Tuesday, January 31, 2006

quote for the day

Our job is to be an awake people... utterly conscious, to attend to the world.

Native American belief

Saturday, January 28, 2006

a glimpse inside...

and there's nothing there but ice.


Read this from the Phantom Professor. Then ask yourself, these rich and icy-cold "success" stories, who did they vote for? Would they even notice the moral vaccuum that is the Bush Administration? Would they even care if they did?

preventative measures

Recently, here in Big-D, the decision was made to install cameras at intersections to catch light-runners. This seems alright to me, but I find myself wondering, "does it go far enough?" Why dont we take a cue from the Bush Administration? I say we turn to Pre-emptive Ticketting.
Imagine if, every month on the 11th, there was another terrorist attack on America, just as deadly as that of September, 2001. Imagine now that there was an extra attack for the Holidays.
That's how many people die each year in auto accidents. How many of those deaths could be prevented with the sure knowledge that you're going to get a ticket if you break the law? That's the thinkng behind the cameras to catch people running red lights. And it works, too. So why not take that a step further, and give out tickets before the crime is committed? 40% of auto fatalities involve alcohol. What happens to a drunk driver? He loses his license, but he does so after he kills someone! Let's take it away before.
Plus, it's a great revenue enhancement during these tough budgetary times, and because it's democratic (everyone will get a ticket, because naturally everyone breaks the law while driving sometime), it wont place an undue tax burden on the rich, a sure-fire Republican pleaser (which it needs to be, because, let's face it, they are in charge).

But why stop there? Every year a mind-boggling 200,000 Americans die from prescription drug reactions. Now, obviously we cant ticket the Drug Companies, because they're corporations and have more rights than you or I, but I think the families of those who may die are ripe for a fine of some sort. After all, shouldnt someone be reading the labels and fine print.
Motorcycles? 80% of accidents lead to injury or Death. Own a motorcycle, get a ticket. Maybe two. Or three.
Think of the possibilities. Poisoning Deaths per year: over 9000, but almost everyone uses chemicals or drugs at some point during the year.
Firearms? 1,100+. Forget gun control, just fine everyone with a gun, maybe chuck every third one in jail for good measure. Killing is a crime.

Finally, with a few strokes of the Presidents pen, we can produce sweeping tort reform also. After all, when ordinary people are obviously culpable in their own deaths (as evident by the citations given to them), then large and very profitable corporations must be innocent.
No more outrageously large awards to people, just because someone died. Now law enforcement will be able to concentrate on the real crimes in America, crimes such as music piracy, copyright infringement, trademark violation. Freeing up law enforcement to solve crimes of property will be good for the economy. And if it's good for the economy, it's got to be good for America.

some links about the Dangers of American Life:

Friday, January 27, 2006

the velcro president

Burning midnight oil here at work after clocking out, spending precious sleep time on blogging since there will be no joy at home. Had to share this with ya'll, since I've seen no one else comment on it (though I hadnt checked Rude Pundit yet, alas, no time!)
These are Dubya's actual words. When I heard this on the radio yesterday, or whenever, I actually guffawed. Who knew I had a real one in me? But you'll find your inner guffaw with this one, too:
'A political party, in order to be viable, is one that professes peace, in my judgment, in order that it will keep the peace,' Bush was quoted as saying in a Wall Street Journal interview. (this particular quote is from Forbes)
He was talking about Hamas, reiterating "that the United States will not deal with Hamas as long as it does not renounce violence" (sez the WaPo) .
Why, why, why, does George Bush insist on saying things that our enemies can say right back at him? Since when does the Bush Corporation, and therefore the Republican Party, represent "peace". Is there a bigger bunch of war-hawks outside of a banana republic?
Oh yeah, I forgot, we invaded Iraq to keep the peace. Duh, stupid me, War Is Peace, isnt it?

Unless someone else is doing it.

