Relax. Life's too stressed out.

Friday, November 25, 2005

A quick peek at Grace's life ...

Posted: 2005-11-13T11:13:46Z

Source:
Recent developments:
/>My Tandem partner bailed (too busy) so I got a new one. Small drawback: she's in London till the 21st. But we've made plans to meet on the 23rd.

I met up with some very nice horseback riding people and was told where the barn was. Lessons are actually cheap, compared to New England and UK. I've emailed the barn but they haven't written back ... maybe I'll go out there sometime this week.

We're getting ready for Dan's visit starting Friday.

It's actually gotten cold (kind of) and is supposed to freeze Wednesday night.

We bicycled over the border to Bernrain (pilgrimage chapel) and Castell (old fortress) yesterday. The chapel wasn't particularly exciting but the castle was very atmospheric, all overgrown with ivy and big trees, especially since it was still extremely foggy (we need to remember that you can't see anything before 1 pm in this part of the world). As we had only the most rudimentary idea where things were it's astonishing we didn't get lost. Or rather, more lost: the Swiss need to signpost their bike paths a LOT better. But we actually managed to find both places without ending up in France, which was impressive.

Josh cooked trout last night, which turned out quite yummy. And we had brownie pudding for dessert, yum.

We went to an ecumenical church service for the "Konradifest" (week of observance of Konstanz's patron saint, a 10th-century bishop). Not very exciting, but nice music, and Orthodox clergy in cool robes. Josh talked to the Old Catholic priest afterwards. Memo to the Altkatholische Kirche: you don't have to do anything as tasteless as actual evangelism, but it might help if you put a sign up indicating when the services were. On the outside of the building. Also at the reception for this event they were selling various holiday-themed tchotchkes, including stuffed "Tiger-Enten"*. We were amused.

MY COMPUTER REFUSES TO BOOT UP AGAIN. And getting tech support in a different country from the one where one bought the machine is ... complicated. And I can' t remember any of the helpful things the guy who helped me fix it in August said. And if I wrote down a reference number then, I can't find it.

Grr.

Gotta run ...

*Complicated German cultural reference available on request. Or Myra can elucidate it in a comment.

From one African bishop to another ...

Posted: 2005-11-10T09:12:30Z

Source:
Confidential, from St. Augustine to Peter Akinola:

"Sometimes we also do things which have every appearance of being sins against nature or against our fellow men, but are not sins because they offend neither you, the Lord our God, nor the community in which we live. ... But when you suddenly command us to do something strange and unforeseen, even if you had previously forbidden it, none can doubt that the command must be obeyed, even though, for the time being, you may conceal the reason for it and it may conflict with the established rule of custom in some forms of society; for no society is right and good unless it obeys you."

If even the Prude of Hippo could write like that, it does leave some room in the tradition for the movement of the Spirit, no?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I'm also against BODY-SURFING!!

Stop Right Where You Are. Now Back Up

Posted: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 15:47:53 -0800

Source:

That's the metaphorical advice from PR guru Morgan McClintic when it comes to blogs.

It's a good idea to back up your blog. If you use Moveable Type or another server-based blogging platform you can easily backup the files yourself. For all those with hosted blogs such as Blogger or Typepad, that's not so easy. Typepad recently deleted several blogs beginning with the letter 'S', so disaster can strike. You don't want that to happen to you, your company or your client.

(snip)

LifeHacker recently had a great post which suggests creating a local mirror of your blog on a regular basis. Mac OSX users can use WebGrabber and PC users HTTrack, both of which are free:

Sounds like a lesson you don't want to learn the hard way.

TAGS: ,

Re-name token.

Posted: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 17:02:41 GMT

Source: I know I've done polls like this before but I can actually afford a rename token now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Group Trains Air Force Cadets to Proselytize

Posted: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

Source: A private missionary group has assigned a pair of full-time Christian ministers to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where they are training cadets to evangelize among their peers, according to a confidential letter to supporters.

Right. Dwarfs.

Posted: 2005-11-10T10:53:04Z

Source:
When we arrived, Konstanz was full of dwarfs.









The German word for "dwarf" is "Zwerg" which is just an inherently amusing word, and it seemed to be a nice public art project, like the bears in Sankt Gallen. Unfortunately, some stupid people were unable to resist doing things like throwing rocks through the "Dream Dwarf"'s beard and knocking "Emperor Constantine" off his stand, so the dwarfs got rather battered. Stupid people. And now the local free rag that gets stuck in our mailbox twice a month has run an unexpectedly touching article on the departure of the dwarfs (apparently, they're going to be removed and sold on EBay this month - phooey!), including "interviews" with several of them ranging from one who can't wait to go back to his family, to one who regrets losing the nice view and interactions with people from all over the world, to one who just asks to be taken to the doctor, to one who says, "well, Konstanz is very nice for people, not for dwarfs" (he's the one with the hole in his beard) to one who, on being asked how he feels about leaving, says, "Leave? What? Why do I have to leave? Where would I go? I'm the Konstanzer Zwerg! I'm staying right here!" It's all very cute, and features a cartoon of the bandaged, beat-up dwarfs marching sadly away while Imperia (the statue on the wharf) watches. On the front page there's also a picture of a dwarf holding a sign saying "Keine Gewalt gegen Zwerge!" (Stop Violence Against Dwarfs!)

Whimper! I want the dwarfs back!

Update: This post has been revised to regularize the spelling of the word "dwarfs" in accordance with the wisdom of the Princes in "Into the Woods" ("DWARFS!!"). However, I'm not going to bother to fix the other posts.

Blogging ... LIVE!!

Posted: 2005-11-09T20:46:32Z

Source:
... from the Shenanigans Pub on Bodanplatz!!

Yes, Konstanz has an Irish pub. In fact, it has TWO Irish pubs, only a couple of blocks from each other, and owned by the same people. They have recently both put in free wireless internet. Of course, the first one we went to, Shamrock on Bahnhofstrasse, had a busted adapter. So after Josh gave up and went home, I came over here (I hadn't even known this place existed until informed by the apologetic waitress at Shamrock) and, assisted by the British guy on staff who suggested I move across the room for better connectivity, successfully got my computer connected for the first time in three months. McAfee will hopefully stop screaming at me now.

I have to go home soon, so the dwarves will have to wait, but I suspect I'll be back soon.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add.
-- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court

Gender Identity Confusion

Posted: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 15:35:38 -0800

Source:

This is sure to confuse the Drudge readers from Alabama...

But we were ready to congratulate TBAiT regular Joi Ito for making this list of the Ten most powerful women in blogging.

There's just one problem, as Joi explains:

Sorry about having a ambiguous name, but I'm not a woman. I've been mistaken for a women by various bloggers, but this is the first time I've made it on a 10 most XYZ Women in ABC list.

The list seems a little bogus to me anywhere. Where's Susan Mernit? Where's Halley Suitt? There seem to be quite a few all-stars missing from that list. Now there's room to add one back.

Perhaps this explains something:

About Our Algorithms:

We want to thank Technorati,BlogShares, and Google for their help. We also wish to thank Jason,Nick,Paul,Darren,Jordon,Ben,Mena,Kottke, and Andrew for turning down our invitation to join our judges panel. It really made it easy to find some unbiased panelists that were affordable.

TAGS: ,

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

if i had a brave face

Posted: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 09:59:24 GMT

Source: I'm doing 12.30 til 2.30 today but Richard just rang because he couldn't remember what he'd told me to do today and he thought he'd told me to take the day off, but I reminded him of the right times and he asked if I could stay til 4. I said no and told him I had to go and see my little brother because it was his birthday (well, it was his actual birthday last week but I couldn't see him then becuase I was working, although I didn't say that) and he said how late could I stay til, so I said 3 because I didn't want to say I couldn't stay late at all. My dad's supposed to be picking up at 3 though, and it can't be later cuz he has to pick Arran up from school in Kettering at 3.20, so I shall have to run back from work which should only take a few minutes. And my work trousers are quite nice so I'll only have to change my shirt.

But then I have both Saturday and Sunday off, yay! No idea what my shifts are like next week because I haven't had a chance to look at the rota yet. I wonder if it'll closer to 39 hours like my first week, or 20 hours like this last one. Now that they have another full-time person it probably won't be as much as 39.

Work isn't really stressing me out anymore though. I get tired and pissed off with it sometimes (well, often), but it doesn't really make me anxious, and that's good. Anxiety is an awful feeling and it makes everything twice as hard. I can cope with being tired and pissed off.

I should get paid very soon. I think. I gave them my bank details on Tuesday. The form said "attach ID" though and I have no ID so I just ignored that bit and Richard didn't look at the form when I gave it to him and he was too busy for me to ask about anything to do with it. I think they'll give me a cheque if they haven't got the bank details sorted. But then, they probably want ID before they pay me at all. All this trouble is making me wish the government would give us ID cards after all, although I don't know enough about the issue to really say I agree with it. It'd just make a lot of things easier for me.

I am putting off reading Thud! til I finish my library book. It's Closing Time, the sequel to Catch-22. I can't work out if I like it or not. I loved Catch-22 but I don't know if it really needed a sequel. And I'm nor sure if the same themes work in a normal world rather than a war zone. And it's a bit repetitive. I'm not far in though so maybe I'll like it more as I go along. It's probably just cuz I'm rushing myself a little bit.

