Dec 16, 2008

Five Years? Five Years!

P17225 Five years and five days later, I agree all the more with the Archer Pelican's first post: Worth Doing Poorly.* Hugs to all whose friendships I've enjoyed here in blogland. I love us much.


*and take a look at the URL, which I just noticed.  Heh.

Photo yoinked from PartyDomain.

11:47 PM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (7)

Dec 04, 2008

Technology, Simplicity and Such

Yesterday, I happily acquired a Blackberry Curve with Verizon service.  In the 28 hours since, I've been delighted at the improved reception (over AT&T) and the added functionality.  Though of course I'm still climbing the experience curve.  I barfed up my email sometime this evening and may have nine conniption fits between now and whenever I figure out how to fix it.

Still, I'm pleased.

Now on the topic of technology: Last night at the mid-week Quaker meeting we discussed a Pendle Hill booklet on Voluntary Simplicity.  One of our members commented on his current "need" for a computer, cell phone, and car.  I wholly agreed that these were needs for readily fitting into modern society.  Mind you, (I think) I'd love to not feel the need to fit into modern society.  But I do, thus the stuff.

In other technology-related things -- I think it was nuts for the automaker CEOs to drive from Detroit to DC for their meetings with Congress.  I want them to have every bit of time and space they need for doing what needs done while they're still in charge. Sitting in the passenger seat of a car for 523 miles each way doesn't seem helpful.  And it pisses me off that anyone in Congress might be smiling about it.


p.s thank you to all readers who commented or emailed with thoughts on cell plans.

07:43 PM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (7)

Nov 25, 2008

Hank Paulson and John McGinley -- Separated at Birth?

Tell me I'm not the only one who thinks that Hank Paulson looks a bit like John McGinley (of Scrubs and Office Space fame, and also sadly of the Miller Lite "Taste Commissioner" commercials.)



Second image is from The Mighty God King's veepstakes blog (written before the convention, duh) with pros and cons for various photoshopped candidates.  Here are the MGK's pros and cons for Alice Cooper:

  PROS: will introduce America to desperately needed alternative diets, IE, eating a snake live on stage; no way in hell anybody tries to assassinate Obama now; campaign will be the first campaign in history to have good theme music.  CONS: campaigned against John Kerry in 2004, could depress base; “School’s Out” evidences dangerous potential for interest in school privatization, which could hurt campaign with teacher’s unions; may steal Michelle Obama’s mascara.

11:41 AM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nov 15, 2008

Early, With Beer and/or Slaw


Last night I accidentally showed up two hours early for a party.  The host's home was dark but their next door neighbors were hanging out in their own garage, drinking beer and brewing more, and they invited me to hang with them.

All was well except for the surliness of one of their other guests.  After he made few comments that I couldn't quite tag as racist, rude, or stupid ("shouldn't you be out delivering egg rolls or something?"), he finally told me what was up.  It turns out that he had misheard the introductions and had confused himself into thinking I was a Chinese food deliveryman who was overstaying his welcome.*  After all was sorted out, we were new best friends and we enjoyed the hell out of drinking our host's very hoppy and still green beer ("There's $60 of hops in that five gallon keg") and some exceptional Kentucky bourbon.  Eventually, the correct party started next door and I had a fine time there, as well.

Tonight I drove to Raleigh for the pre-Thanksgiving potluck that my friends Pat and Tim hold every year.  It turns out that I was a week early, but they were home and we had a fine dinner.  I brought coleslaw.  Here's the rough recipe:

1/2 head red cabbage
1/2 head green cabbage
3 carrots
1 medium turnip
2/3 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbs. mayo
powdered ginger

After just a few tries, I haven't yet come to a recipe I like each time (shout out to Dave and Lo for their much better versions), but I'll get there.  Above photo from the first batch I made in Texas.  Keeping an eye on things in Bailey, my cousins' sweet dog.