Maybe instead of employing rhetoric against the Bush Administration, all opposition should just start chanting
"I'm made of rubber, you're made of glue!
Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you!
Nyah, nyah-nyah,nyah, nyah!!
I've always thought world politics resembles nothing so much as a bunch of 8-year-olds on a playground, anyway.

Take this opportunity!

CotL logoHey folks, it's that time again! The next Carnival of the Liberals is accepting submissions until January 31st. It'll be number 5, and with my computer down, there's a good chance that you wont have any competition from me (thus guaranteeing an empty slot ripe for the taking!). This Carnival will be dominated by Modem Butterfly from Neural Gourmet.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

involuntary backburnering

My attendance here at daveawayfromhome will be a bit spotty for a while, as my computer at home has crashed, and perhaps burned. I suspect my hard-drive, which is bad news for my wife and step-son and all their I-tunes, but at least repairable. Or, rather, it would be if I had any money. Any way, dont exect much from me until I'm up and running again.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

mountain o' humor

from the blog This Is The Way I Serve My SentenceFrom the blog Sloppydawgfrom the blog Skeptical ObserverFrom the blog O Antonito
Just sharing these, which I have found whilst trolling. I've got nuthin' original to say, so you get other people's stuff.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

a toy fulla fun

Street-Walkin' Barbie (TM)Fulla doll, dressed appropriately for being outside. Anywhere. Yes, that's a real doll there on the left.
I am definitely buying one of these for one of my daughters, given the chance. No, I dont want her to grow up to become encased in a bhurka. But isnt it a nice change from Street-Walking Barbie over there and the infamous "Cock-Ring" Ken? And isnt diversity supposed to be the thing that makes America strong?
On the other hand, perhaps it's not a good idea to lend any support to a religious movement (okay, culture) that's already gone way overboard with restrictions on people (especially women). I want to keep my daughters safe from harm (when dating time rolls around I guess I'll have to go and buy a shotgun), but I want them to be safe because, a) they themselves are capable of thinking safely, and b) all boys within a 20-mile radius have been gelded. Since I'm unlikely to get my second wish, I'll have to trust in item "a" (and satellite tracking devices).
And after all, isnt one of the tests of parenthood (the Final, one might say), how well they handle themselves out on their own. If you cannot, ultimately, let go, what does that say about your confidence in your own child-rearing skills?

Meanwhile, in the middle east, parents have perhaps (perhaps - are you familiar with Bratz) chosen to put their child-rearing faith in religion (or government), hopefully in a way that's more about raising the quality of entertainment (sexual-innuendo-free toys) rather than raising the ignorance level (if you cannot see a woman's legs, then they do not exist). No probably not. Why should Muslim fundamentalists be any different from our own?
Of course, the West has been through periods of sexual denial also. We still havent quite recovered from the Victorian period, have we, despite the Sexual Revolution? Not that the Victorian Period was as pure as "history" makes it out to be.

Anyway, back to Fulla (a type of Jasmine), as the middle-eastern Barbie (not actually made by Mattel) is named.
Though Fulla will never have a boyfriend doll like Barbie's Ken, there will soon be a Doctor Fulla and a Teacher Fulla, as those are two respected careers for women in the Middle East. In Damascus, the capital of Syria, a Fulla doll sells for about $16 in a country where average per capita income is only around $100 per month. And yet, Fulla flies off the shelves. She gives girls a more Islamic character to follow, which their parents want. Besides, if the girls put scarves on their dolls when they're young, it might make it easier when their time comes. (from: old/jfdaily)
barbie shown wearing Night Commando beachwear with optional explosives beltdeluxe sorority cheerleader Barbie, with fully articulated jointsWell, thank goodness for that, so maybe she'll never wind up like this on the left, though she may end up like this here on the right (so to speak)...

One last point, here. If Muslim kids are anything like my own daughters, it doesnt matter how one dresses them. Within days, the poor doll will be naked, with her uncovered and immodest hair most likely butchered as only a blunt pair of construction paper scissors is capable of butchering. Where's the proper lady-like behavior then?

dont sake a meme

I really, really need to put up a sign over on the sidebar. A simple white box, with a red circle in it, slashed. In the circle, the word "tagging". But I havent yet, so I have no one but myself to blame. Sort of.

