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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Monday, November 27, 2006
Magritte at LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has an amazing exhibition of the works of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte. It is an astounding collection of his works. (Unfortunately, there is also some modern garbage "inspired" by Magritte - most of it is either complete trash or completely derivative.) The best part, though, might be that all of the docents were wearing bowler hats.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
A Thanksgiving Memory
From a friend of mine that posts on a sports forum I frequent:

Several years ago, I was post padding on a military forum, and the topic was what was everyone's most memorable Thanksgiving. Everyone had such great memories of Thanksgivings past with their families and friends. I had alotta those same memories, but I couldn't get what happened Thanksgiving Day, 1970 outta my head.

I was on patrol with my recon team, RT California, on that part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail that passed from North Vietnam thru Laos into South Vietnam. We'd been walking right down the middle of the HCMT for acuppola hours, looking for enemy storage depots, and had found none.

We decided to take a security break under a big tree right nextta the HCMT and take turns eating our lunch. When it was my turn, I opened up a C-Ration can of Turkey Loaf that I'd been sandbaggin for Thanksgiving Day, along with a bag of indigenous rice, a C-Ration can of peaches, and a can of C-Ration pound cake.

As I sat there under that tree eating my "feast", I reflected on the incongruity of it all, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. And I jes couldn't stop thinkin, "Man, it jes doesn't get any better'n this."

Today, I count that day amongst my most cherised Thanksgiving memories, and I Thank God for the men and women of our armed services who won't be with their families for the holidays cuz they're in harms way.

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!!

I won't even try to improve on that.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
More on the Light Hurricane Season
A couple weeks ago, it occurred to me that the weather fear mongers had been a little quiet lately, and that, DANG! it's been a mild hurricane season.

So, today, I'm having my morning tea, and I see that Captain's Quarters
has picked up the story (and Reuters).

Reuters reporting left readers scratching their heads, too. It just seems like the story missed something familiar, right on the tips of our tongues ....

Oh, yeah. Global warming.

Good piece. Read it. :)
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Rabbis checking the eruv via helicopter
Must be seen to be believed.

(What's an eruv? I like to think of it, fondly, as a magic schlepping circle, as a detractor once said.)
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
My whole team has been outsourced to India. Well, I guess our jobs have been outsourced - we're not going anywhere. Except home, I suppose.

It's not that dire - we're still employed during the long transition, which should take about three months. Then we have severance that takes us well into the spring. Still, bummer.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I just threw up.

As I write, Virginia is still looking like a possible hold, Missouri and Montana are still too close to call, and Maryland could be a surprise pickup.

If any one of these break the right way, the GOP will hold on to the Senate. Which is the best we can hope for tonight.

Even if that good result takes place, yuck. Nancy freakin' Pelosi? Oh GAWD.
Monday, November 06, 2006
The Only Issue This Election Day
This lengthy piece by a Democrat nails the importance of this election:

The Only Issue This Election Day

It begins:

There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that's the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case -- if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it -- and in the most damaging possible way -- I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.

To all intents and purposes, when the Democratic Party jettisoned Joseph Lieberman over the issue of his support of this war, they kicked me out as well. The party of Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- the party I joined back in the 1970s -- is dead. Of suicide.

and continues on for a few pages.

We stand on the verge of ceding vital authority over our nation's security to a group of people who don't understand the nature of the threat, and have demonstrated every willingness to use our own defeat in this war as a political tool by which to reaquire power. Please keep this in mind when your disgust over pork-barrell spending, and your distaste over other Republican shortcomings start to make you uncomfortable with again casting your vote in favor of the GOP.

The stakes here are as high as they have ever been for this country. A retreat from Iraq would be an open invitation for the rise of an aggressive, and unopposed Islamic threat to everything we hold dear in the West. Save your other issues for another election, and cast your vote in favor of continuing to fight the defining battle of our generation.
Odd suggestions
On the new releases wall at Blockbuster, certain DVDs are paired with "alternate titles." Something along the lines of "If you like X-Men 3, you'll like Spiderman 2, Batman Begins, etc."

The alt titles for "United 93" are "Passenger 57" and "Con Air."

Um, I guess they're similar in that they all feature bad guys on airplanes... but I think that these alternate titles might be slightly different thematically from "United 93."
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Inconvenient Fact?
Is it just me, or has this hurricane season been pretty wimpy? Since the 2005 season was apparently a harbinger of a catastrophic global sauna (or so I was led to believe), does the mild zephyr, that to date has characterized this season, mean we're headed for another ice age?
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Soldiers in Need
Found this photo on the Drudge Report. Needs no elaboration.

Borat lives
Reading about all things Borat reminds me of a long-ago encounter with a foreigner with a shaky grasp on English and on appropriate topics of conversation. Actually, in this case I was the foreigner, but the other guy had the shaky grasp on things. It was at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where I spent my junior year of college.

I was talking with a group of Palestinians, two of whom lived on my dorm floor. (I mean, not on the floor of my dorm room, but.. well, you understand.) So most of them spoke English fluently, and we were having a pleasant conversation. They asked where I was from and I told them my hometown. Someone asked if anyone else from the same city was currently at Hebrew U, and I replied that yes, in fact, there is one woman here from said town. One guy who had been quiet the whole time suddenly piped up and asked something in heavily accented English and made a bit of a punching motion with his fist. I didn't quite catch what he said, so I asked him to repeat himself.

"You are f***ing her?" he said, repeating the punching motion.

"Um, I gotta go," I said, and quickly took my leave.

I wonder if I was being filmed?

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