This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This is Epth Nation 2.0

I'm excited about this announcement -- The content of This is Epth Nation is moving! Now, don't worry, all the old posts will still exist at the new server,! However, all the new posts are going to be exclusively at the NEW site. That's the bad news. This post will be here indefinitely to point you to the new site, so don't get your pantaloons in a wad. Just update your bookmarks (or keep coming here and clicking on the link). Some of the new site's features are:

Not going down when Blogger gets denial-of-service attacked!
Better comments, with real moderation!
No *&$#! comment spam or post verfication words!
A better e-mail address --!
Post Categories! It will probably take me a year to categorize all my old posts! Yay!
A real RSS feed!
A better search function!
An endless array of colorful templates I can search through until I find the right one!
The cache' of going to an actual "epthnation" domain!
Static "Pages" I can use to write messages to you, my loyal readers!
And much, much more!

Remember, that's You can also type and get the same effect. It's awesome! Let me know how you like the new colors, and if I need to change them. I'm not good at those kind of decisions. I need the web equivalent of an interior decorator.

I'm really excited about this, except for the categorizing posts part...

Chris Rock's Mom Sues for Discrimination

Check this story out: Chris Rock's mom is suing Cracker Barrel Hick Restaurants, Inc., after she and her daughter waited 1/2 hour to be served. Here's the relevant CNN article. It's hard to know which paragraphs to reproduce here, because they're all so much fun. ex)
Cracker Barrel has in the past faced numerous lawsuits and a federal inquiry over complaints of refusing to serve black customers, discriminating against minority workers and firing gay employees. The company has taken steps to rebuild its folksy image and reach out to minorities.
Clearly Cracker Barrel has a problem with discrimination, with it being so "folksy" and all. Is it really still being run by hick farmers? Is it really a place of rampant discrimination? Well, let's see what happened to Rose Rock and her lovely daughter...

Rock, who is from Georgetown, said she and her 21-year-old daughter were the only blacks at the chain's Murrells Inlet restaurant in April. She said when she asked the manager about the delay she was told they could have a free meal.

"He never called over the waitresses and asked, 'Why did these people sit here for a half hour without service?' " she said. "The only thing he said was we could have a free meal and neither of us wanted to eat."

What does this tell us? Rose Rock went into that restaurant looking for racism, and was fortunate enough to find the appearance of it. Her quote seems to suggest she wanted the manager to dress down the waitstaff in front of her, to satisfy her righteous lust for blood. SHE GOT A FREE MEAL, FOR PETE'S SAKE. The manager correctly resolved the problem, as far as I'm concerned. So why does she think she was discriminated against? People fail to get service at restaurants all the time. And by people I mean me. If you don't alert the waitstaff to your presence after about 10 minutes, then that's on you, buddy. This is America. You can demand satisfaction here, and most places will give it to you, even if you're not white.

The problem with the CNN story is the reporter was too busy calling the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission and other unrelated people to get the actual important details, such as:
Was it really a half-hour, or was it a "customer service" half-hour (which is really more like 15 minutes)?
Did numerous waitresses pass her table? If so, did they sneer or scowl at her? Did she sneer or scowl at them?
Does she have a history of not tipping at this restaurant? Did she act all bitchy when she was seated, or did she appear to be a normal customer?
Has this happened to her before at this restaurant? At other restaurants?
Did she make contact with the waitresses at all before going to the manager? Did she look around in the distance, trying to make eye contact with a restaurant employee (which is the universal sign for "we need service here")?
Did the manager apologize? Was his tone harsh? Did he seem uninterested in her plight?
Were any other (white) customers receiving bad service at this time?

Now, it's not all the reporter's fault. Cracker Barrell has probably forbidden any waitresses or the manager from speaking with the press, and at this late date there's no way to find any of the other customers or eyewitnesses to the situation. So it's basically a he-said she-said thing, and the only way the truth will come out is if there's a real investigation or some kind of "deep throat" informant comes forward. Until then, the people that assume racism will say she needs to stand up for her rights, and the people that assume non-racism will shake their heads and wonder why she didn't just take the free meal.