Still, I'm doing this for Concha Loca, because... well I dont know why.

Maybe because my mother raised me to be polite to ladies. Maybe because I respect a person who deals with chickens (my parents, both farm-raised, both told rooster stories of fear and pain)(and rather stringy-eating).

Anyway, this is it, the last time, I swear.

I been tagged.

Today's meme is a tempting platter of personal oddities, i.e.:

Name 5 things about you that are weird.
  1. I worry about the feeling of inanimate objects. Remember Charlie Brown buying the crap tree because he felt sorry for it. That's me. I also do this thing I call the "whammy finger" to get through stop lights (it keeps the light from turning red). After, I must thank the light, so that it wont hold it against me next time.
    Of course, I could just be obsessive-compulsive.

  2. I have a degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis on Photography. I own a complete darkroom, with 2 enlargers. I love photography, shooting and printing. Nevertheless, I have not shot anything on a piece of film in at least 2 years, and I rarely use even my digital camera.

  3. I eat peanut-butter and pickle sandwiches. I recommend them highly. (use white bread)

  4. Apparently, while I'm asleep, I have odd conversations with my wife. Once, I started growling. When my wife asked me what was wrong, I replied, "I'm a monster."
  5. I drive my children crazy with something I call "the Rhyming Game". My wife claims I taught it to her, but we both do it together now. It starts at random, usually after someone accidentally rhymes something. Then it becomes a contest to continue the rhyming. So if my youngest daughter exclaims, "Oops, I almost kicked the cat!", and my oldest daughter innocently responds, "dont do that!", I might be compelled to say something like, "Just tell it to SCAT!", then my wife could ask, "Was it wearing a hat?". And so on.
Okay, now for the basebuilding in this pyramid meme: I call upon the powers of air and darkness!

Also, Tree Story, Totally, Polanco ('cause things have been pretty serious over there, of late), Elvira, and, since I seem to be tagging all women here, Whinger. Dont feel compelled to join this little Amway club, though, I'm not going to make it compulsory. And, for God's sake, dont feel the need to make five more people do it after you do.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Fool you twice...

dont blame me for this, blame kinnardWell, I've managed to fool them again. Once again I am surprised to announce that I have made the Carnival of the Liberals, this time version #4 . How this keeps happening, I dont know, but it cant be talent or dedication, and I'm too poor to bribe anyone.
Maybe it's God.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

see the future

The Supreme Court today ruled 6-3 upholding Oregon's Death With Dignity Act, a right-to-die law which took effect in 1997 and includes provisions for physician-assisted suicide.
The Bush administration position would "effect a radical shift of authority from the states to the federal government to define general standards of medical practice in every locality,'' Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court.
However, when I refer to the future, I'm not picturing some kind of image where no one need suffer a protracted and painful death (unless they want to - they're going to have to drag me offstage kicking and screaming). No, I'm thinking the opposite direction.
I might even be said to be contemplating the protracted and painful death of liberty in these United States.


Take a wild guess at who the dissenters were on this decision: Our new Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., and the Conservative poster boys on the bench, Antonin Scolia and Clarence Thomas.
Scalia's opinion for the [dissenting] group said the court should have deferred to the Justice Department's approach. The department said assisting suicide wasn't a "legitimate medical purpose,'' as a 1971 regulation requires.
Scalia feels that, "If the term legitimate medical purpose has any meaning, it surely excludes the prescription of drugs to produce death.'' That may be true if you consider the sole job of the Medical Establishment to be keeping people alive, regardless of the cost. Many people, specifically a majority in Oregon, feel differently.

More importantly, this highlights, yet again, a persistant theme in Republican Policy: Stop Others from doing what they feel is right, even when it affects no one but themselves, because it does not agree with the Republican "Policy".

