The irony? Caesar wanted to change a republic into a monarchy. Who else do we know who tried to do that (or rather what vice president do we know who thinks we have a monarchy instead of a republic). Only he tried to force it on us through fear, rather than through popularity, like Caesar did (though I'm sure a little fear was included in his game plan).
No conclusions here, just an observation.
BTW, I did watch The Speech. The first half of it was pretty standard Democrat-speak. The parts I disagreed with were the same parts that make me an Independent and not a Democrat. The part I really enjoyed was where he got into the specifics of his plan. A good speech, not great.
According to online resources, I am unique in the US. Well, my particular name combination is. The link is How Many of Me [dot] Com. Check it out if you're curious how many of you there are...
[thanks to Jen for the link]
For those technically minded readers, this search is mainly based on 1990 census information and though it claims that some names are not included because they are too rare, it still managed to come up with a "1" answer for me rather than "1 or fewer" that it did for my brother and sister's names. Why the difference? I'm not sure.
I've found one of the above holes in my window screen in the last few months. The obvious correlation was that they only appeared in the screens of the windows that I keep open in the summer months for the cats to sit in. However, my cats (for reasons unrelated to me) do not have front claws, so it wasn't like they were clawing to get out. I had no idea where they came from, so I just closed that window and opened a different one (in case it was the cats trying to get out). A few nights ago, I heard an angry yowling and came out of my room just in time to figure out what was going on -- a neighborhood bully cat was trying to jump in the window to (I assume) attack my cats. He obviously does have claws and he's ripping the screen as he hangs on before dropping off again (that's where the second photo is from). Son of a bitch. It's things like these that make me glad my boys don't go wandering around the neighborhood by themselves!
Incidentally, there are other interesting actors who come on: Tricia Helfer (Number 6, BSG) and Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson, SG:1) are his latest adversaries. The latter I didn't recognize until he went into a spate of ham acting... ;)
I have a tiny pill box with a copy of Hokusai's Great Wave. It's one of... no, I'd say it is my favorite painting ever. I was looking at the little pill box the other day and thought "I'd love to have a print of this. I wonder where I can find one?" Saturday night, I went up to my friend Susan's apartment and there were boxes stacked around because they (she and her husband) are moving. Behind one of the stacks, I see a familiar wave form. I went over to it and pulled out a large, framed print of The Great Wave. "Oh," I said, "I've always loved this painting." "Do you want it?" Susan asked, "We're getting rid of it. It doesn't fit in the new place." "Seriously?" So, now I have a framed print.
I also found a new couch at last. It wasn't as great a find, since it was at Crate and Barrel, which is a tad on the pricey side. But, it was exactly what I wanted and I'll probably have it for the next decade or two, so I closed my eyes and jumped. It's on back order, so you won't see it for a long while (October), but the ottoman I wanted was there in the exact fabric I wanted, and for about 85% off its original price. It was the floor model, so a little bit worn, but hey, for that much savings, I'll take it. Unfortunately, this will just emphasize the other cheap furniture I have (like the desk nee sewing table I got for free, the bookshelves from Target, and the dining table I got at a used furniture sellers that was in an abandoned gas station, but only on the weekend (a table and six chairs only $100!).) but I'll see about gradually upgrading when I have the money.
Fortunately, I just redeemed the weekend by finally watching Croupier, a DVD lent to me by my brother. He loves Clive Owen, so he's a wee bit biased, but all 'round this was a great film. It's a bit self aware -- the "hero" spends a lot of time making pithy remarks, but that's pretty standard, as he's a writer at heart. The characters are all quite realistic aside from the sharp divide between the self aware and the not aware at all. Maybe that is realistic after all. A strange, but compelling film that makes you think -- are you a croupier (dealer) or a "punter" (gambler)? Do you take risks or are you observing and controlling from the outside? I'll give it a 4 out of 5.
