Silflay Hraka

2/08/2003




Alcohol, The Cause Of, And Solution To, All Life's Problems

Split a bottle of Wolaver's Organic Hard Cider with the Father-in-law tonight. A pretty big bottle, mind you, so we got about a pint each. I liked it enough that I might keep the second bottle I bought hidden until he leaves on Sunday. Probably not, though. What's the point of having good alcohol if you can't share it?

To write a really thorough review, I'd have needed to take notes and ignored the company, which I have barely enough sense not to do, thanks to years of presumably frustrating effort on the part of the Sainted wife. So this won't be one of those. Perhaps if I can keep G-daddy's paws off the second bottle I'll do a more complete one later on, 'cause there's nothing the Internet needs more than another alcohol reviewer.

I can say it's the driest American cider I've ever had, and my bias is towards the drier English ciders, so I liked it a good deal. Unlike Woodchuck or Cider Jack, which are both overly fruity and sweet to begin with, with Wolaver's you can tell that it's alcoholic (6%), which gave the cider a nice bourbon overtone. Not that I won't drink the other two. I took a twelve of Woodchuck with me on the fishing trip, but they're not alcohols worthy of good treatment. You swig them directly from the bottle while you change bait, or while waiting for a bite, like American beer, and save the good stuff for later in the evening, when there's an abundance of glasses, and less of an abundance of salt, sand, and fish slime.

The price was pretty good, too, only $4.00 a bottle at the Chapel Hill Whole Foods.

Now, for the exciting bit, at least to me. While googling around looking for the Wolaver's home page, I ran across the Belmont Station, the order-cases-of-beer-over-the-Internet-site that I have been pining for for years. I would have picked Beltramo's to win this race, but they seem content with just wine and spirits. Belmont Station doesn't have quite the functionality I'd prefer, (building cases by adding one six pack at a time to an online shopping cart like, well, like Beltramo's), but they will at least let me e-mail them my desires, and they will ship a mixed case.

Now that I've found a place that I can buy any beer I desire, and I know this because they offer not only Abbey trippels, but quadruppels!, I need to start planning what to take with me on this year's trip. If the past is any indication, I'll need to take the equivalent of 5 cases for a week. Let me know your favorites, and I'll start building a list. I've already put one on it, if it's available. Rodenbach Red

If your favorites tend to run to Icehouse, Natural Light, Rolling Rock or some other macro brew, rest assured that they will make the trip. That's what everyone else brings.* Not me. Funny how those brands are always the ones left over, though.


* Except for Budweiser, or Bud light. No one ever brings Bud anything. We like the commercials, not the beer.


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Coming to America

Next time you're in New York, see if you can't catch a ride in Senat Beniste's cab.

And if you think that was a nice story, you should read this one.


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2/07/2003




Engrish Brogging is Many Fun!

You know, this makes as much sense as anything I've ever written.

In order to make the Americans for the war for Iraq, he is Mr. Powell the UN is some small-numbered thing which it should place in the mind when you lecture.

The Powell is sent in order to carry the water. As for him it is large: the conscience which gives the impression of the person then he takes that order. That is that role. In play of stage, he ends with respect to the thing where every good human everyone does the thing in other things.

Him: "Being to be before several months, if the Powell is in the team, the people must be correct!" You think!

Certainty, there is a supermarket on the sun. RIGHT!


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Eye Candy

What is the animatrix?

mmmmmmm......diapered foooood.

OhMyGodIClickedOnThisLinkAndIWasLike"Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

An old joke, but a good one.

1. 2. 3. Hacky!

Update: One for Meryl, and one for Michelle.

The Primate Gallery


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The Goad

In the buildup to World War One, the major countries initially involved, Russia, France, Austria and Germany, participated in a tit for tat escalation of preparations for war until war itself became impossible to avoid. Each country perceived moves on the other side as an escalation of the situation, and responded with an countermove of its own, ratcheting up the pressure and producing an identical paranoid reaction in the opposite camp. After Russia declared a general mobilization, Austria, France, and Germany issued mobilization orders of their own, and war started on August 1st, 1914.

Had any country backed off during the rush to mobilization, the pressure might have eased enough for diplomacy to bring an end to the crisis. The problem with backing off was that more troops could be moved farther and faster than ever before by one's enemies, thanks to Europe's extensive railroad system. There was a very real fear that if national mobilization was delayed, then an opposing army would be across the border before a effective force could be built up to oppose the invasion.

