Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Went north for the weekend, which helped a bit, and quite literally started my week with a massage (I'm serious, it was at 7:30 am Monday), which helped tremendously. And there have been no catastrophes so far this week, except maybe one or two, but they were resolved quickly.

In other news, why does this seem so eerily familiar? And can my car handle another bumper sticker?

Friday, August 27, 2004

Dude! I went to high school with that, um, guy! Granted, her name was Ben back then, not Brini, but still it's good to see somebody from the old stomping grounds getting some props.
The desire to write is running in circles in my head like three notes from a snatch of a song from a car driving by that I know I recognize but can't quite place. And it's not like nothing's happening, either. More the opposite, really, with work putting interesting problems in front of me and Christie and I loving each other and weekends (remember weekends?) spent visiting friends and family and having fun with desperate end-of-summer abandon.

I know I'm taking too much on by the pain behind my eyes and the little collapse against the door I do when I first come home, but what to drop? And how can I drop anything when my body butts in with a migraine every. single. night. this. week?

I've long since grown comfortable with the fact that there is no answer to this question. And besides, there's a three day weekend coming up, and the week after that, a business trip to Manhattan, with long, silent plane rides, and the crazy, speedy shock of the city that always whacks me upside the head and knocks loose the crufty nonsense that has my ass dragging.

Meantime, though, there's yet another conference call, followed shortly by a weekend in the woods with friends.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I just got an email from my Mom that her dog died, and now my monitor's all blurry. Damn.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Spent a good part of the weekend with Kelyn, who's young enough yet to remember his last time around. Turns out he was a tree, and he was able to confirm for me that ripe peaches taste exactly like sunshine.

Friday, August 13, 2004

People ask me where I find this stuff, but if you're looking for a description of fertility problems that'll have you spraying your monitor, Chez Miscarriage is the place to go:

"At one point, a newcomer to the group queried, 'What's colon hydrotherapy and how can it cure infertility?' and another member authoritatively responded, 'You insert a hose into your anus,' and I volunteered, 'Have you ever considered the possibility that the reason you're not pregnant yet is because you keep inserting the hose in the wrong place?'

"My days in that group are numbered, I tell you."

Oh, and to answer your question, I found this particular bit of stuff over at Maud's.
Proof positive that Kerry has bigger balls and better taste than Bush. I mean, come on, "The president would never take sides on such an important issue."? What kind of a pussy answer is that?
Lies, liars, and delicious fudging of the truth
Looks like Kerry's trying to have it both ways on Iraq. Again. It's annoying, mostly because this is the kind of shit that makes my friends say, "See! They're both liars!"

And, yeah, sure, they are. It's tempting to say that it's because they're politicians, but how honest are you when you're presenting yourself to strangers? Some guy at work finds out I'm divorced and asks me, "So what happened?" (Implausible? Sure. But it actually happened.) My answer to him is short, simple, and far from true ("I haven't got a fucking clue."), but it gives him a complete answer in a socially acceptable period of time, as opposed to the hours it would take to cover all the complexities, nuances, and feelings involved.

But that hardly makes Bush and Kerry "equally dishonest".

Say I'm interviewing two guys for a job, and it turns out both of them told a few lies in the interview. The first guy grossly exaggerated the duties of his previous position, claimed credit for the success of projects that he'd opposed, laid the blame for his failures at the feet of his employees (or on sabotage from shady coworkers), and flat out lied about his college education. The second guy, when he found out I grew up in Kansas City, pretended to be a Royal's fan as opposed to a rabid Cardinal's fan (is there any other kind?). Also, he'd left his previous job because his boss was a psycho jerk, but he glosses over the conflict, knowing that talking trash about a previous boss tends to raise red flags.

Who are you going to hire?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I could go into the reasons why I haven't been writing as much lately, but I'm not entirely sure what they are. I've got a number of building and home improvement projects going, for one thing, which means that when I sit down to get creative, it's more likely to be with graph paper than college ruled. I've been following politics, of course, but even I'm getting bored with talking about how the Bushies are screwing up the country. It used to be that opposing their policies meant arguing with them, in the sense that you could dissect their logic and see where the two of you diverged.

Nowadays, though, the difference is not one of approach, values, or reasoning; it's one of facts. And it's no fun saying, over and over again, no, Iraq was not a serious threat to our security, no, Afghanistan is not stable, yes, Bush has lied to us about a great many things, and no, Kerry and Edwards are not the first and fourth most liberal Senators. Anymore, if I get into a political argument with somebody, it takes about five minutes before we're both sputtering like morons and our eyes are popping out of our heads. Like I said, it's no fun. No fun at all.

So instead I've been thinking about furniture, landscape timbers, and renovations. That's how I stumbled across HouseInProgress.net, a chronicle of a young couple's renovations to a classic bungalow. In their own words, "It's like camping with a mortgage." If sustainability's more your thing, you might check out Glen Hunter's Straw House blog. But if weird furniture's your thing, there's FunFurde.

But if you insist on thinking about the direction our country's heading in, may I suggest reading Kevin Drum's post on economic security? He suggests that recent Bush policies are offloading the economic risk from businesses and government onto the shoulders of individuals, with the result that all of us are closer to catastrophe, with the result that even if we're doing okay financially, the increase in fear wears at us. Not to put too fine a point on it, I think he's exactly right.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

For your procrastination pleasure, may I present The Hoopla500! No flash games or pumping electronic beats, just loads of good writing.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Horribly wrong on oh, so many levels. But as a man with a crucified Santa bendy-doll hanging in his cubicle, I have no room to criticize.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Believe me or don't believe me, but this is an actual Family Circus cartoon.
Money can buy happiness, as long as you spend it properly. For instance, a bigger house or fancier car probably won't do much to increase your actual happiness. But how about a shorter commute and more time with your family? (via kottke)
While I was off puttering my way through the weekend, the Bushies managed to out yet another intelligence asset, this time, a mole in al Qaeda.

As near as I can figure, this is how it went:

The Administration That Cried Wolf: Stop paying attention to Kerry. We're at war! On terror! And they're going to strike any day now! Thankfully our president is a Strong Leader™ who takes terrorism seriously, and we were able to get the information that allowed us to warn you!

Media: Why are you telling us this now, when most of the information you're talking about is years old? You're not playing politics, are you?

TATCW: What?! No! Never. You must be thinking of that other party! We take this sort of thing very seriously, and would never play politics with the War on Terror™! Just as an example, we've got this guy, his name's Khan, who got busted by our buddies in Pakistan, and he's been giving us all kinds of useful information! He's even emailing his old buddies in al Qaeda and getting them to tell us stuff, though of course they don't know it, because they don't know we busted him! Isn't this spy stuff cool? Doesn't that prove how seriously we take this whole War on Terror™ thing?

Media: Um, you do know your mic's on, right? And that al Qaeda has cable?

Read Juan Cole for more on the repercussions.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

This is just appalling, but it's also confusing. I mean, if you think the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that a central coordinator of intelligence be appointed is a bad idea, then why not say so and have an argument on the merits? And if you think it's a good one, then why not do what they say? Why on earth would you create a position with the right name, that looks a little like what they're recommending, but with so little authority or influence that all it's going to do is muddle the flow of information?

Maybe I've just got my cranky pants on extra tight this morning, but sometimes it seems like they're trying to fuck up the country.

Update: Confirmed