I've officially reached overflow. I've always tried to return all e-mails within a day, and that's a hopeless cause. Both personal and work e-mails have grown to the point of no return. If you're awaiting a response from me, mea culpa.

New Star Trek trailer

Star Trek: Nemesis is the title.
[Heh heh: here's that terrible trailer for Swimfan which I saw before Minority Report]

Chow Chou

Linda treated me to a great dinner at Restaurant Zoe Tuesday night. Odd, seeing Linda and Scott in the space of a week when I hadn't seen either of them in ages. Linda is practically married, still as giggly as ever. Those early days living with Linda, Nick, Joel, and Neil--it's amazing to think of myself first setting foot in Seattle, naive, bright-eyed, clueless. Seems like just yesterday and yet I'm ages away from that guy.

Command us, leader

One memorable headline from The Onion read: "Oprah Viewers Patiently Awaiting Instructions".
I'm reminded of that in the wake of Oprah's announcement that she was effectively ending her Oprah book club because a handful of media outlets have jumped in to fill the void. USA Today, Live with Regis and Kelly, Today, and Good Morning America. Despite the proliferation, they've still been influential. Good Morning America recommended Ann Packer's The Dive from Clausen's Pier and it shot to #1 at Amazon.com.
Do people really need guidance on what to read, and do these organizations hold some credibility in that area? Do people really care what Regis is reading? We're all robots. Maybe we just want to read what everyone else is reading so we feel like part of a community, or so we have someone to discuss the book with. I've never been part of a book club, so I don't know. The last time I had to read something in a group setting was in college, as homework.

Pledge of Allegiance

A Federal Appeals Court ruled that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in schools is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. This could affect nine states in the United States. Basically, the ruling hinged on the words "under god" added by Congress in 1954. Of course, politicians everywhere wrung their hands and decried this ruling. A whole bunch of Congressman from the House gathered outside the Capitol to recite the pledge in a show of support (an event which sounds humorously melodramatic). The politically safe thing, of course, is to assume the public will be outraged, so it's not surprising that all the politicians quickly denounced the decision.
It all seems like a lot of hubaloo about nothing. I bet if you ask the people who are most affected by this, the kids, they'll say that reciting the pledge has no influence on their religious beliefs. Some people in this country believe in God, or a god of some sort, and plenty do not. We generally get along okay.
I suggest "One nation, under Oprah."
Or "One nation, under Oprah, powered by Microsoft Windows, drinking Coca Cola."

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Salon.com auditors have raised doubts about Salon's ability to survive. That saddens me immensely. Salon is a daily read for me, and it should be for you as well. It's a clever mix of Wired, the NYTimes, Entertainment Weekly, People, and your average relationship/sex advice column, all in one. I purchased a Premium subscription a while back and encourage all of you to do so as well, so Salon doesn't go away. Otherwise we'll be left with a whole slew of
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Would love to see warchalking take off in the U.S. I imagine a day where I'll walk around town, flipping my Powerbook open anywhere and picking up the Internet through Wifi. It may yet happen, a revolution driven a series of passionate early adopters. Unlikely, but it would be fantastic.

Nickel and dimed

Wal-Mart, the modern sweatshop? Among my friends who know, it certainly has that reputation.
Of course, the whole 40 hour thing isn't unique to low-wage jobs. When I was in consulting, we always booked 40 hours to the client each week, even though we worked about twice that, not including hours of travel.

Yeah, but it all gets re-invested in new DVDs

I listed about 20 DVDs for sale on Amazon.com through our Marketplace service and I've sold almost all of them in the past 2 weeks. All y'all should be selling stuff on Amazon as well. I don't know anyone who doesn't have some used books or CDs they'd love to get rid of and make some cash.

And four great beasts came up from the sea...

All this terrorist talk has the public contemplating Apocalypse. Websites track apocalyptic news and events. It all has me feeling alternately helpless/depressed and bold/reckless from day to day.