I dreamt that I was in India and I met a man I was in love with, only my sister (who wasn't married in my dream) was in love with him too. He looked and sounded like the guy who was the fiance in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, though in real life I don't really find that guy all that attractive. Anyway, we were leaving India, but my plane left earlier and after I left, the guy met with a detective who was investigating the death of his (the guy I was in love with) parents. Oddly enough, I had, earlier in the dream, during an odd sequence I won't describe that involved chamberpots, met a fellow who knew lots about me because he was as observant as a detective (and in fact, looked like Hercule Poirot).
Your result for The Perception Personality Image Test...
NFDS - The Guide
Nature, Foreground, Detail, and Shape
You perceive the world with particular attention to nature. You focus on what's in front of you (the foreground) and how that is affected by the details of life. You are also particularly drawn towards the shapes around you. Because of the value you place on nature, you tend to find comfort in more subdued settings and find energy in solitude. You like to deal directly with whatever comes your way without dealing with speculating possibilities or outcomes you can't control. You are highly focused on specific goals or tasks and find meaning in life by pursuing those goals. You prefer a structured environment within which to live and you like things to be predictable.
The Perception Personality Types:
And now, I need to get to bed, 'cause I'm planning to get up at quarter past 5 so I can go to the lifting class. Yep. Discipline.
Here are the players I know of so far:
I'll be away from my computer during the middle part of the day tomorrow, but I expect you all to be creative!
We talked, watched the Olympics (with my sister skipping through any "boring" parts), and then went grocery shopping before making a fabulous, inspired dinner.
We thought about taking a picture, but that would have required stopping eating, and at that point we were too far into it. So, here's a description. We made Linguini with an embellished tomato pasta sauce. We bought Classico's with spinach and Parmesan, then added ground turkey and lots of mushrooms (white and cremini). We also grated Parmesan (of course), warmed focaccia bread, and steamed green beans.
She also gave me a taste of a couple pricey purchases she made recently: some delicious balsamic vinegar and some equally delicious white truffle infused olive oil. Yum yum! Now I understand why these two ingredients are considered staples in a gourmet's kitchen.
So, once again, my beautiful and kind sister came through for me when I needed a pick me up.
Thank you, sweetie!
"Costas: If these Olympics are as successful as they are shaping up to be, most people believe this only further legitimizes the ruling party in the minds of most Chinese citizens. And even absent true liberty as we understand it, the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese people are much better than they once were. Therefore, what's the party's incentive to reform?
Bush: Well first of all, if you are a religious person you understand that once religion takes hold in a society it can't be stopped. And secondly I think the Olympics are gonna serve as a chance for people to come and see china the way it is, and let the Chinese see the world and interface and have, you know, the opportunity to converse with people from around the world." [Emphasis mine.]
Costas said NOTHING about religion in Chinese society. Bush mentions it only because he is frigging obsessed with pandering to his "base."
Does the dragging in of religion turn your stomach? It did mine!
If I considered myself religious, I'd be insulted by the blatant pandering.
If I didn't consider myself religious, I'd be insulted by the inference that only through religion can society elevate itself.
As I believe Jeri pointed out on a comment somewhere "the ability to believe despite all evidence to the contrary is not necessarily a good thing in a president."
I cannot watch the idiot anymore.
(PS - Bravo to Bob Costas for having some pretty insightful questions, despite his blockheaded interviewee.)
I've been slowly working on a bathroom in the basement project. My friend and co-worker, Rachel, took me to a high-end tile place called Ann Sachs a couple weeks ago. It was exciting, but once I got home I could see that putting such expensive materials in my modest home (even if I could afford them) would be extremely odd. However, yesterday I saw some great tilework on my project while doing a site walk (see photo) and then today we went to Design Materials, a much more middle-class kinda place. I'm starting to get a real feel for what I would like the bathroom to look like.
So, my ideas are starting to germinate (yay!) and this weekend, I think I'll be finalizing the design and I hope, next week to select the plumbing fixtures. Figuring out how much a plumber will do is still up in the air. The first estimate I got was $3K for labor only.
This will get done, but I think it'll be on a longer schedule than I was expecting.
It's good to cook myself a meal again.
It's just one of those days.
(You know. The kind where you have the intention to do the right thing, and then it's rebuffed or falls through or just doesn't turn out how you intended.)