You dont need examples of this attitude if you've been paying attention and aren't wearing rose-colored glasses, but I'll give a couple anyway: Gay Marriage and the absurd "War on Christmas". Regardless of the choices anyone may make, the only way it will affect any so-called "conventional" (read: consevative/Republican standing in judgement of their fellows) person is that said "conventional" person might see something he/she doesnt like (two women in wedding garb being showered with rice on the way to their shoe-polished, can-tailed car)(the never-goes-to-church-neighbor's great big light-up "Happy Holidays" on the roof of his house)(the favorite aunt deciding that she's had enough pain from her inoperable cancer and would very much like to go to sleep now).
Hey! Republicans! I got news for you. Just because you think something is unpleasant, does not mean it "affects" you. Your mourning is not Uncle Fred's 24-hour-a-day-physical-pain-at-the-end-of-an-otherwise-fruitful-life. Remember Liberty, that thing Conservatives are always touting, i.e., the freedom to make your own choices? Doesnt the Death With Dignity Act seem like a perfect fit?

Now, lets jump forward in time a bit. Samuel Alito is now on the bench, having been voted in with only a few Democratic votes and across the board approval by the K-Street Republicans. Sammy, no suprise to anyone, consistantly sides with the Poster Boys - Bob, Tony, and Clarence. Here's the only thing I cant see: Who's the New Swing Vote? Who will become the next focus of Republican ire everytime that judge tips the balance 11.1% to the "Left"?

And what new ethically troubling strategy will be devised to "correct" the "problem"?

Monday, January 16, 2006

remembering a call for action

One has to wonder what things would have been like today, had that son-of-a-bitch not shot him in Memphis.

As Sherrod Brown also points out, King wasnt just working for Social justice, he was working for Economic justice, too (though I suppose you could say that economic justice is social justice). When he was killed in Memphis he was there on behalf of that city's badly underpaid sanitation workers.
One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."
Remember that, Samuel Alito.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

call for submission

That's right, get down on your knees!

Then, get up, 'cause you look stupid down there. Seriously, do you do everything everybody tells you to do? Good.

Now, you're running out of time to do something really important: Submit to the 4th Carnival of Liberals. This time out it's being held at Dont Floss With Tinsel, and if you can resist his heart-rending plea for submission, well, you just need to go join the Republican party, 'cause you're just not human.

And, in case you're wondering, no, I havent submitted anything yet, because I havent written anything since Christmas that hasnt sucked.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Oh Zephyr Winds which blow on high, lift me now so I can fly!

And so, unknown even to his closest friends, Rick Mason and Cindy Lee, he became a dual person: Samuel Alito, humble judge; and Stare dec Isis, dedicated foe of evil, defender of the Framer's will, champion of truth and justice!
"By the Power of stare decIsis - I will defend a Woman's Right To Choose!"
With this amulet you and your descendants are endowed by the goddess Isis with the powers of the animals and the elements. You will soar as the falcon soars, run with the speed of gazelles and command the elements of executive and legislature.

quote for the day

I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters. - Frank Lloyd Wright

or word processors.

props to Roots and Wings

Friday, January 13, 2006

against the rules

Ironically, Boysie here owns a SHIPYARD
Here is just another example of why George Bush is a bad President. What does everybody know, if only from repeated viewings of "Pretty Woman"?


thanks to Rude Pundit for the tip-off!

fear itself

Hey, here's an ironic thought:

Both Samuel Alito, and John Roberts are thoughtful, reasonable, scholarly jurists. They simply fall on the conservative side of the "line". The reason for all the fuss, though, has little to do with the men themselves, and a whole lot to do with a FEAR of what they might do.

The ironic part is that the BushCorp is an administration which has thrived in a climate of fear (much of which they created). One might even say that fear is the bilge pump that keeps their leaky pirate boat afloat. Or, at least, I might say that.

movie time

Garth! Wal-mart! Unions!
What could be better than that?
stolen from Coturnix

Thursday, January 12, 2006

oh stewardess!