UPDATE, 10 Feb 09:  I just did a new cole slaw that I like much better than above:

1 small head cabbage (size of a bigger-than-normal grapefruit)
3 carrots
1/3 cup blend of white vinegar, cider vinegar, and raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs. mayo
1 medium red onion
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
black pepper

MUCH better than the earlier recipe


*Mitigating circumstances: I showed up with a plastic bag full of food, not sure of the street address, and asking, "I'm looking for a party hosted by Megan and Christine".  By coincidence, two of the women at this wrong house were also named Megan and Christine.  Etc. etc.

10:42 PM in Misc 2008, Recipes | Permalink | Comments (1)

Nov 12, 2008

Dark Blue, Light Blue, and Other Colors

I have no idea if this will translate to blog, but here's my record of a conversation I had among semi-subtle people on Sunday after church in Durham.  We were talking about a beloved former churchmate who moved to Texas three years ago:

Me:  So while I was visiting with A, she said they might be moving back to the area.  She wants to get her PhD in composition and rhetoric.

Understated Churchpal1:  Gosh, don't we have some schools that do that around here? And aren't some of them pretty good?

Dark Blue Churchpal2:  Well, at least the ones that are spelled with four letters.

Me:  Oh yeah, she's definitely excited about the program at NCSU :-)

Heh.  And no lie.  According to A's husband, the NCSU and UNC programs are much better than the Duke program.

12:14 AM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4)

Nov 10, 2008

"Happy Birthday, I Got a President..."

If I've learned one thing since last year, it's that the internet has many photos of the number "40" but few of the number "41".

Last year on my birthday, I found a nice number "40" and I asked y'all to consider doing stuff.

This year I got a nice new president.  So never mind about the photo.  And never mind about y'all doing stuff.  I'm satisfied.  Thank you!


Speaking of presidents and birthdays, this video weirds me out:

12:01 AM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4)

Oct 24, 2008

Joe the What?

Not to diss Joe Wurzelbacher in any way, but I'm surprised that no one I can find on the internet has yet linked "Joe the Plumber" with the classic "But you f*** one goat" joke.  So now it's done.  For a related story, check out Joe the Fallout Shelter's post from a few months ago.

01:10 PM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Oct 22, 2008

He'd Turn 45 Today, It's True -- That's What Brian Boitano'd Do

When I travel, I try to buy the local paper to see the local flavor.  But on Sundays this means that I waste time reading the frickin' USA Weekly "magazine".  But amid its uselessness, there are four column inches of celebrity birthdays.  Today, South Park's favorite olympian:

Also born today, Zac Hanson who turns 23.

12:55 AM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oct 09, 2008 -- Make Your Own Comic Strip

Toonlet_comic won't turn you into Randall Munroe.  But if you hanker for your own comic strip, check it out.  I constructed the above example in just minutes.

03:01 AM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sep 30, 2008

Request:Complimentary Detail

My friend Bronwyn gives the greatest compliments.  Sometimes she says something nice to you about you, and other times she tells you something nice about someone else. 

I love how she notices things (both little and large) that other people don't, acknowledges them out loud, and provides the details that both edify and make you realize that she really knows what she's talking about.  Her compliments are worth something extra, because I know that her opinions are well-founded.  (The same applies to her criticisms.)  And also because there's a decent chance that I wasn't aware of the thing she's complimenting until she's pointed it out.  (Add to the fun, she rarely gushes.  Her deliveries are almost always matter-of-fact.)

When I catch myself giving an especially good compliment, I often think she inspired both my willingness and ability to do so.

So anyway, back to this blog.  My request/offer to you:  tell me something good about someone -- either for something they did recently, or something about their nature.  Feel free to be superficial or substantial.  Feel free to name names, but don't feel obligated.  Multiple entries permitted.  Likelihood of winning is based on the number of entries you submit.  The more you submit, the more you win.

04:09 AM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Sep 27, 2008

"I know Henry Kissinger. Dr. Henry Kissinger has been my friend for thirty-five years."