Essentially, slowing down mobilization would have given the other side an advantage in the event of a war, in that once mobilization was complete an army could reach the front far faster than in the past. In battle, the army that brings the largest amount of force to bear the quickest has a decided advantage over the enemy, one that any military commander would be understandably loath to grant to an enemy counterpart. There were other causes of World War One, other reasons why hostilities might have broken out, but the months just before the war were characterized by behaviors on the part of the Axis and Allies that were intended to keep the other side from having an edge in case war broke out, behaviors that led ineluctably to war breaking out.

Now, taking that behavior as a template, does anything about this series of headlines strike you as familiar?

Satellites Said to See Activity at North Korean Nuclear Site
U.S. Bombers on Alert to Deploy as Warning to North Koreans
N.Korea Warns Could Strike U.S. First - London Daily
U.S. Ready for 'Any Contingencies' with North Korea
North Korea Restarts Plant With Ability to Fuel Arms

It's not even been four months since news of the continuing North Korean broke, yet the situation has already progressed to the point where the news stories discuss military movements rather than diplomatic overtures, and unless something happens to break the cycle, war on the Korean peninsula is probably inevitable. North Korea can't back down, and the United States won't.

North Korea can't back down, because stepping back from the brink without concessions from the United States in the form of a renewed supply of heavy oil is to surrender without a fight. The ability of the North Korean military to project force externally and, more importantly, to prop up the Kim Jong IL regime internally, depends on oil. Without it tanks grind to a halt, ships cannot put to sea and the trucks that supply food to the North Korean forces sit idle. Hungry soldiers are not trustworthy soldiers, they do things like revolt and overthrow governments. In a very real sense, if Kim Jong IL runs out of oil, he's a dead man, and Kim Jong IL is rapidly running out of oil.

The United States won't back down for a number of reasons, not the least of which is when George Bush labeled North Korea as part of an "Axis of Evil" and when Donald Rumsfeld later called it a "terrorist regime", they greatly restricted any course of action they could later take. One doesn't reverse course after using this type of language without suffering for it at the polls later on. Another reason is that North Korea is not yet a strategic threat to the U.S., despite its possession of a few nuclear weapons. Kim IL can talk the talk, but he can't walk the walk when it comes to directly hurting the U.S., not until he develops a better missle. The brunt of any war on the Korean peninsula in the near future will be born by Japan and South Korea. In the world of realpolitik, that may be horrible, but it's also acceptable.

The lack of a North Korean strategic threat is only temporary. Given time, North Korea will produce not only more nuclear weapons, but the ability to deliver them to any part of the United States. The sale of fissionable material or a complete nuke to various terrorist groups is also likely. Delivering oil to North Korea only speeds up this process, as Kim has already demonstrated that treaties and diplomacy are not enough to cause North Korea to cease its nuclear weapons program. If they were, then North Korea would have no nuclear weapons, and the current crisis would have never come about.

The Unites States won't back down, because is in the long term interest of the United States to go to war with North Korea sooner rather than later. The conundrum the Bush administration faces is how to bring about such a war without appearing to be the aggressor, but so far that problem has been finessed rather nicely. The combination of diplomatic foot-dragging and heavily publicized military moves in the Pacific theatre are pushing an increasingly desperate North Korea to the brink of war.

Which brings us back to the advantage given to an army that can bring the largest amount of force to bear the quickest. 80% of the million man North Korean army is just across the DMZ from South Korea. They are already at the front, along with 11,000 artillery pieces, and facing a numerically far smaller force. Force projection at the very beginning of a Korean war is the only variable that favors North Korea, and is the linchpin of the entire North Korean strategy,

The United States possess a technological edge, in terms of force transport. Once the U.S. decides to start moving forces in a position to support the South Koreans in case of war, the North Korean advantage starts to degrade, rapidly.

Germany, France, Russia and Austria, knowing that the enemy had started the process of bringing its forces to bear, rushed to war not in an attempt to grab that advantage for themselves, but to prevent the enemy from having it. There's nothing to indicate North Korea will not do the same. The days immediately after we announce the deployment of a carrier group to the region are going to be very dangerous ones indeed.


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2/06/2003




My first eBay sale

I am selling a Nike PSA[60 32 MB portable MP3 player on eBay. It's my first eBay sale, so I'm pretty excited. Hope you guys don't mind me posting a link to bid now!


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Sticking Up For Michael

Why is everybody picking on Michael Jackson? What is so strange about about a 44 year old guy sleeping with little children? What is so odd about a man dressing up his children like mardi gras partiers whenever they are in the daylight? What is so weird about a grown up who looks like Mary Poppins twirling his umbrella as he strolls around the world? I wish everyone would just leave him alone and accept for him what he is...................a pedophile who is so rich he can do whatever to whomever he pleases. My children will NEVER be spending the night at Never Never Land.


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"Hon, It's Snowing. I'm Going To The Store To Stock Up On The White Food Groups."

Cold, icy and snowy tonight, just what we don't need any more of, though I like the headline from Fark;

Possibility of snow in the South Thursday. EVERYBODY PANIC

The two previous winter storms we already had this season have been enough to trash the local roads, so this is so much icing on the asphalt cake. The back road I drive each day after dropping Ngnat off at day care is bumpier than the course of a Liz Taylor marriage, as it has an incredible, multiple series of huge, axle-breaking potholes, including one that has grown day by day until it is now larger longer and wider than a pickup truck. I don't expect they'll be fixed anytime soon, as the city still hasn't gotten around to picking up all the roadside debris from the first storm, the one we fled from back in early December. Someone did make an attempt at filling them in a couple of days ago, not with gravel or tar or anything even semi-permanent, but with clay, of all things.

The potholes swallowed that pathetic attempt in a day, and have come back bigger than ever, hungry for chrome. I'll have to learn an entirely new weave pattern next week in order to avoid them, and the one I use now already takes me into the other lane far more often than is safe.

It'll still be faster than the main roads. I'll take the pothole slalom over the 20 minute inch and brake any day of the week. Besides, I'm driving an SUV. You should see the Volvo's skitter to avoid me.


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Shades of Trent Lott

One thing you can say about North Carolina: we sure can pick 'em when it comes to sending politicians to Washington. For decades there was Jesse Helms. Now that Helms has retired, Howard Coble has decided to step into the spotlight. For those of you who don't know, Howard Coble is also co-sponsor of a bill that would allow the RIAA to hack into your personal computer if you download MP3s on the Internet. I suspect that these remarks will generate another racial firestorm and another Republican leader will find himself having to step down from a position of leadership in Congress. See ya', Howard.


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Alphabet Invaders

My first game, I scored 77 points. My second game is going to be from somewhere else other than work, because this looks nothing like it.

Directions - To make a letter explode, type it.


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Blogging from Baghdad

My bad for not bringing this to your attention sooner, though I suspect a bunch of you already know of Read, a blogger living in Baghdad Raed reports the latest Iraqi gossip

When you picked up the phone in some of the command units you didn’'t get a dial tone but a male voice speaking in broken Arabic. What it said is close to what the infamous email said, don’'t use chemical or biological weapons, don’'t offer resistance, and don’'t obey commands to attack civilian areas and so on. This went on for a couple of hours. Now everyone has new numbers.

He might also have something to say to the "Not in our Name, Standing Shoulder to Shoulder With the Iraqi People" peace

We need change desperately. The few attempts and people who would have had a chance to do something about the way the government is have been ruthlessly eliminated since the late seventies, by the late eighties Iraq was Saddam-land no real challenger was anywhere in site. After the Gulf War there were a couple of uprisings here and there, none were organized properly. All were quickly and brutally wiped out, not only the people involved but all their families. Change is not going to come from inside, unless the government somehow implodes, for example, Saddam's death creating a rush and fight amongst possible successors to take his place and giving other parties/people space to act. I am not holding my breath.


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The Cola Jihad Spreads

(Welcome to today's stop on the happy and friendly Amish Tech Support Blog A Day Tour! Just when you thought you could get away from Laurence Simon, he hops to another site... and keeps hopping... and hopping...)

First off, I'd like to thank Bigwig for the opportunity to post here today as part of the Blog A Day Tour. However, I'd like to complain about the fact that I'm starting to hear a strange voice in my head since receiving the invitation...

Zod: It's cold and damp in here, and something just crawled over my foot. Please let me out.

Secondly, I'd like to say that I'm drinking a Coca-cola right now. I am not drinking a Zam-Zam Cola, a Mecca Cola, or (as seen on Mac Thomason's Warliberal) Qibla Cola:

AJC: Another new cola targets Muslim market

First there was Zam Zam Cola, then Mecca-Cola. Now comes Qibla Cola, another drink aimed at European Muslims who don't want to buy American products like Coca-Cola.

Like Mecca-Cola, which debuted in France late last year, Qibla Cola is largely a protest statement against U.S. policies in the Middle East.