Okay, I realize that this isnt really something that comes up in real life, but just in case you someday need a web page translated into "jive", and Barbara Billingsly isnt around, try using the fabulous Dialectizer. It can also translate your blog, into "redneck", "cockney", "Elmer Fudd", "Swedish Chef", "moron", "Pig Latin" or "hacker", if "jive"-talking isnt your thing.
Just look at what a bang up job the Dialectizer did on the Robinson Jeffers from below:
Casdat fine femahnaine ladee

De mad goat wid de starin' eyes and long honky fin'ers
Hooked in de stones uh de wall,
De sto'm-wrack fro and screechin' moud: duz it matter, Casdat fine femahnaine ladee,
Wheda' de sucka's recon'
Yo' bitta' fountain? Truly dudes hate da damn trud, dey'd liefer
Meet some tiga' on de road.
Derefo'e da damn poets honey deir trud wid lyin'; but religion-
Vendo's and political men
Pour fum de barrel, new lies on de old, and is praised fo' kind
Wisdom. WORD! Poo' bitch be wise.
No, dig dis: ya''ll still mumble in some co'na' a crust uh trud, t'men
And gods disgustin' - ya' and I, Casdat fine femahnaine ladee.
Props to Stinkhorn Rodeo, and my apologies for jumping their claim.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

too late

Wow, I wish I'd seen this before Christmas. Props to Aunt Sassy, who has one of the best blog-top graphics I've ever seen.

wink, wink, part II

Okay, now I'm disturbed by two things. One, I detail below.

Two, is Alito's lack of recollection about his involvement in a group at Princeton called "Concerned Alumni of Princeton". Not so much his involvement in the group, which anybody could write off as a youthful indescretion, admit their error, then apologise for (whether they were sorry or not). No, I'm disturbed by his claim that he doesnt remember it.
Sure it was over two decades ago. But guess what, while I cant remember what I ate for lunch twenty years ago, I can remember where I ate a lot of my meals. To forget details of meetings is understandable, to forget that you went to meetings seems...


My grandfather, when he was over 80 years old, told me that as a teenager, he had briefly belonged to the KKK (until he discovered that it was a hate club, not a boy's club). Funny that after over sixty years he could remember (he also remembered a poem he had learned in high school by Edna St. Vincent Millay). One might think, "well, he remembered it because he found it offensive". To which I would have to answer, did Alito not find the CAP offensive? He certainly had no trouble with the group in 1985, when he cited his membership while applying for a position in the Reagan Administration.
Was it just a bit of resume padding?
Maybe he had a buddy in CAP, and he signed some papers and paid an entry fee, but never went to a meeting, or rally, or bakesale, or keg party or whatever those guys did besides try to maintain a rich, white male status quo. Sure, that's it. And then he thought of it while bulking up a job application ("Oh yeah, hey, Biff was in CAP, and he's Reagan's undersecretary's undersecretary, and even though I never went to a meeting, or contributed any cookies for a sale, I did kinda sign up, and there was that all-night stripper party after finals that time that I went to, so I'll put that down, too). Let's face it, it was the Eighties, Greed Was Good, and if you were a Reaganite it was OK to be an asshole, as long as it was to people who were less well off than yourself, and besides he really, really needed that job 'cause otherwise how was he ever going to be a Supreme Court Justice if he didnt start networking right now.


But, really, I'm not buying it. And considering the Mindset of Conservative Powers in Washington, I suspect they know exactly what the score is on this question, and they like it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


The mad girl with the staring eyes and long white fingers
Hooked in the stones of the wall,
The storm-wrack hair and screeching mouth: does it matter, Cassandra,
Whether the people believe
Your bitter fountain? Truly men hate the truth, they'd liefer
Meet a tiger on the road.
Therefore the poets honey their truth with lying; but religion—
Vendors and political men
Pour from the barrel, new lies on the old, and are praised for kind
Wisdom. Poor bitch be wise.
No: you'll still mumble in a corner a crust of truth, to men
And gods disgusting—you and I, Cassandra.