And until Cracker Barrel is renamed to White Person Barrel, this will probably keep happening.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Top 10 Things I Experience at my Job as a Computer Human

10) Gay porn pop-ups. Yick.

9) "Windows in Spanish" that customers would like switched back to English because some evil Mexicans changed it without their consent. I'm not kidding.

8) Going into a high-rise office building (dealing with getting there, parking, and going up the complicated elevator system), only to find out that the computer is at the customer's house.

7) Walking through 1-foot wide carved-out paths in people's homes to get to their computers, since they have too much junk lying around because of "flooding" three months ago. But it was like that before the flood. Who do they think they're fooling?

6) The utter uselessness of McAffee anything and all Norton products besides Corporate Antivirus. I'm serious here. Zone Alarm, too. They're like a punch to the face, these products.

5) Being shown 100 pictures of a mourning dove a customer nursed back to health. My mother hates mourning doves, and therefore so do I.

4) The evil SpySherriff, who is out to make all computer humans look bad. Can't we find something to defeat him?

3) 1st and 2nd-graders who will click on everything in front of them even after you tell them 5 times not to touch the mouse. And then there's the white kid with the afro who looks stunned by know, that was probably me 28 years ago. Only I had a bowl cut.

2) Driving through Highland Park and University Park and dealing with 3 construction crews on every block, stylish moms crossing streets without looking, numerous lawn-care people with their pickup trucks pulling giant metal cages, school zones, and stop lights every 10 feet. Somebody should scatter these white people. I hear Oak Cliff needs some.

1) People who think they know more than their friendly neighborhood computer human, but don't know anything they haven't read online, and we all know how accurate that ON THEM!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Another Test in Ubuntu

Let's go back to geeky things, since my beloved wife deemed the last post the "gayest post ever." She clearly knows nothing of the ways of love.

I'm using the Ubuntu (there's that word again) "post blog entry" program, which supposedly can post via the blogger API. That would be pretty awesome, except the only buttons I have to format text are bold, italics, and add link.

I really don't use much more than that. Maybe I should start. It would clearly make me a better blogger.

I suppose I should have mentioned that this was only a test before I started rambling. Well, the italics work...

Skimming the Top of Interesting Waters

Take a look at this count-pointercount in Forbes magazine, where a nice guy named Michael Noer gathers a bit of sociological data, organizes it, and uses it to advance the conclusion that mean who marry "career women" are unhappier than those who marry..."non-career women," I guess. I hope he has his flame-retardant suit on, because those career women can type (or have someone type for them), and they aren't happy. In fact, they wouldn't let Mr. Noer even post his article without a poorly thought out response right next to it that doesn't even address his main point. Elisabeth Corcoran starts out by attacking men who are stupid, and blaming them for the foibles of career women. Her message seems to be "Become better men, and then career women won't be unhappy with their lot in life or blame you for not making enough money or cheat on you with some high-toned lawyer with slicked-back hair and a $1,000 suit." Can you see how this doesn't really help?

So she's dumb, but he is too...what he's trying to do is pretty awful, getting men who are dating successful women to think twice about marrying them (and getting men who are married to them to feel resentful, for that matter). The unfortunate message of his piece is that career women have something inside them that makes them worse wives. He then backs up his message with "scientific" data. That's the problem with social science -- there's no accounting for the individual woman, or the personality change.

I'd like to make the obvious point that each individual marriage is unique, and doesn't necessarily conform to the sociological data. In fact, if you are deciding whom to marry on the basis of sociological data, you deserve to get divorced. Whatever happened to falling in love and then committing yourself to that person? Is that no longer a good idea? I know we all get caught up in having the best possible life at all times, but is there no room for real Marriage anymore?

The sad fact is that she makes a lot more sense than he does, especially when she talks about how marriages work because of sharing and sacrifice and all sorts of other values we were supposedly learning in preschool. Marriage is a big step, but it's a step that has to be made in the dark, and with a willing heart. It's scary, but it's supposed to be. Find a woman you love, and then...

Wait. Is the problem that most men today are incapable of true love? Hmm.