Qibla Cola is the creation of a company in Derby, England. The company said 10 percent of profits will go to the Muslim charity Islamic Aid, according to a report from Agence France-Presse.

"Muslims are increasingly questioning the role some major multinationals play in our societies. They ask, should the money of the oppressed go to the oppressors?" Qibla Cola founder Zahida Parveen said in a statement.


In the 80's, we had the Cola Wars in America with Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola and even RC Cola stepping in to mock both. I guess we're now seeing the Cola Jihad in the Islamic World. And we all know that with Jihad, somebody gonna get hurt. I fully expect the bottles these drinks are sold in to have a potato-masher style grip and be easy-shatter for Molotov cocktails.

Yet when someone suggests that oil purchases go towards terrorist "charities" in the Islamic world...

Okay, sore subject. Idiotarians tried to lump in SUVs with that foolish crusade. Maybe next time, or perhaps the Venezuelans can label their crude as "Terrorism-free" petroleum.

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No Treats, Thank You Very Much

Halloween looks to be coming to Iraq early this year.

Link via the Emperor


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Circus Freaks

As mentioned earlier, we went to the circus last night. I, my wife and the Bug, went with Bigwig, the Sainted Wife, and Ngnat. It was an opportunity for us to spend some unselfish time with our children, to take them to an experience they would be sure to remember for the rest of their lives. A time of magic and mystery, where elephants played with the crowd and men wrestled with alligators. It was to be pure parental bliss………..it didn’t turn out exactly like that.

Please understand, there has been a month’s build up for this night. Constantly talking with the Bug about what the circus is, getting excited about the elephants, going to the library and checking out books dealing directly with the circus. The Bug was so excited, repeatedly reminding us that, “Ngnat will be there………….and Bigwig will be there…….and the Sainted Wife will be there………” She was pumped.

So, all six of us filed into the arena and eventually made it to our seats. It wasn’t long before the lights went out and the show began. “Ladies and gentleman,” the guy began. The children’s faces were eager with anticipation, when all of a sudden…….BANG!!!!! Holy shit, some fireworks went off and scared the shit out of our children. The Bug started wailing. As I tried to comfort her and get her excited about something else I look over to see that Ngnat was crying as well (don’t know if it was the fireworks or the fact she had to go to the bathroom). DAMMIT!!! The show was barely two minutes old and both of our kids are sobbing in terror. Thankfully, they eventually calmed down and paid attention to the rest of the show.

I didn’t get to spend much time with Bigwig and Sainted Wife, since it was much like going to a movie together, not much talking, just watching. But, I did get to wave at Bigwig each time he carried Ngnat to take another bathroom break. Yes, I did laugh, but I was laughing with him, not at him.

The night was supposed to be one of those landmark nights for us and our children. It was to be a night they would remember forever…………we succeeded. It is a night they will remember for the loud explosions and the inside of a bathroom. Next time Bigwig and I may go without children and try to talk to the lady in the leather pants who works with the tigers……….I think she liked us.


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When You Care Enough To Give The Very Best

I almost deleted this email when I first received it, but then I read it and it changed my life. It proposes a new holiday that I think we can all support. I hope it will change your life as well.

A NEW HOLIDAY
Every 14th of February you get the chance to display your fondness for your wife or girlfriend by showering her with gifts, flowers, dinner, shows and any other extras that women find romantic. Here is a secret...guys feel left out. That's right...left out. There's no special holiday for the ladies to show their appreciation for the men in their lives. Men as a whole are either too proud or just too embarrassed to admit it, which is why a new holiday has been created. March 20th is now officially "Steak & Blowjob Day." Simple, effective and self-explanatory...this holiday has been created so you ladies can have a day to show your men just how much you love them. No cards, no flowers, no special nights on the town-the name of the holiday explains it all...just a steak and a BJ. That's it. This twin pairing of Valentine's Day and Steak & Blowjob Day will usher in a new age of love as men everywhere will try THAT much harder in February to ensure a more memorable March! It's like a perpetual love machine. The word is already spreading, but as with any new idea, it needs a little push to start the ball rolling. So spread the word, and help bring love and peace to this crazy world.


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This One Goes to Eleven

I was reading this story and blacked out. When I awoke, there was a lingering smell of jasmine in the air and these words, glowing on my computer screen. Also, my wallet was short a twenty.

Eleven Things I Would Like The World To Know

by Mrs. V. M.