Robinson Jeffers (January 10, 1887–January 20, 1962)

wink, wink, nudge, nudge
say no more, say no more

So, here we are, on what is technically Day 2 of the nomination process of Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court. And I gotta tell you, I'm bored already.
Have you listened to any of it? There's mostly grandstanding by Senators, almost all of whom have already made up their mind how to vote. There's calm, rational answers showing a great intellect by Judge Alito, who nevertheless will not answer any questions about how he might rule in cases coming before the Supreme Court.
What's the point of the whole ridiculous circus, anyway? I feel like a rube at a carnival.
Check your wallet?
Whew, still there.

So far as Alito goes, I've only heard one thing that I would describe as disturbing. This came during an answer about Executive powers and rights to privacy (or something like that, I was a bit groggy): Alito said something to the effect that the Constitution "generally" required a warrant. The "generally" (if that was the exact word) was not out there as baldly as I paraphrased it here from my imperfect memory, but it was there, in his statement, nonetheless. Wait for the transcripts, you'll see.
I dont like this idea, that there can be exeptions to the rule, especially when the Bush Administration has been dancing over the line of legality in their wiretapping of U.S. citizens, an issue which will surely, some day, make it to Court.
Specifically, a Supreme Court which will (unless he is discovered to be a child pornographer or a secret Liberal) include Samuel Alito.
And he will be there. He's too reasonable for the Democrats to overcome the Republican majority. No, despite the Ultra-Conservative Princeton Boys Club which he seems to have "forgotten" he belonged to, the Dems have to know that they'll look really bad if they fillibuster Judge Alito (unless he is discovered to be a canibal or a secret Klansman).

So turn off CNN, or NPR, or whatever you're keeping track of the hearings on. It's a done deal. To anything else will only cause you to hear Democrats beating dead horses, and insufferable smugness alternating with outrageous hypocracy from the Republicans (Texas' John Cornyn "cleverly" hid his call to overturn Roe v. Wade in a statement praising the overturning of Plessy v. Ferguson. You could practically see him wiggling his eyebrows and jabbing Orrin Hatch with his elbow)

Oh, and hope. Hope real hard.

You can bet your ass the Republicans are, and they've got the inside track, because whatever he's not saying in those hearings, you and I both know that he's talked and talked and talked and talked to BushCo, and the rest of the Conservative Corps, about changes that everyone on one side of the aisle would like to see.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

nah nah nah nah,
nah nah nah nah
hey hey hey

The question now is whether his constituency will let him stay as their Representative in 2006. Whadaya think, will greed (good pork from a powerful Rep) overcome embarrassment?

Today's birthday:
Charles Addams (1912-1988)

Friday, January 06, 2006

gbirbsih, but not.

I got this a couple months ago from Contrary Brin, saving it for a lazy day. I'm going to share it now, then go watch some TV.
"i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh, and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt"
Got it?

birthday quote

Today is Carl Sandburg's birthday.
And They Obey

Smash down the cities.
Knock the walls to pieces.
Break the factories and cathedrals, warehouses
and homes
Into loose piles of stone and lumber and black
burnt wood:
You are the soldiers and we command you.
Build up the cities.
Set up the walls again.
Put together once more the factories and cathedrals,
warehouses and homes
Into buildings for life and labor:
You are workmen and citizens all: We
command you.
Or maybe this one...
Ready to Kill

Ten minutes now I have been looking at this.
I have gone by here before and wondered about it.
This is a bronze memorial of a famous general
Riding horseback with a flag and a sword and a revolver
on him.
I want to smash the whole thing into a pile of junk to be
hauled away to the scrap yard.
I put it straight to you,
After the farmer, the miner, the shop man, the factory
hand, the fireman and the teamster,
Have all been remembered with bronze memorials,
Shaping them on the job of getting all of us
Something to eat and something to wear,
When they stack a few silhouettes
Against the sky
Here in the park,
And show the real huskies that are doing the work of
the world, and feeding people instead of butchering them,
Then maybe I will stand here
And look easy at this general of the army holding a flag
in the air,
And riding like hell on horseback
Ready to kill anybody that gets in his way,
Ready to run the red blood and slush the bowels of men
all over the sweet new grass of the prairie.
I like this one, too...
They All Want to Play Hamlet

