gurdymonkey: (gurdymonkey2)

This is one cup of uncooked rice.*

I am not going to dump it over my head or dare you to. That would be wasteful and stupid.
I'm also not going to employ upon you peer pressure tactics I thought we'd all left behind in sixth grade. I respect
you too much.

A masu was the amount of rice needed to feed one person for a day in feudal Japan. That's approximately 2 1/4 cups - enough to fill this measuring cup not quite to the brim.  If you've ever cooked rice, you know that this would cook up to more than seven cups. Supplement with greens or other vegetables and a bit of fish or some beans and suddenly the humble masu seems like a realistic measure after all.

In modern currency, a pound of rice costs about a dollar, maybe more if it's a fancy variety. $20 is the going rate for a 20 pound bag of Botan Calrose rice at Walmart.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a nasty thing and if you choose to donate, that's great. The thing is, your donation won't cure ALS tomorrow. Some day, maybe.

But you could feed someone right away. A lot more people are relying on food banks now than have ALS, and food banks can stretch your donation dollar to as much as three times its size. That's pretty impressive. has a state by state listing to help find your local food banks. serves 11 Northern California counties.

If you've read this far, thank you.

*(And me in my dorky reading glasses.)
gurdymonkey: (Default)
A year or so ago, likely as a result of my ticket having been switched from one airline to another, I got selected for "special" screening at Baltimore Washington International Airport, where I was sketchily patted down by a grandmotherly woman half a head shorter than I am. When I got home I discovered a form letter inside my checked luggage informing me it had also been searched. 

Some of you may recall that I ran into a friend at the airport a couple weeks ago as he checked my ID at the security gate. Instead of going home at the end of his shift, he bought a tepid pizza chain pizza at airport prices so he could sit with me until my flight boarded.

Let's try to remember that TSA agents are people too. For every one whose bad behavior/inadequate training/lack of clue hits the internet and goes viral, there are a lot more of them who are just trying to do their jobs. Jobs that involve dealing with large numbers of cranky members of the general public, their children, their strollers, their wheelchairs, their personal belongings and frequent procedure changes. Think about how bad your work-day gets when you have to deal with just one difficult person. Then do the math.

By all means, stay informed. Question the infringement of your rights and privacy. Know what you can and should do if you have to fly. (Here's a guide from the ACLU that was posted just this week.) Protect yourself and your kids.

Pester the people who CAN do something about it. Your elected congresspersons and senators and the Department of Homeland Security:
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Ganked in its entirety from [ profile] sarahbellem , who writes: 

"So... Apparently, a member of LJ staff has commented on the epic thread of hate going on over on [info]news. This so far is the only comment from a (supposed?) member of the LJ team regarding the pingback/crossposting features:

I've already voted in
this poll, which the staffer suggests everyone do. So, if you haven't come across this post (buried on page 91 of the comments in the [info]news entry), please go and vote now.

Over 5,500 comments on the original thread... Hopefully someone is starting to get the idea that this is not exactly a feature the majority of LJ users want.

Spread the word on the poll."

Thanks, Sarah. Word has been duly spread.
gurdymonkey: (thought)
This was prompted by a discussion over on [ profile] callistotoni 's journal about the aging of the SCA and what to do about attracting new blood.

The ranty )

Accordingly, I just sent the following to the kingdom webminister: 

The polite suggestion )

 In other, completely unrelated news, a real human being with a name and everything emailed me back from Campmor to inform me that they would be happy to accept my Visa gift card. Even with shipping, I'm spending somewhat less for the identical merchandise than I would if I bought it from REI, minus the aggravation. I've got a nice 0 degree sleeping bag and a lightweight, packable tea kettle on order. Even if the bag only gets used at Estrella, it'll be worth not lying awake, teeth chattering and counting the minutes until dawn like I did last winter.

gurdymonkey: (pissed)
Shamelessly lifted from [personal profile] sasha_khan . Pass it on!

Here's the story:

Professional musician Dave Carroll had his Taylor guitar destroyed by United Airlines'  luggage monsters. They denied responsibility. Caroll promised to write and produce three songs about it and post them to YouTube. One down, two more to go.

gurdymonkey: (pissed)
The Amazon Rank Google bombing thing, I mean. Good LATimes article shamelessly ganked from karisu-sama because it bears reading.

However, did you know that if you hunt around their website long enough, you actually CAN find a way to contact will get you in if you don't have an account. If you do, sign in here so they know you're someone who spends money with them.

If you think their removal of sales rank data smacks of censorship, TELL THEM. Nuthin' says lovin' like a flood of email from disgruntled customers. It's easy: 


Your policy of removing rank information from certain publications smacks of censorship and unfair business practices.

I will be buying my books elsewhere until this ludicrous practice ceases.

Thank you for your attention,

Maybe if they get enough of these tying up their customer service e-mailbox, it'll do some good.

EDIT the first: This just in. Uh huh.

EDIT the second: in response to my e-mail, time stamped 9:29 PDT:
 "Thanks for contacting us. We recently discovered a glitch in our systems and it's being fixed".


gurdymonkey: (Default)

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