1. Don't squint, you'll hurt your eyes.
2. Don't believe everything you see.
3. I'm the Virgin Mary. I have skills. If I want to manifest, I'll manifest in your living room and tell you what I want. You'd better have tea ready, and some of those crunchy biscuits. Cream, please, none of that 2% dreck you drink. We don't count fat grams in heaven.
4. I don't know how to put this delicately, but all of you who claim to see me? We have a term for you up here. Judas, of all people, came up with it. You're the "Easy Believers," aka the "Slutty Faithless." What use are you to God, when you'll believe in anything? This crystal thing is especially annoying. We spent thousands of years trying to stop people from worshipping rocks, and the minute we take a bit of vacation, bam!
5. Just because we can manifest, doesn't mean that we do. And when we do, we look like people. We don't look like a wood stain, or whatever ludicrous thing you decided you saw my son in.
6. Close your eyes and press in on your eyeballs. I'll wait.
.......
.......
.......
Did you see anything? Did you think it was real? No? Here's a good test. Next time you see J.C. or me, or that horrible little busybody Theresa, give us a nice poke. You can poke her a bit harder if you like. If we don't say anything, we weren't there in the first place.
7. Yes, Judas is in heaven. He did exactly what God intended him to do, and for this you think he should burn? He spends most of his time producing reality programming.
8. No, there aren't any flames. It's a figure of speech. It's more like waiting in line at the DMV. I shan't say anymore, I've said too much already.
9. Yes, Theresa is here too. She doesn't know what to do with herself, what with no lepers to minister at, so she's been poking her nose into everything. Her holier than thou attitude is seriously annoying, but there's nothing wrong with her getting laid won't fix. My son might have to spend a day or so doing nothing but turning water into wine for prospective suitors, though, if you know what I mean.
10. No, being catty is not a sin. There is no sin in heaven.
11. The Catskills, if it makes any difference to you. We like to be among our own.


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The Greatest Flow on Earth

We went to the circus tonight, Ngnat and I and the Sainted wife, with Woundwort and his wife and Bug. I was looking forward to seeing the circus through my child's eyes, to watch her drink in the atmosphere of excitement and thrills. I wanted to see some echo of the wonderment I experienced when my dad took me to the circus, thirty years ago.

What I saw was some circus and a lot more of the inside of the men's bathroom. In the first hour and thirty minutes of the performance, Ngnat went to the potty five times. Five times. Three pee-pees and two poopies. The child doesn't go to the bathroom that much in an entire weekend.

Did I mention we had really good seats? Really good seats mean the bathroom is a long way away, at the end of a truly immense flight of stairs. If you don't carry the child up the stairs, then it takes a good five minutes just to navigate them each way, and each minute is spent wondering exactly how far your child will roll down once they slip. Carrying your child up the stairs means that you have a screaming, wiggling, 35 pound skinbag of misery who is very unhappy with you because you won't let her navigate the Stairs of Death on her own, and who is outscreaming an entire circus in her attempt to make absolutely sure you realize this.

Here's another tip. If two couples take two toddlers to the circus, and one of the those toddlers is still in diapers, then the parents of the potty-trained child should get the aisle seats in case their toddler decides she has to go the bathroom every fifteen goddamn minutes.

Also, putting the pregnant mother of the potty-trained toddler in the furthest seat from the aisle means that the father of that child has to escort her to the bathroom every time she has to go, even when he would rather see the Mystical Mei Ling perform her exotic hand balancing routine, because getting a pregnant lady from her seat to the Stairs of Death involves discomfiting hundreds of other circus patrons. Even if a hundred people don't have to stand up and press in against their folding seats to let her waddle by, they still stare their silent, hostile stares at the person disturbing their field of vision, and I couldn't put the Sainted Wife through that.

So, when Ngnat relayed the five minute Old Faithful warning to me, usually by screaming "DADDY, I TO GOT GO POTTY!" at the top of her lungs, I shoved her out through the forest of what was to become very familiar knees between her and the stairs, and lugged her up to the men's restroom, while she kicked and screamed and wailed because I wouldn't let her walk up on her own.

Once we finally go to the restroom, I would wipe off the inevitable yellow splatters of badly aimed stranger urine from the toilet seat, choking back the gorge in my throat the entire time, and place her upon her newly polished throne.

"Don't touch anything." I would tell her, as if she could keep from falling into the immense hole beneath her by sheer willpower alone. "Now pee."

And she would pee, and I would pull her off the seat and tell her to wipe, and she would wipe. She'd also try to wipe up any stray pools of liquid she spotted around the toilet.