Perhaps you caught the debate tonight?  I got a chuckle when they were disagreeing on Henry Kissinger's stated or likely opinion on engagement with Iran.  When McCain said, "I wish Dr. Kissinger could listen to this conversation," I expected Obama to reply, "He probably is listening to this conversation." 

When McCain repeated, "Henry Kissinger and I have been friends for 35 years," I wished Obama could have done like Woody Allen did shortly after 1:55 in this clip from Annie Hall:

One thing about this clip that surprises me on re-viewing.  The Columbia guy says less about McLuhan than I remembered.  And McLuhan is less comprehensible than I remembered.  Have you read any of his work? I tried once (in ~1991) and understood nil.  For me, the medium had no message.

04:10 AM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4)

Aug 28, 2008

Happy or Good?

This week in Denver I have watching politicians who discuss moral choices, while I've also been hanging out with my friends' kids who have their whole lives ahead of them.  Here is a thoroughly lousy question that slid into my head while watching Obama's speech with my friend L., her mom and dad, her three young girls, and her boyfriend who is also a parent of two.

If you had to choose for your kid one of these things for the bulk of their lifetime, "you will be happy" or "you will be good," which would you pick?

10:40 PM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Aug 27, 2008

Jy hits the DNC - guest blog

My pal Jy is doing a semi-limited-audience blog but said I could excerpt, so here's one from last night:

Keep On Going!

So the last time the Democratic National Convention was in Denver -- 100 years ago -- the first women delegates attended. At this convention, for the first time, there are more women delegates than men. Today, of course, was the 88th anniversary of women having the right to vote.

It's hard not to be a woman and be at this convention and not get caught up in that. I've teared up a few times over the past few days. (Mostly because I'm such a history dork)

We went to an Emily's List event today that, while not nearly as interesting as yesterday's event, was equally inspiring. Pelosi, Clinton and Michelle Obama spoke. Clinton, however, did not at all convince me of being ready to "move on." Oh sure, she said the words, but her delivery didn't sell me. This isn't objective, it's all my intuition. And I'm torn, because I look at that room, older women, little girls, college interns and I totally understand their excitement, their disappointment. But man, she really creeps me out.

I sat next to neat guy from Michigan, an alternate delegate who was co-chair of his county's Clinton campaign. We talked about how disgruntled Michigan is and the challenges there in the general election. He said, "Well, she's meeting with a group of us tomorrow and we will see what she tells us to do." When pressed, he said, he doesn't want her to keep going, but that most of his voters will probably go to McCain without her in the race.

(Realizing the next 3 hours were going to be awfully uncomfortable if we kept talking about this, we shifted to fun topics like health reform -- he, his wife, and 3 of his kids are all doctors. We're hoping we see each other and tomorrow's health forum. And India -- he's originally from a state near Nepal!).

I thought her speech was fabulous, she convinced me, but I'm nagged by how much her demeanor and tone changed from 3pm to 9pm.

On the way home, I chatted with the chair of the South Dakota delegation. A really interesting person and passionate about Hillary. He knows it's up to him to set the tone and unify his delegation and he talked a really pretty game. I asked his nephew -- who appeared to be about 16 -- his impressions. He was about to tell me about a particularly juicy fight the S.D. delegation had at breakfast but then my shuttle bus pulled up to my hotel. His uncle looked a little relieved that the story was stopping.

Occam's Razor is that tomorrow all the official stuff will happen with minimal strife and we'll move smoothly into Thursday. I adore speeches that draw on history....her Harriet Tubman reference was really cool, especially given all the context of today, this convention and this election.

But I couldn't help also to think about Susan Sarandon and Gina Davis, grabbing hands, saying "Let's keep going!" and gunning their car over the cliff into the sunset.

(keeping fingers crossed for Occam's Razor)


p.s. Susan Sarandon and Jy are staying at the same hotel at the edge of Denver.

08:39 PM in Misc 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)