I enjoyed myself, got a giant bin of blueberries at Costco and some meat to freeze. I plan to make a sweet couscous dish with peanut butter and soy milk and I have tons of mushrooms and some ground bison to make some spaghetti sauce (will freeze smaller portions this time!), but forgot a couple cans of tomato sauce.
Oh, that reminds me. I forgot to brag about the great cookbook that Jeri gave me for hosting her for Denvention. Since she's from Seattle, she appropriately got me Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen. I had seen Tom Douglas smack down Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America and really look forward to making some of his slightly Asian influenced recipes.
On Saturday, the four of us gathered to hear Lois McMaster Bujold read a couple chapters from her current work in progress, a new book in her Miles Vorkosigan series. I haven't read all of them -- actually, I'd only gotten through the first two, the ones about his parents, before getting distracted and moving on to something else -- so I was unfamiliar with the main character, but Bujold's writing sucked me right in. It was funny and exciting and made you want to read more. Fortunately, she's not sure when she'll finish it, so I have time to catch up on the series.
Afterwards, we went up to wait in line and have books signed. She signed for at least 2 1/2 hours in one sitting. She must had have terribly cramped hands at the end! That, on top of the fact that she had a cold and was losing her voice, showed what a trooper she was.
We also went to ambush John Scalzi. Tania tried to sign us up for the "kaffeeklatch" (a ten-on-one roundtable session) with him but was foiled by a miscommunication on the part of the organizers. So, she represented the UCF at the kaffeeklatch. So, we waited around to get a photo with him afterwards. After all that buildup, I saw Scalzi for about ten seconds as he graciously paused to let us give him a UCF t-shirt and photograph ourselves with him and then he was off to dress for the Hugo awards ceremony. We didn't go to the ceremony (Jeri and I went to Stacey's house instead) but Scalzi ended up winning a Hugo for Best Fan Writer.
After accosting Scalzi, we headed to P.F. Chang's for some much needed celebratory food. There were seven of us, Janiece and her Smart Man, Tania and her dad and her friend Lance, and Jeri and I. We ate lots of food (did it family style and passed stuff around) and talked lots. It was great. I'm so glad we got to have so many UCFers in one spot and really look forward to more.
Sunday was more low key. Jeri, Janiece, and I went to a panel with Bujold and two of her best writing friends, Lillian Stewart Carl and Patricia C. Wrede, who also happen to be famous writers themselves. They had a great rapport between them and lots of great stories over the years (they had become friends before any of them were published, I believe).
Then, after waiting around for more book signings (Elizabeth Moon, for me) and a final wander around the merchandising area, Tania joined us and we four went to lunch at Appaloosa Grill. You won't be surprised when I say we ate good food and had a hell of a lot of fun talking.
Oh, I forgot to mention that on Sunday I decided to wear a sari to the convention. It was mainly because I could (not much call for saris in my usual workaday world). Jeri took this picture of me, next to the Stargate. The gals were quite impressed.
You can read more about the convention on Janiece (Day 4, Day 5), Jeri, or Tania's blogs.
We got there late because we were a) chatting about writing and b) laughing our butts off reading the comments for Jim Wright's post inviting people to tell him why he's a jerk. Check in went very smoothly and so we went to the second half of a panel about scifi and questioning social norms. It was pretty much your standard scifi panel, with some very cogent discussion on how avant garde scifi is or isn't and how it contributes to the progress of ideas. Then we met up with Tania and went to a nearly 100% comedic panel including writing greats such as Connie Willis (who was adorable, funny, and smart as a whip), Greg Bear, and Jay Lake. The comedy part was the fact that there was no set discussion theme, they answered questions (sometimes wacky questions) from the audience.
After that, we went to a hotel restaurant (way high priced, we could have done better, but were too lazy) and chatted with Tania, her friend Lance, and Janiece and her Smart Man. We had a great time talking, and I had the (overpriced, but good) buffet so I could eat at whatever pace I felt like. We forgot to get photographic evidence -- of the meeting or the food.