They all want to play Hamlet.
They have not exactly seen their fathers killed
Nor their mothers in a frame-up to kill,
Nor an Ophelia lying with dust gagging the heart,
Not exactly the spinning circles of singing golden spiders,
Not exactly this have they got at nor the meaning of flowers--O flowers, flowers slung by a dancing girl--in the saddest play the inkfish, Shakespeare ever wrote;
Yet they all want to play Hamlet because it is sad like all actors are sad and to stand by an open grave with a joker's skull in the hand and then to say over slow and over slow wise, keen, beautiful words asking the heart that's breaking, breaking,
This is something that calls and calls to their blood.
They are acting when they talk about it and they know it is acting to be particular about it and yet:
They all want to play Hamlet.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

a better George

Today was George Washington Carver day at my daughter's school, presumably because he died this day in 1943. I have always revered Carver, as the inventor of Peanut Butter. Unfortunately, while Carver was a many, and greatly, talented man, he was just a man.
He did not invent Peanut Butter.
I am crushed.

what I was reading

A couple years ago, I decided I was tired of having people ask me, "Hey, Dave, read any good books lately?", and me just staring at them dumbly while the wheels in my mind spun. It wasnt that I hadnt read any good books, I just couldnt remember them. So I started writing them down.

Here is this year's list. I've linked the best of them, but you'll have to look up the rest on Amazon all by yourself if you're interested.



Albon, Mitch , The Five People You Meet In Heaven
Asimov, Issaac , The Foundation Trilogy
Black, Holly , The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Wrath of Mulgrath
Blish, James , Cities in Flight (omnibus)
Card, Orson Scott , Ender's Game
Carr, J. L. , A Month In the Country
Cherry, C. J. , The Pride of Chanur
Colfer, Eoin , Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
Collins, Suzanne , Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
Collins, Suzanne , Gregor the Overlander
Coupland, Douglas , Generation X
Coupland, Douglas , Polaroids from the Dead
Crowley, John , Engine Summer
French, Wendy , Going Coastal
Hiassin, Carl , Hoot
Hiassin, Carl , Skinny Dip
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The Final Conflict (Yet more of the Best from the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest)
Karbo, Karen , Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me
Kirn, Walter , Mission to America
Kirn, Walter , Up In The Air
Lewis, C. S. , The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
MacDonald, Betty , Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic
Martinez, A. Lee , Gil's All-Fright Diner
Morris, Gerald , Parsifal's Page
Morris, Gerald , The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung-Cart Knight
Murphy, Warren + Cochran, Molly , The Broken Sword
Murphy, Warren + Cochran, Molly , The Forever King
Nimmo, Jenny , Charlie Bone + the Castle of Mirrors
Nix, Garth , Abhorson
Nix, Garth , Drowned Wednsday
Nix, Garth , Grim Tuesday
Nix, Garth , Lireal
Nix, Garth , Mister Monday
Nix, Garth , Sabrael
Oppel, Kenneth , Airborn
Orringer, Julie , How to Breath Underwater
Pederson, Laura , Heart's Desire
Place, Francios , The Old Man Who Was Mad About Drawing (trans. Wm. Rodomar)
Powers, Tim , Earthquake Weather
Powers, Tim , Expiration Date
Powers, Tim , Last Call
Pratchett, Terry , Feet of Clay
Pratchett, Terry , Going Postal
Pratchett, Terry , Guards! Guards!
Pratchett, Terry , Hat Full of Sky
Pratchett, Terry , Jingo
Pratchett, Terry , Men at Arms
Pratchett, Terry , Night Watch
Pratchett, Terry , Thud!
Pratchett, Terry , The Truth
Pratchett, Terry , Wee Free Men
Proulx, Annie , That Old Ace In The Hole
Rankin, Robert , The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
Rowling, J. K. , Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Rowling, J. K. , Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
Van Allsburg, Chris , Bad Day at Riverbend
Vonnegut, Kurt , Bluebeard
Webb, Charles , New Cardiff
Westerfield, Scott , Evolution's Darling
Wodehouse, P. G. , Jeeves
Wrede, Patricia , Calling On Dragons
Wrede, Patricia , Dealing With Dragons
Wrede, Patricia , Searching For Dragons
Zahn, Timothy , Dragon + Soldier


Ambrose, Stephen E. , Nothing Like It in the World
Bryson, Bill , A Walk in the Woods
Bryson, Bill , In a Sunburned Country
Byrne, Robert , The 2,548 Best Things Ever Said
Curtis, Bryan (ed.) + writers at "the Slate" , The Explainer
Feldman, David , Do Elephants Jump? (An Imponderables Book)
Gladwell, Malcolm , Blink
Hornby, Nick , The Polysyllabic Spree
King, Ross , Michaelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Lacey, Robert , Great Tales from English History
Lacey, Robert , Great Tales from English History, vol. 2
Lakoff, George , Dont Think of an Elephant
Leavitt, Steven D. + Dubner, Stephen J. , Freakonomics: A Rogue Econonomist Studies the Hidden Side of Everything
Lewis, Michael , Moneyball
McFedries, Paul , Creating A Web Page and Blog
Nicholl, Charles , Leonardo Da Vinci: Flights of the Mind
Pease, Barbara + Allen , Why Men Dont Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes
Pellegrino, Charles , Ghosts of Vesuvius
Pellegrino, Charles ,
Return to Sodom and Gamorrah
Pellegrino, Charles , Time Gate: Hurtling Backward Through History
Ronson, Jon , The Men Who Stare at Goats
Spencer, Ann , Alone at Sea: The Adventures of Joshua Slocum
Stall, Sam + Harry, Lou + Spalding, Julia , Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasure: 1001 Things You Hate to Love
Standage, Tom , A History of the World in Six Glasses
Stone, Gene , The Bush Survival Guide
Whitman, Christine Todd , It's My Party, Too


Ames, Nathan , Wake Up, Sir!
Brin, David , The Transparent Society
Frank, Thomas , What's the Matter with Kansas?
Gilmore, Robert , Alice In Quantumland
Gould, Steven J. , Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms
Hamilton, Ian , Robert Lowell
Penney, Laura , Your Call Is Important to Us
Rucker, Rudy , As Above, So Below

So, yes, I have read some good books lately. I heartily recommend the Books by Charles Pellegrino, Julie Orringer's collection, Gladwell, Standage, Lakoff, Leavitt, Hiassin, and of the three Power's books, read Earthquake Weather last. And, as always, Terry Pratchett rocks.

Last year's list.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

be there in a minute or two,
just warming up the car...

Hey, Winter Break is over now, more or less, and everyone's back to their schedules. But while I'm up and about, I'm not yet up to speed, so gimme a day or two, please...

Hope everyone had a good Christmas, that you all survived the perils of Xmas shopping, that your wife actually liked the earrings you got her, that your husband got the power tool that did this, rather than that, and that your kids are playing with the boxes more than their new toys. I enjoyed mine, ten days off work, and actual family time. Very nice!

Okay, today, I'm stealing something from Poobah's comment box (props to Gabriel). I'm not saying what it is, but it involves Dubya, Gary Busey, campaign contributions, and a butt-sex reference. Check it out!

Finally. As a present this year, I'm giving myself a limited license to play with some really crazy ideas, so keep an eye out for that stuff (yeah, I know what you're thinking: Did I really need a license to play with Crazy Ideas?)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year's Day to Everyone!
Let's hope it's a better one, okay?