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December 06, 2003

Kahki Study Break

If you were in my position (having wasted way too much study time to really prepare adequately for finals) you might be thinking things couldn't really get much worse in your little world.* But no; it gets worse when you take a silly internet quiz to give your brain a rest, only to find out you're color is Khaki:

You are khaki [#F0E68C]:

Your dominant hues are red and green, so you're definately not afraid to get in and stir things up. You have no time for most people's concerns, you'd rather analyze with your head than be held back by some random "gut feeling".

Your saturation level is lower than average - You don't stress out over things and don't understand people who do. Finishing projects may sometimes be a challenge, but you schedule time as you see fit and the important things all happen in the end, even if not everyone sees your grand master plan.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.

But why is that khaki? I mean, the description seems fine (and fairly accurate, I think), but what's khaki about it? The trouble w/khaki is it's so boring slash military. And speaking of boring, what's the difference between beige and khaki, because to me they look a lot the same, and I just don't want to be beige. Oh, what have I done wrong!? ;-)

So what color are you, then? (You know you want to find out, it only takes 2 seconds.) If that study break won't do for you, type "miserable failure" into Google and spin the "I feel lucky" button. Of course, this google bombing thing can be used for good or ill, but it's fun for the moment, isn't it? And one more study break: StrongBad's Trogdor Email—a friend pointed me to this months ago, but it's even funnier now if you think of one word: The Governator (#81 on the list of 2003's Most Annoying Conservatives). Watch the animation and you'll see what I mean.

* All students and former students: Have you noticed how small your world can get around exam/finals time? Your physical world becomes limited to books, notes, computer, desk, maybe library, maybe coffee shop, but it's your mind that gets really confined, forced to range over a very small and bounded set of material. This is the only situation in which I might wish my mental universe was even smaller, because that would mean less to study! But this is also probalby why I prefer papers to exams as evaluative/pedagogical tools; paper-writing asks you to focus but allows more freedom (generally) in the terrain you travel. . . . I'm glad vacation's coming; I think these travel metaphors suggest I need to get out of this place.

Posted 01:52 PM | Comments (7) |

Winter Finally

For the last two or three days the local media have been giddy with predicitons of winter stormy doom.
Snowy Tree, first snow of 03
Finally, something like said stormy doom has arrived here in DC, although as you can see, it doesn't seem all that doomy.

Still studying. The doom is this: I'm going to spend way too much energy on torts, then fail crim. The solution? I'll just make mediocre effort for them all! [Insert mad scientist evil laugh here. Yes, it's like that.]

Posted 06:57 AM | life generally


If you live in DC, try to avoid shopping at Safeway for a while.

Why? Something like six weeks ago, grocery workers walked out of Vons stores in California after Vons offered them a contract that would effectively eliminate health care benefits for workers over time. Then Kroger and Ralphs stores locked out their employees to show their support of Vons. Isn't it nice to see corporations showing such solidarity? Apparently no grocery corporation in California wants to provide its workers with health care benefits, even though they've all been doing so for decades. The CA Attorney General thinks the grocers are perhaps a bit too solid—he's investigating them for anti-trust violations.

Safeway owns Vons. Safeway has stores all over D.C. Now, the UFCW (Union of Food and Commercial Workers) has expanded its picket lines to D.C. Safeway stores. The union hasn't asked D.C. Safeway employees to walk out—yet. At this point, the union just wants to keep shoppers out of Safeway so that Safeway will understand that it's going to lose more money by fighting the than by simply agreeing to a reasonable contract.

So why are Safeway and its fellow grocery chains fighting so hard to reduce worker benefits? According to the corporations, the reason is . . . Wal-Mart. Safeway argues that because Wal-Mart is a non-union employer (Wal-Mart has a very aggressive union-busting organization that successfully fights every effort of its workers to organize), Wal-Mart can pay workers less (and not provide health care), therefore it can charge less for goods, and therefore it can drive the grocery chains out of business. Welcome to "everyday low prices."

And welcome to The Wal-Martization of America.

Did you hear the one about FAO Schwartz? It declared bankruptcy yesterday:

FAO has been losing money for nine years, battered by the deep-discounting tactics of top toy sellers Wal-Mart and Target.

Hey, look—it's Wal-Mart again! In the 1990s, Wal-Mart, the ultimate "category killer," put thousands of mom and pop stores of all kinds out of business on main streets throughout the U.S. Now Wal-Mart is taking over groceries and toys, even in big markets. What's next?

Posted 05:37 AM | Comments (4) | general politics life generally

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