"Uh-oh! Somebody spilled, daddy," as she started to drag her hand and the incredibly inadequate square of toilet paper it held through a viscous puddle of fluid.

"AHHH! NO! Don't do that! Don't touch anything! No!"

So after we got through the ensuing bout of sobs because daddy yelled, we pulled up her panties and redid her overalls and flushed and scrubbed her hands, and scrubbed daddy's hands, we went back out to the Stairs of Death, which she got to walk down on her own, because two teary episodes in five minutes was enough for me.

Down the stairs we went, at a pace that would've caused grannies with walkers to sniff in impatience, back to our row and through the forest of knees back to our seats. Folding seats, mind you, that Ngnat insisted on crawling into herself. This usually resulted in her getting one or more more feet stuck in the crack between the seat and the back of the chair when she overbalanced at the wrong time. And when I say usually, I mean every time, and she was in and out of that seat all night long.

She didn't care for this at all when it happened. In fact, she expressed her displeasure at length, while I tried not to curse audibly, and wrestled with extricating what were for the situation absolutely gigantic toddler shoes from their padded vise.

Once removed, and sat down, and told in no uncertain terms to Sit Still, Ngnat would watch the circus for a bit, especially if elephants were involved in the proceedings, then get up and dance around, or sit on the cold concrete floor and stare at the back of the neck of the poor Chinese man in front of us. I think she was looking for marks. She had kicked him a couple of times earlier in the evening, before I noticed what she was doing. He never said a word. I spent a good portion of my time after that preventing her from striking again. By that point, I preferred her out of the chair. At least I knew where her feet were, then.

"Finally," I would think. "Now I can relax."

"DADDY, I GOT POOPIES!"

That damn Woundwort chuckled every time I had to squeeze past him.


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2/05/2003




Webmonkey

I've removed the table width specification from the blogger template Hraka uses, so it should resize based on the size of the window you are viewing it in. One thing I did have to specify was the pixel size of the cell that holds the blue namebar up at the top. Not doing so caused it to retreat over to the left side of the screen and stay there.

The changes don't appear to affect how the site renders in Opera 7, IE, 6.0.6 or Netscape 4.78, but if it looks funny to you, drop me a line.


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Miscellany

Colin Powell's presentation to the UN on Iraq can be found here, and a video of it is available here.


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There's always e-mail, not that I check it

I've disabled commenting temporarily. Haloscan is having server problems, and it's affecting the load time of the page. I'll try to bring them back tonight.


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Meta Poetry

Doggerel Pundit, who apparently has reams of time, spent an afternoon perusing the appeaser's anthology of anti-war poems. The anthology proudly claims the title of "speediest world poetry anthology ever", something you don't hear often when it comes to art. It's the equivalent of going out to a fancy restaurant and having the chef come to your table.

"Zees meal tonight, she is exquisite!" He proclaims. "I make it witha zee onions that makea her shoot through you in 30 minutes, one hour, tops!"

So DP has a stronger stomach than I, as well. He grazed among the poetic diarrhea, plucking lines from poems hither and yon until he brought forth the following.

The Late Afternoon

The late afternoon light surprises someone hoarding
The small bones of birds.
Are soul and flesh uneasy fusions?
How they abandon play once they disagree.

Men in green, men in beige and grey camouflage,
Poised to take out your recreational vehicle with one thrust. How
insulting to our attempts at existentialism! It would be for good
reason and not self-indulgence.

It can steal your identity and make you dead,
Harvesting the dragonseeds of hatred sown by previous generations.
Are we born each nude new generation? We accept
that we won't eat as well, sleep as sound.

In the space between the flash and bang,
Those buildings keeps them standing long after death.
Where there's war, there's an anti-war
I absolutely refuse to go

As he noted, it fits right in to the general theme of the anthology, and carries approximately the same amount of meaning, leading me to suspect that most of the originals he culled lines from were constructed with the help of the nice people at Magnetic Poetry.

Update: Changed the lines a bit, as the column width was throwing them off.


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Twenty Mule Team

This week's Carnival of the Vanities is at Plum Crazy, home of the vast center-wing conspiracy.

The first Carnival offspring, Bharatiya Blog Mela, featuring the best posts of the Desi* blogosphere, is also new today.

Upcoming Carnival stops include;

February 12th Dissecting Leftism
February 19th The People's Republic of Seabrook
February 26th Kesher Talk
March 5th Gut Rumbles
March 12th The Daily Rant
March 19th Wylie Blog
March 26th Dancing with Dogs
April 2nd Go Fish
April 9th Open
April 16th Billegible
April 23th The Kitchen Cabinet

If you'd like to host the Carnival, drop us a line. Information on how to join the Carnival can be found here.

