've lived:Oakland, CA
Four TV shows you love to watch (can you tell I don't have cable???):Antiques Roadshow
Everybody Hates Chris
Four places you've been on vacation:San Clemente
Four websites you visit daily:bloglines
the emo song
SNL – the Chronic of Narnia Rap
Four of your favorite foods:Tieguanyin Tea
Chicago Style Stuffed Pizza
Four places you'd rather be:Anywhere but OC
Wherever Priscilla is
Four albums you can't live without:Full Cycle – Through the Eyes
NIN – The Fragile
Fear Factory – Demanufacture
Bad Religion – Suffer
Four magazines you read:VIBE
Three cars you've owned:
1987 Toyota Celica GT-S Sport 2 Dr LiftBack
1981 Volkswagen Pickup
thanks, yet again, to Queenkv for pointing out the quiz site Belief-O-Matic
the following was my result:
The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.
then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common
with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list,
the more closely it aligns with your thinking.
How did the Belief-O-Matic do? Discuss your results on our message boards.
ok, well that explains everything. though, i'm a bit surprised Roman Catholic got *any* percentage.
thanks to Queenkv for pointing out the quiz site which happy bunny are you?
the following was my result:
congratulations. you are the "you smell like butt" bunny. your brutally honest and always say whats on your mind.
which happy bunny are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
speaking of speaking my mind, they used the wrong form of the word "your". it should be "you're". get a life.
anyway, in general, i don't necessarily think i speak my mind in a brutally honest way. i'm usually more calculated. although i suppose tequila changes that pretty quickly...
OO.org 2.0 beta for OS X finally found!!!
here it is:
Free OpenSource Software Mac User Group
culture: fashion, family, friends, isolation
last night we were hanging out with one of priscilla's students turned friend. she's very sweet, has a gorgeous apartment, and was probably the prettiest and most well-styled chinese person (rare!) i've met on my china travels . the magazine China Vogue came into existence this month, which apparently is regarded as a sign of the maturation of china's fashion scene. the chinese director of vogue said that while chinese people are familiar with "quality" brands, china generally has little sense of a true style. I have to agree. by no means do i expect all chinese people to have style, but even the people that can actually buy expensive clothes still generally look bad to me. i know it's probably some side effect of growing up in OC that has brainwashed me, but i really can't help it. fortunately, i don't think i care quite as much as i'm making it look like i do right now, but i had to at least point it out.
anyway, we were all talking (and priscilla was thankfully translating) about differences between chinese and western people in terms of interactions with strangers. in china, strangers generally don't talk to each other unless there's some specific event that occurred to them simultaneously that would necessitate an initiation of contact. and without a specific reason to initiate a conversation, the one who would initiate the conversation would be considered either acting inappropriately or just plain crazy. for example, if a chinese man were to talk randomly to a girl on the bus, it would be perceived as inappropriate and possibly even perverted. even without the potential gender dynamic issues, chinese people would probably consider a random conversation weird or nuts. but, that's not to say that you wouldn't try to at least say hi or strike up a conversation with, say, your neighbor.
on the other hand, western foreigners in xiamen are perceived as more "open" and any contact, random or otherwise, would be perceived as normal. not sure if that's a xiamen thing or not... western foreigners in xiamen are pretty scant, so perhaps this phenomenon would not be quite the same in a place like beijing or shanghai.
this type of thing is interesting to me because i'm constantly feeling as though social norms in the US are increasingly centered around isolation or gathering based on capitalism. everyone is socialized these days to want their own everything: cars, houses, furniture, broadband internet, mobile phones - you name it some company is trying to sell you an individualized something or other. at the same time, we increasingly regard places like starbucks as the place to meet and hang out, rather than a park or a public space. so, even though westerners may appear more "open", to me that's simply a facade that's been built up over time to deal with the already limited interaction that we're getting on a daily basis. we, as humans, still need to interact, so those few moments we get with strangers are treated with a capitalistic approach (i.e., "what can i get out of this?") and with a face that is not truly reflective of the self. at the same time, it's amazing to me that in a country like china, full of potential random interactions with strangers, there's such a stigma attached to those random dialogues. it seems no culture has overcome the dichotomy between isolation and interactoin.
cathay pacific & some US vs. China transportation observations (not reserving judgment, of course)
not being able to use my own headphones to watch their movies during the 13hr flight between san francisco and hong kong
individually wrapping every in-flight magazine in plastic (btw, plastic is the chinese wonder material that everything comes in if they want to convince you that it's sanitary) UPDATE: heather discovered that my copy of the inflight magazine was actually already used, so they re-wrap each magazine for every flight!
providing an in-flight internet service that only allows you to use insecure POP mail with a maximum of 4KB per message (anything past 4KB costs extra)
making unneccessary, loud, lame announcements on the 13hr flight from san francisco to hong kong at random times (exacerbated by the fact that they have to make announcements in two languages)
for some reason, i always had it in my head that cathay pacific was a luxury-style airline where even economy class had you feasting on a fancy, gourmet meal while being massaged to a soft tissue mass. well, 3 flights later i have to say they're better than most but certainly not the well-pampered existence i had (too willingly) anticipated.
here's a pic of my meal on the 1hr flight from xiamen to hong kong:
an interesting sandwich with pork, green onion and mushrooms, fruit (most notably lychees stuffed with pineapple), and a overly sweet not-quite-juice drink. overall not bad, certainly for a 1hr flight. but not "gourmet" as i had imagined all my life.
in general, my complaints about cathay pacific would include:
which leads me to a point about general differences between chinese and us airlines. on xiamen airlines, it felt like i was really on a nice chinese bus with wings. in xiamen, the buses all have tv screens at the front blaring some stupid advertisement or bad, repetetive music. so, it turns out that xiamen airlines does the same shit. they use the little flip-down screens not for movies or news, but for really bad advertising and music. and they insist in blaring the noise over the main speakers for the whole duration of the flight. not only that, but they leave the cabin lights on the whole time. if i had been trying to sleep, i would have been in hell. at least US flights turn the cabin lights off thus leaving it up to you if you want to sleep or stay awake.
which leads me to the point that cathay pacific tries hard to make you conform to their schedule, while united and continental leave it up to you whether you want to engage with their schedule. cathay pacific not only will turn off the cabin lights when they think you should sleep, but they also make you turn off your individual light even in the event that you would, say, want to read a book. then when they want you to eat, the cabin lights go on and they start making blaring announcements. no sleep for you, buddy!
in contrast, any other western airline will turn off all the lights, let you control your own personal reading light when you see fit, and generally will let you engage with their set meal times when you choose to.
to paraphrase keanu reeves (neo) in matrix 2, the problem for chinese airlines, it seems, is choice.
genes of the world?
i'm convinced i'm some sort of ethnic mutt despite my pure chicano heritage. mexicans have always correctly identified me as mexican. i go to lebanon & keep my mouth shut and pass for lebanese. the palestinian owner at burger gourmet in oakland thought i was one of his son's friends. rahul thought i looked like john abraham. michael thought i looked like Imhotep from The Mummy...
the list goes on & on & on...
so, now some random drink vendor in jimei thinks i look like i'm from western china (he said it was the eyes). you decide: