Friday, July 30, 2004

Much has been written all over the web about the acceptance speech last night. Even I found myself tuning in for the majority of it, as I sat drybushing matchstick fence rails.

Scary stuff. I had of course heard before that Kerry was the most liberal senator in congress, but not knowing his record in detail I thought it might be somewhat exaggerated to energize the Republican base. After seeing his acceptance speech though, I'm convinced that the "most liberal" descriptor is not hyperbole... I think he's about as close to a Stalinist as one could be while holding public office in the US.

To rip off Dr. Suees --
Oh, the things that the government will do for you!

Health care for everyone!
College for everyone!
Manufacturing jobs for everyone!
High tech jobs for everyone!
Head start programs for everyone!
After school programs for everyone!
Cradle to grave care for everyone!

And guess what, all this will happen, while cutting taxes for low and middle income folks! It will all be paid for by taxes on people who make over 200,000 a year and by companies... like drug companies who will no longer be able to evil-y "profit" from sales of drugs to sick people.

Oh yeah, and the budget will be balanced, and deficit reduced.

Not to mention the thought that must strike fear into the mullahs' hearts... that nothing will stop John Kerry from responding if we get attacked...
Comforting thought... New York has a suitcase nuke go off, no one knows from whence it came, and John John Kerry will respond... he'll respond!

So... you don't have to say you're going to vote for Bush.... I know alot of you wouldn't want to come out publicly and say that you're going to vote for a fellow so often protrayed as a maroon... but when you get into that booth come November... do you want the Fed to provide your butter and leave you to scrounge for guns, or do you want Uncle Sam to take care of the guns while you work on churning your own butter...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The other night I was bothered by a lone musca domestica in my apartment. Now, in working regularly with mosquitos I think I've become quite adept at killing flying insects. I'm to the point where I can grab mosquitos out of the air with one hand. But this particular fly was much faster and more maneuverable than any mosquito. He seemed to circle me as I sat painting. Swatting would only drive him away temporarily, and I didn't have the speed to smash him between two hands.

I moved to my bedroom from my living room, closing the door after me... I figured the fly would remain in the other room, after all, why would it be interested in me? It's not anthropophagous after all. Well, a few minutes later I noticed the thing buzzing around me again... it seemed to be making circles of about 2 yard diameter around me.

Finally I got the bright idea to go into my bathroom... presuming the fellow would follow me. It did, and I closed the door behind me. Now I was on favorable ground. The uniform light colored walls and shower curtain offered now camoflage to the dark-colored fly. Also, the small room gave me better aural ability to track his movement. I waited, rolled-up hand-towel in hand. Shortly the fly tired of flying and alighted on the door frame.


On quick motion of the wrist and the fly was on the ground, buzzing erratically. Must have been in shock. One piece of toilet paper later, and the little fellow was on his way down to the sewer.

So, remember if you are being harassed by a fly, go to a small light-colored room, and strike with a whip-like motion using any available material. That should shock the fly sufficiently to allow easy collection and disposal.

Monday, July 26, 2004

I was fortunate enough to have the chance to see one of my good friends from high school this weekend. He was in town for musical trade show, since he works for a custom guitar company. We ended up going to see some music at "The Basement", a little bar and venue that is indeed as the name suggests, a basement. The show was ostensibly a showcase for some of the company's (some free advertising, the company is US Masters) instruments. Essentially a group of musicians kept swapping places on stage, with three or four people on stage at once. The bass player was quite spectacular, and one of the guitarists as well was really fun to watch. What amazed me most however was how this group of folks who did not usually play with each other were able to just get on stage, and after exchanging a word or two about key and tempo just start playing and sound really good together. I guess a good rhythm section lets you do that.

Sunday night we got together for a while to chew the fat. I was shocked to learn about how many people were already married or soon to be... I guess it shouldn't have been that shocking considering the number of contemporary couples I know from NU.

I was also promised a cd of the band's new work... that should be very exciting to hear... I still remember the cassette tape copy I got of their Middleton high school studio mix...

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Alright, I've been playing around with the template to try and integrate blogspot with the new sight design... things look ok thusfar, but there are some more tweaks I want to apply before I'm finished... it's just that I'm going to go home now, so no more tinkering for the moment... so if you see anything that looks wrong or bad, hopefully it's something that I'm going to get to presently.

Have a good friday night people... and... let's be careful out there.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Alright, a promise of site update actually kept!

You can see the template for the new site design at this location.

Pretty nice eh?

Now all I need to do is create some actual content... might be a bit harder...
An interesting paper on the influence of weblogs on politics and political discourse (Msr. Wacklawski in particular may find it interesting) by a couple of professors piqued my interest. You can see the pdf version here if you have acrobat reader.

Hopefully the blogosphere will have enough influence to force the old-media to cover the story of how the former National Security Advisor is either criminally incompetent or an incompetent criminal (or both). If you don't know to what I'm referring, then just head over to Instapundit, hit "ctrl+F" and type in "Berger", and read every post that comes up.

Also, in the process of designing a new website for the lab, I've finally got a new personal site design that I like, and will hopefully post it before next week. Look forward to it.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Chapman brothers just keep chugging along, turning out more amazing work... it's like it never ends...

I mean, who better to direct an experimental film than Strong Sad??

In other news, ever since perhaps the end of elementary or the beginning of middle school I've been possessed of a certain "nervous" habit... I pick at my finger nails...

Now, of all bad habits to have, this is certainly no where near the worst... it doesn't involve finding veins or crooked physicians. It is however something that I would rather not do than do... I mean, it doesn't really serve an edifying purpose. I've prayed about it on occaision, and I've attempted to do something about it on occaision, and I think I've even done both at once on at least one occaision.

Well, this week, for the first time in quite a while I had to use that venerable old example of a compound lever, the nail clippers. For some reason my nervous habit has just stopped.

I think that God is trying to give me some cheap encouragment about his ability to change me... that's about the only explanation I've come up with so far... not that I'm complaining... I've given him a bit of thanks. So, if you're concerned that something you don't like about your conduct is never going to change... well, I can't actually promise that it will change, but, the possibility of change is definitely greater than zero.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

It's time to return to my roots, and put to html some actual olde-fashioned narative of events as they happened.

Friday evening Mr. Tea came into town, and after forcing him to ride a bus to meet me in the boondocks known as "Economy Parking" we headed into town. Miss Yao would be joining us for dinner. We supped at the now sole extant Korean restaurant in Nashville. I'm somewhat worried that it won't be extant for much longer. The food was fine, but business did not seem to be booming. Hopefully they can survive on the business of Vanderbilt's Korean population...

Saturday we went to the zoo. I was dismayed to find that we had to pay to get admitted to the zoo... back home it was always free... All was forgiven though since I got to see some monkeys and other primates. What seemed really strange to me was how open many of the animal habitats were to the outside. There was one group of tropical birds that had nothing enclosing them whatsoever.... I wondered whether they were using the invisible fence system of classical conditioning. Anyhonw, we left in a sudden and ferocious downpour...

Saturday night featured supping at a German restaurant... we first tried one downtown, but we found the menu a bit... not-so-German... there was a blue ribbon chickon and there was no sausage at all! I understand that the Krauts occupied France last century, but I don't think they gave up their brats when they did so. Besides that the atmosphere of the restaurant was somewhat crypt-like... definitely catering to the city's AARP crowd. Thankfully Di had researched an alternative venue, and at her suggestion we decided to try it out. It was a big improvement. Live music, flowing libation, sausage and schnitzel. And to top it off the prices were cheaper too...

It was a nice visit overall, and most refreshing to see Mr. Tea, after an absence (excepting the wedding) of about a year. My apartment is definitely no Kemper...

Thursday, July 08, 2004

A lesser man might feel like less of a man having been in my shoes for the past few weeks.

Me, I'm stuck being... not at peace... at least it doesn't feel entirely peaceful... resolved would be a better description.
I am at least glad at the order in which these losses were revealed to me. The other way around could have been much more painful I think. There would invariably been some residual doubt about the true reason... emotional doubt though hopefully not cognitive doubt.

On the other hand, (or hands) it seems quite likely that I am getting something returned to me after a long absence. I won't jinx the process at the moment, but if things hold for the next few weeks then I'll let you know.

Anyhow, off to the physician.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Can I post something new from this blasted mac?
It seems that I can indeed post something new from this blasted I might as well post.

A couple of nights ago I noticed the cicadas. I'm not sure whether they've been around for longer than a few days and I just noticed them, or whether they are only now emerging. If the former, then they are really not as impressive as I imagined. Yes, they're louder than the crickets. But I was expecting a noise that would penetrate the walls of my apartment and rattle the drywall whilst keeping me awake. This noise was hardly noticable unless you wanted to notice it. Even walking on campus at night time there was not the deafening din I expected. Perhaps more are coming... or perhaps this is all of them.... we shall see.

In other news, bridges that were built before the advent of the interstate highway system are scary as heck. Last weekend I drove up to Murray to spend a night at Carl's parents' home. I ended up taking US 86 and KY 94 west from I-24 through the "land between the lakes". Basically the area of operations for the 1862 Fort Henry/Fort Donelson campaign during the civil war... although at that time it was really only the "land between the rivers", since TVA wasn't going to be around for another 80 years or so. Anyhow, KY94 is a nice two lane highway, and so were the bridges over the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Except... they were rather narrower than the road... if not narrower they at least did not have shoulders.

Have you ever been standing on the observation deck of a tall building, or perhaps the edge of the Grand Canyon or some other scenic precipice and gotten a little chill running down your spine that has made you step away from the edge? That's the type of feeling I got on the drive over the first of the bridges. On the way home though I comforted myself with the thought of how similar the bridges looked to a certain bridge located in a town called Nijmegen. That was rather interesting I thought, and certainly helped to date the bridges.

Anyhow, the Gustafsons were gracious and charming hosts, cooking us meals and deserts, and then allowing us to gorge ourselves on strategy gaming on the dining room table. As I said... gracious. I'm planning one more weekend visit up there before Carl goes to grad school, and hopefully we'll get to play around a bit with the long anticipated "Fire and Fury" ACW ruleset.

There is rather a lot of other stuff on my mind this week... mortality, morality, discipline, discipling... can't talk about some of it at the moment... Some things are in holding pattern, some are advancing, others are withdrawing. I'm just waiting it out at this point, although I'm going on with those things I think I should. How's that for cryptic?

One parting thought though...
Is it just possible that discipline in one area can have an effect on other totally unrelated areas?
I think that just might be possible...