January 17th, 2002



house heater should be working, but isn't.
cable internet should be working, but isn't.
got a ton of email with bad news.
i don't need this.

... at least i only have one class today, and no homework's due. (which is good, because I didn't start to do it until just now)

AT&T can blow me.

Chuck contacted AT&T about getting our cable Internet restored last Friday. I contacted them again today and they're clueless: no record of Chuck giving them his cc info last week, so I gave them mine. Of course, the only way to somewhat promptly contact them is using their online chat tool. The browser shows an encrypted sign ... so it's secure, right? I can safely give them my cc info over it? I start sniffing the network on my Linux box.... nope, there goes our whole chat conversation in plain text. Only the applet loaded securely, and then the applet opened an ordinary HTTP connection back to the secure port.

Fucking lame.

AT&T can blow me.

and heat?!!

and chuck called somebody to ask how to turn on our damn heater. guess there's a tiny black reset button, which he has now pushed.

heat shall be coming shortly.

and sherm and I fixed the paypal issue too it seems.

slowly feeling better. :-)

FM reception

Is there a trick to getting good FM radio reception?

I plugged in some random wires and it sounded like ass, so I went out and bought a $4 "FM Dipole antenna" that looked much like my random wires, and it too sounds like ass.

Is the trick longer/thicker wire? Should I just buy a bunch of speaker wire and run it all over the damn place?

Listening to radio in my room would be neat.

Help me....

What country should I pick that would both be interesting and have enough data available?

My paper topic:
Choose a country, and justify its selection (interest, country typical of similar countries, country different than other countries, etc.). Develop a brief history, regional geography, and demographic profile of the country. Also include a brief health profile of the country, summarizing the major causes of mortality and morbidity in the country. You may also want to consider infant mortality, life expectancy, and other measures. Due on Friday, February 1.

Option 1: do it on some Caribbean island I've visited, knowing that the general health levels are lower there, and there'd be more to write about, but at the risk of it being difficult to find data.

Option 2: do it on Germany, if only for my own curiosity, and as a means to consolidate my studies a little. plus, there'd be a lot of data available, though it's somewhat boring, being a relatively healthy industrialized country. though i suppose one angle of this paper and the following two could be how it contrasts with other equally industrialized countries.

Blah .... I'm only taking this class to fulfill my final writing requirement.