*Indian expatriates


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I am Melvin Frohike

The News & Observer story on blogging has finally seen the light of day. It's peculiarly bloodless piece, despite the presence of friends of hraka Frank Boosman and the Loebriches, more of a primer than than anything else. There's a list of blogging tips, a series of puff quotes on why various bloggers do what they do, and the standard "come see the newspaper's new blog!" As I said, bloodless, except for the photos accompanying the story, which look like the photographer decided that the best way to portray bloggers was to slap a red filter on the lens and make them look as much as possible like the Martian contingent of The Lone Gunmen.

Photographic Subtext Translated: Them computer people say they're just like you and me, but we know better. They's odd, and a little spooky, like that funny-smellin' feller down the street with all the cats.

In a move that won't surprise any of the N&O's conservative critics, the paper's blog is devoted entirely to following John Edward's presidential campaign. I was actually surprised/disappointed to see a blog with such a narrow focus from a major regional newspaper, so color me naive. Also color me bored, because the laser-like focus on the native son leaves it exceedingly dull.

Update: Bruce and Katy have a roundup of blog reaction to the story.


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2/04/2003

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More Evidence That Wells Got His Dates Mixed Up

Eloi sighting.

Morlock sighting.


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You Should See It Salute

Ole Doc Weevil has been unable to satisfy his raging desire for patriotic monkey genitals. I hate to see a man suffer, so here you go, Doc. Here's another one, though it's not quite as...patriotic.

Zod: patriotic monkey genitals? What, are we not getting enough hits from the Google pervert parade for you?
That's our main readership, man.
Zod: Oh. Well, that explains why we keep getting visitors for this.


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Proof of Evolution

I found it here.


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Official Song of the Republican Party
(Formerly The Democratic Party National Anthem)

The minute I stepped on the Hill,
I could see you were a man of summation,
A real Big Spender,
book cooking, right aligned!
Say, wouldn't you like to know what's going on in my mind?

So let me get right to the point,
I will sell my vote to every guy I see.
Hey! Big Spender,
spread a little pork on me.

If you show me some funds? Funds? Funds?
Charted out on some graphs? Graphs? Graphs?
I could vote with you, big time!
Let me vote with you, big time!

The minute I stepped on the Hill,
I could see you were a man of summation,
A real Big Spender,
book cooking, right aligned!
Say, wouldn't you like to know what's going on in my mind?

So let me get right to the point,
I will sell my vote to every guy I see.
Hey! Big Spender,
Hey! Big Spender,

spread a little pork on me!
spread a little pork on me!
spread a little pork on me!

You can also listen to the original Peggy Lee version, and others, here.


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mmmmm.....vindicaaaaaation

Looks like I'm not the only one worrying about possible North Korean shenanigans during an attack on Iraq.


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Hurry Up and Wait

The USS Saipan passed through the Suez Canal today. On January 10th it was still on the east coast, and unloaded. She departed Norfolk on January 12th. Figure two-three days to get on station in the Persian Gulf, giving a total transit time of 27 days from the East Coast. As we're still loading ships with equipment, the earliest date for a ground attack would have to be in March.

An assumption I'm increasingly leery of is that the initial air attack will be during the dark of the moon, if only because it's become so widespread. If you do take it as a precondition, though, the airwar won't start until early March, giving the ships currently being loaded plenty of time to get on station before hostilities start.

Come March, there'll probably be an equally compelling reason to push the attack date back another month.


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Who's on Verse?

New Friend of Hraka The Doggerel Pundit illustrates appeasement.


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2/03/2003




More Falling Star Metaphors Than You Can Shake a Stick At

Probably the best Columbia political cartoon.

Probably the worst.

Slate has a collection of about 60.


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We'll Be Kicking Borg Ass Next

Warp 18, and Kirk hasn't even been born yet.


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Get thee behind me, Satan.

Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy sex toys.


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Becoming A Woman

Well, it has finally happened……I have become a woman. I am still young (that definition changes with each birthday) and would still like to party like the ol’ days, stay up all night, drink an assload of beer, and sleep on someone else’s floor for days on end. Apparently those days have passed me by.

My wife left this week for the beach with the kids and the in-laws………..the world is my oyster. Some things have remained the same. Within minutes of her leaving the house was a wreck, and something with fur is growing on the day old spaghetti. While I did get out yesterday and enjoyed a round of golf with Bigwig, Keharr and another buddy, not a single beer was downed…….it is a dark day in our history.