In the afternoon, we wandered around the merchandizing area and looked at books, clever Tshirts, and jewelry. I tried on a corset. It wasn't too uncomfortable (though I didn't try to sit down) and was made well with some lovely brocades. Unfortunately, it was also $400. We left just in time to make it to a reading by Elizabeth Moon, except that it had been moved to a different room, far away. By the time we got there, we were late, of course, but were there in time to appreciate her reading an unpublished short story. She then took questions and she talked about her next book (in the Paksenarrion world!) and what the experience was like to write The Speed of Dark. I didn't have any books for her to sign, but I did go up and act like a completely geeky fan, saying "thank you for writing" and "your writing inspires me to do the same." I wish I had been more coherent, but I was a little unnerved, not by meeting her, but by my reaction to meeting her. It was odd.
Afterwards, we went back to the overpriced hotel bar and met Janiece and her Smart Man for drinks. We had a great time talking to them. I really enjoy their company. This was documented, and a picture can be found on Jeri's blog. They had to leave since Boogey, their dog, needed to be let out, fed, etc. but Jeri and I went back in for the Masquarade. That was essentially the costume competition. It ranged from merely well-designed gowns to whole productions including multiple costumed characters and singing and dancing. I particularly liked the velociraptors, the Elizabethan Faerie King and Queen, and the Chairman of the Borg (Frank Sinatra singing as if he were a Borg drone). Wil McCarthy did a brave job of MCing the process. That was about 1 1/2 hours long, so we just got home. Or rather, we had just gotten home when I started this post, but now it's much later.
Ooh, and now I'm eating yummy chocolates brought all the way from Seattle. Thank you to my houseguest, Jeri! [cue Homeresque gargle... chocolate!]
I'll permit myself a little uber geek moment right now... SQUEEEEE! :D
Jeri will be blogging via her Blackberry, so if you want to follow our progress, you might look at her blog.
I'm picking up Jeri from the airport in a couple hours and tomorrow and Saturday we'll be going to Denvention to soak in the geekitude and watch some interesting panels on science fiction.
I'll report back, of course.
I've exercised three days in a row (am not tomorrow, I'll tell ya that!) and I am P-O-O-P-E-D.
I'd write more, but I'm too tired.
All in all, I enjoyed it very much. Four out of Five Stars.
AND I got loot from Janiece! [does the Loot Dance]
Thank you, Janiece!
I also wanted to try the Triumph Bonneville, but they recently sold thier test model and hadn't cleared another one for test riding. They'll give me a call when it is.
After that, I moved on to the Suzuki dealer. Unlike the lovely people at the Triumph dealership, a sales fellow (the owner of the dealership, I think) said that on Saturdays he's "short on staff" and I should come back during the week. He's short on friggin' staff on the weekend? What the hell? That's when working blokes like myself have friggen' time to go shopping! Then, to add injury to insult, he reminded me to wear long pants and closed toed shoes - a reasonable request, if I was wearing a skirt and high heels... except that I wasn't! Because I rode my bike there, I was wearing jeans and tennis shoes (on a hot day!) and was carrying my motorcycle jacket. I clearly know what to wear to ride, you patronizing git. I'd rather not buy a bike from him, but I might have to go back for a test drive and then buy from someone else. Muahahahahaha!
I was highly tempted to go right away to the other side of town to another Suzuki dealership, but I ended up going to dinner with my uncle Sam. A much better way to spend an evening, I believe.
In other news, I went to a late showing of Blade Runner at Red Rocks, a beautiful outdoor venue, with some friends. I hadn't seen it for a long time (years) and I had forgotten how great it is. Before watching the movie, we hung out and one of my friends was really throwing me for a loop talking about the fabulous performance by Dolph Lundgren and what happened to him after that? I couldn't remember him in it, but then again it had been a long time. I really couldn't imagine a fabulous perfomance by Dolph Lundgren either, but... OK. Then, another friend joined the conversation. "Oh, you mean Rutger Hauer?" Now that I remember! Yes, fabulous death scene. And aside from the divine Ladyhawke, yes, he did kind of disappear into B-movieland. Sure, they're both Teutonic testosterone-laden action heroes, but really... mixing those two up?
Hope you all are having a great weekend.