thoughtful. entertaining. random.

Month: December 2005 (Page 1 of 4)

guess i’ve gotta learn welsh!

This year’s Christmas present haul proved most interesting. Amongst the fun stuff:

  • Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run 30th Anniversary Edition box set
  • a Cuisinart Pro Classic 7-cup food processor (something I’ve wanted for quite a while)
  • Blazing Saddles on DVD (“Howard Johnson is right!”)
  • two new books on The Beatles
  • a copy of Harri Potter a Maen yr Athronydd – Harry Potter in Welsh!

That last one is a fun one from sprite. After returning from the UK in September, I mentioned that it would be fun to learn Welsh. Now I have the perfect starting point!

thursday thoughts: fonts, web 2.0, etc.

Some happy randomness for today:

  • It’s the season of end-of-year lists, and Typographica has chimed in with their favorite fonts of 2005. Some really cool stuff, and I even have one of ’em (Adobe Garamond Premier Pro).
  • There’s a lot of buzz about “web 2.0” – so much that it’s tough to really tell whether it’s a good thing. There are good arguments for both the “old-school” web philosophy and the more end-user centric “new-school” stuff. But this picture does a good job at helping visualize the confusion that can come with the current models of “web 2.0.”
  • I haven’t watched music videos in some time – not having cable is a good part of that. But this list of this blogger’s top 50 videos is good watching.
  • The FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup is in full swing, and I love following the races and results. As a citizen of the United States, however, I’m left with virtually no video coverage of the races (though OLN carries some heavily-butchered race footage every week). Thanks to the web, though, it’s possible to watch all the top-three runs from every World Cup race – thank you, Sport1!

wal-mart bait-and-switch… yuck!

For the third year in a row, the iPod was one of the hottest gifts for the holiday season. And this year was the first year that the music player was available for sale at Wal-Mart (after a long negotiation period where Apple actually got the evil Walton empire to bend).

However, not everybody who bought an iPod at Wal-Mart actually got what they wanted – some got meat instead. Yuck!


I’ve been listening to “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” on WAMU. The first hour of today’s show featured a trio of guests discussing modern-day propaganda.

Amongst the guests was Lt. Col. Charles Krohn, retired Army Public Affairs Officer. A caller brought up the litany of propaganda used to sell the idea of the war in Iraq and the overall “war on terror,” and how it’s wrong to be there. In response, the retired Army propagandiist said this:

“This is a war we must win, even if it takes 40 years.”

40 years. Four decades. Two bloody generations. And if we keep going the way we’re going, it’ll last at least that long.

And still, our children and grandchildren will be no safer. And there will still be no exit strategy, as a military operation against an idea – and terror is still an idea, not a physical nation or army – is incapable of having any tactical exit strategy. So money will still be thrown away, young men and women on all sides will die for no gain, and the United States will continue to lower its status in the global community.

Isn’t it refreshing that a former Army propagandist supports a quagmire?

wordpress 2.0: upgrade successful!

The upgrade happened with minimal fuss.  I did forget to disable a plugin, but it didn’t affect the upgrade at all.

So here we are, in WordPress 2.0!

wordpress 2.0 is out – fair warning

After a long and (hopefully) productive development cycle, WordPress has released version 2.0 of their content management system. This blog currently runs version 1.5.2 of WordPress.

So I’m taking the plunge and upgrading my blog – the procedure for upgrading is involved, but shouldn’t be too bad. I’m hoping that my theme and plugins work with the new engine – it looks like they should, but there are no guarantees.

So if things go a bit weird here, just know that I’m working on it.

tops of 2005

I’ve posted the furst run-through of my Tops of 2005 list. It’ll get more populous as the new year approaches, but it’s a start.


happy christmas!

War isn’t over yet – people just aren’t taking John Lennon to heart.

But it’s Christmas. Mom is visiting us at sprite’s folks’ place in Connecticut, and it’s stressful. I’m pleased as can be that she came out, but it’s not been a visit without some bumps. Such is the reality of family life, I suppose, but it’s not the happy, go-lucky holiday of my youth.

That said, the day has been okay, as has the holiday weekend. I was able to go skiing on Friday (workout log forthcoming on that), and the gifts I gave went over quite well. The calendar I made for Mom (the “big-ass project”) went over very, very well, and I’m really happy that she has some photos to brighten her day.

She’s been hounding us to come out to Utah sometime soon, which is something we’d like to do, save for the cost of flying out there and the academic schedule. I really believe that she wants us to move out west, but that’s not in the cards for the foreseeable future. There’s a lot of baggage on both ends, and it’s something that will be dealt with sometime when the extended family isn’t due for dinner in less than an hour and the dynamic needs to be smooth. C’est la vie….

Mom is in town until tomorrow afternoon. I wish she could stay a little longer and enjoy herself, but she’s out-of-place (her own assessment) being so far away from Utah, and the longer she stays, the more stress develops. So we’ll plan a trip out west for sometime during the winter, and send her home knowing that she’s welcome here (even though she doesn’t feel that way right now – 20/20 hindsight will prove that she’s a part of the family, I’m sure).

So happy (or merry) Christmas to all – and a happy Hanukkah and a kick-ass Kwanzaa to all the rest!

workout log: 23 december 2005

Activity: alpine skiing
Location: Bromley, VT
Start time: 1000 hrs.
End time: 1400 hrs.
Weather: overcast and windy, 37 degrees
Max HR (bursts): 165 (beats in 10 seconds x 6)
Type: anaerobic

A nice day of skiing on a warm December day. The place was really empty, owing to the pre-Christmas travel day. A $25 ticket was a big draw, keeping me away from Stratton and Mt. Snow, which were closer to $60 for an all-day pass.

It was great to be back on skis after the long off-season. And my shoulder held up very, very well.

big ass christmas project is done!


I’ve been working on a rather involved, if not physically large, project to give as a holiday present.

And, as of 8:54 pm tonight, it’s done!

Now all I need to do is assemble it – but the worst part is over.

Only problem: missed the 9:00 pm bus. So I wait for the 9:20. Dinner is delayed.

Oh well…..

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