Define "a Life"...

... still searching for a clear definition of that thing people keep telling me I need to get...

Location: Springfield, PA

Thursday, August 31, 2006

God Bless Keith Olberman

"The man who sees absolutes where all other men see nuances and
shades of meaning is either a prophet or a quack.

Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet."

God bless Keith Olberman.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Smells like... chocolate

I visited Hershey Park for the first time this past weekend. Yes, the town smells like chocolate; more accurately, it smells like cocoa. A little weird, but you kind of get used to it.

It's a cool mid-sized park, although I didn't get to ride as much as I'd've liked, in part because we were there on a Saturday and in part because half the folks I was there with don't like to ride roller coasters and such. My agenda for the day would've been to hit all the woodies -- there are at least three -- and then work through the other steel coasters. The day was overcast and threatening rain, so the lines weren't all that massive and were not unpleasant to stand in (as opposed to baking under a vicious sun).

I was with people who wanted to visit Chocolate Land and take the "How Hershey's Chocoalte Is Made" ride/tour. (Which actually takes you through a mock-up of the factory, and features singing animatronic cows; the kitsch value is really quite high.) I was game for that, if only out of consideration for the two little kids we had in our group. But there were still two big wooden coasters I never got near.

This calls for a return trip.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Not a dog...

Okay, so a bunch of scientists have decided.

Pluto is a planet.

So what the fuck is Goofy?

Things To Do

When I'm putting things from my work schedule into my Palm, or onto almost any calendar, for that matter, I use abbreviations for show titles. Sure, if you have something like "Wit" or "Proof" there's not need, and for shows like "The Crucible" it's merely a matter of removing the article to make it a one-word title. No big deal.

But for some reason this coming season features a bunch of shows with longish titles, none of which seem to abbreviate cleanly. "Something You Did" and "Walk Together, Children," for example. What ends up on my calendar? Things like "focus Something" and "hang Children." Hell, even Moliere's "Imaginary Invalid" has given rise to potential "Imaginary tech" and "Invalid plot" and so on.

Of course, such titles as these also provide greater opportunity for my title-mangling humor. I'm sure the perfect chance to mention "Someone You Did" will pop up sooner or later, and I've already been having fun with "Anne of Green Gables."

"Anne Who Cleans Stables"
"Anne Who Waits Tables"
"Anne Who Licks Labels"
and the admittedly esotric "Anne Who Coils Cables"
There were more, but I can't remember them just now.

And I confess to enjoying the fact that I have a listing for "strike Anne" on my calendar. It's almost -- almost -- as odd as "strike Children."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Oh. My. God.

Almost too funny to believe.¤t=Washlet11.flv


The Schwartz

On my list of people who should play the Folk Fest (or who I would at least like to see perform live more often) is Eric Schwartz. Okay, maybe he's not strictly folksy (and neither is the Fest these days), but he does write songs like this:

So maybe a Fest appearance would hedge him towards Dan Bern territory, now that I think of it....

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I'm in the midst of what promises to be a very long culling process, trying to thin the mass of stuff in the house. In the process, I'm finding lots of stuff.

This morning I uncovered a number of my notebooks from my freshman year of college. At some point since then I adopted a habit of taking notes on pads of notebook paper and keeping them in 3-ring binders, a much more versatile system, but back at that time I used spiral notebooks, one for each class.

I couldn't resist the temptation to page through some of these. One of them was from the basic Biology class as an easy credit BDR. (Why I actually kept this, I cannot say.) Paging through I came across a figure in the human sexuality section that astonished me. In with the other STDs was Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Most wrote it out then; the acronym wasn't yet familiar; this was 1983. Accordingly, there was little information in that section, but there was this one figure: somewhere between 1500 and 2000 cases to date.

It was 1983.

Blue Steel

Call it a guilty pleasure, but I watched Zoolander on Comedy Central the other day and it was damn funny.
Damn funny.

Another illusion shattered

Yet another example of how the general quality of the world is declining: I discovered recently that those Arizona Iced Tea bottles that used to be actual blue glass are now just plain old everyday clear glass with a blue shrink wrap label covering most of the bottle to make it look like it’s blue glass.

How sad.

I’m thankful that I kept one of the blue glass bottles while they were still common. It’s sitting on the kitchen window sill with some other blue glass bottles. Sorry I didn't hold onto more of them. I really like the look of blue glass in the sun.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

This week's lesson in Despot 101

Okay, we can all agree that I'm a little bit paranoid, particularly when it comes to matters of authority and the misuse thereof. Setting that aside for a moment, I cannot see how anyone can fail to see the pattern of power consolidation that has been the consistent agenda of the Bush administration since September 12, 2001. In case you haven't been keeping track, the latest nudge toward an omnipotent and unaccountable executive is this new attempt to subvert due process and sidestep any checks and balances through this proposal in Congress that would let the president take control of the National Guard in emergencies without consent of governors. It's a part of a version of the so-called National Defense Authorization Act which has already passed in the House.

The measure would remove the currently required consent of governors for the federalization of the Guard. Can this be seen as anything but an attempt to consolidate the nation's domestic military power under the direct and unaccountable command of the executive branch?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Costs of Security

Blogger makes me use the word varification thing when replying to comments in my own blog. Even when I'm already logged in. Oh well. I guess that's the price you pay for being protected from comment spam. Vuzal!