So, I have the entire place to myself for the week. No boundaries, no limits. Back in the day (I always wanted to use that one) that would have meant that the gang would get together and blow it out, but with everyone now married, that just doesn’t happen anymore. Instead of the walls ringing with loud music and raging partiers, it is the silence that is deafening……..I want my wife and my kids back home. I want to give the Bug a bath, steal a hug and hear her say, “Daddy, you are the best boy in the whole wide world” before I put her in the bed. I want to hold the newborn and smell his freshly washed hair as he falls asleep in my arms. I want my wife to be here so we can talk about how little sleep we are getting these days and how it is getting harder and harder to remember life before the Bug was born.

The transformation is complete…….I have become a woman (Bigwig, don’t call, I don’t have a vagina……yet). The only thing left for me to do is to rent “Steel Magnolia’s” and have a good cry. It is pathetic.

Update: I made it through last night without actually growing breasts (I'm somewhat disappointed about that). Today is going to be different. Tonight I am planning to get drunk, watch porn and stink up the place. It is time to claim the shell that is left of my manhood.


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Unspun

"The people of Iraq wish to express their deepest sorrow and solidarity with the families of the victims and with the American, Indian and Israeli people on this day of tragedy. I wish to offer my personal condolences to the families of the brave perished. They were among the best and brightest the world had to offer, and their loss diminishes us all.

If this time of sorrow teaches us anything, it is that human life is a precious thing, and taking of it not something to be considered lightly. In the name of the innocent and peaceful the world over, Iraq begs the United States to cease its unilateral march to war and work through the United Nations towards a resolution of the issues between us. Iraq continues to work with United Nations personnel in the hope that our differences may be resolved amicably, and entreats the United States to let the inspectors finish their task."

Statement of Saddam Hussein on the Explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Sunday, February 2nd, as read by an Iraqi spokesman.

As you probably know, there's no such statement. Saddam missed a chance to impede the Bush administration's plans for Iraq on Sunday by not saying something along those lines. Instead he committed essentially the same mistake the Palestinians did on 9/11 when they danced and shouted out in celebration of the attacks.

In the year and a half since they ululated in joy over an American tragedy, the Palestinians have been taught a bitter lesson. The American attitude towards Palestinian state hood before 9/11 was one of benign neglect. The American attitude afterward was "Screw the Palestinians" and it's no coincidence that Israeli has had a more or less free hand to act since then. What little sympathy/support there was in the American population for the Palestinians ended long before the 30 seconds of celebratory tape did. Yes, the tape probably wasn't representative of the Palestinian population as a whole, but by the time more sympathetic scenes were shown, it was too late. The dream of a Palestinian state is dead for the indefinite future, killed off as much by that tape as by the suicide bombings.

Now suppose for a moment that Saddam had issued the statement above. Yes, it would have been a tissue of lies. No one would have thought otherwise. But it's something that could be used by the factions opposed to war in the U.N. and the U.S. "Saddam wants peace," they could say. It's not about truth, it's about spin.

Regardless of the actual substance behind the messages, it would have found some resonance in the great mass of Americans who don't care one way or another about Iraq, and pushed some into anti-war camp. It probably wouldn't have had any effect in the long run, but issuing no statement at all would have been better than what was actually said.

''We are happy that it broke up,'' government employee Abdul Jabbar al-Quraishi said. ''God wants to show that his might is greater than the Americans. They have encroached on our country. God is avenging us.''

This is the closest to an official Iraqi reaction on shuttle disaster as we're likely to get. I imagine most Iraqi government employees would hesitate to say anything at all unless it came down form on high.

The statement "God is avenging us," isn't going to play in the halls where the decision to attack will be made, and it won't do diddly to help Saddam with the American public. Just as with the Palestinians, their first response is going to be negative, and may even stop the drop in support in the polls for an attack.

American disasters cause the American public to rally 'round the flag. Unsavory types celebrating American disasters is apt to keep them there.

The Belligerent Bunny says much the same thing.


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2/02/2003




Remember This in the Days To Come



Remember this when they claim the moral high ground.
Remember this when they march in the streets.
Remember this when they speak of their concern for "The Children"
Remember this when they tell you America is to blame for the world's ills.
Remember this, that they celebrated the deaths of innocents before, and have again, and will again.

via Damian Penny


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The Agonist has a nice map of Europe breaking down the various levels of support/opposition by country.


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