Two Blockbuster DVDs came today - Shooting the Past, which has Liam Cunningham in it sighing a lot, and Star Trek IV (the one with the whales and time travel in it), which is the only original Star Trek movie I've seen but for some reason I've seen it loads of times and I love it and am going to make Chris watch it. Lucy might be coming over on Saturday to finish watching Falling For a Dancer with me.

Chris and I had a big argument last night because he ate the last of the cheese, not in a sandwich or anything just on its own cuz he was bored, and I was mad at him because I had wanted the cheese in an omelette and I kicked up a big fuss and he made me a plain omelette but he wrote "i love you" on the plate in ketchup and then I stopped being mad at him :]

Monday, November 21, 2005

NATION IN BRIEF

Posted: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

Source: SHELBY, Miss. -- A restaurant owner is under investigation after he apparently tried to sell the meat of a cottonmouth moccasin to customers, police said.

From one African bishop to another ...

Posted: 2005-11-10T09:12:30Z

Source:
Confidential, from St. Augustine to Peter Akinola:

"Sometimes we also do things which have every appearance of being sins against nature or against our fellow men, but are not sins because they offend neither you, the Lord our God, nor the community in which we live. ... But when you suddenly command us to do something strange and unforeseen, even if you had previously forbidden it, none can doubt that the command must be obeyed, even though, for the time being, you may conceal the reason for it and it may conflict with the established rule of custom in some forms of society; for no society is right and good unless it obeys you."

If even the Prude of Hippo could write like that, it does leave some room in the tradition for the movement of the Spirit, no?

The mountains, the mountains ...

Posted: 2005-11-08T10:13:54Z

Source:
This weekend, Josh and I departed for a "Huttenwochenende" in a self-catering guesthouse on a Swiss hillside with about 30 history students. This is the closest I can find on the web to the view from the east windows (we were a bit lower down, though):



That's Säntis on the left - the guesthouse is called "Säntisblick" or "view of Säntis". Just imagine most of the snow replaced by grass, though of course there was still a fair amount on the upper slopes, global warming and all. Of course, for most of the weekend it was too foggy to see the mountains, and it rained all morning and part of the afternoon on Saturday, nixing the long hike that had been planned as the centerpiece of the weekend. However, the clouds lifted partway Saturday evening, and when we got up Sunday morning we had a clear view.

Since hiking was out of the question, the other aims of a Huttenwochenende - eating, drinking and carousing - came to the fore. A truly astonishing amount of beer, wine, vodka and Kirchwasser was carted through Swiss customs, evenly distributed among the 10 or so cars in order to comply with statutory limits. Remarkably, though, although people were drinking pretty much constantly throughout the weekend, there wasn't the kind of serious drunkenness and mayhem that would inevitably occur if 30 American college students were put in the same circumstances. Well, apart from somebody urinating in the kitchen, which took place only a few hours after we got there and was strongly rebuked by the leaders. This may have to do with the fact that Teutonic drinking seems to be much more laid-back than Anglo-Saxon drinking, start earlier, so kids first drink around their parents and other responsible adults, and involve less bingeing. Also, the youngest of these kids was 19 and many were in their mid-20s.

Josh and I went for a brief walk on Saturday afternoon when the rain had mostly slackened off, and discussed whether similarities between Swiss and New England farm architecture and technology were solely due to adaptations to similar terrain or had some other connection. The Alpine foothills do look remarkably like Vermont must have a hundred years ago before it was reforested, only of course much more heavily populated. Then a gang of Germans went hiking and Josh went along with them too, while I sat inside and read Gregory of Nazianzus.

The guys cooked dinner: giant vats of tortellini (Friday) and vegetable curry (Saturday), and because a large contingent stayed up till 4 or 5 am, breakfast on Saturday lasted until 3:30 PM, and on Sunday there was a big brunch (müsli, salami, cheese, brown bread, Zopf - frosted braided white bread - jam, honey, Nutella, and Bauernfrühstück - eggs scrambled with onions and potatoes). On Saturday night there were skits - we were divided into five groups and given lists of phrases/characters/objects to work into a five-minute sketch. I was rather terrified by this, but it turned out to be unexpectedly fun - luckily, a fellow group member was visited by inspiration, so I didn't have to worry about coming up with ideas, and all I had to do was pretend to be a penguin while hitting Batman with a pillow (this was funny because the word for "bird" in German is also, in its verb form, a euphemism for "have sex"). Meanwhile, Josh (in a different group) was a "desperate housewife" wearing a towel and with falsies made of apples. And then the leaders did their skit, which involved one of them wearing a condom on his head.

Yeah, we wish we had pictures.

After the brunch on Sunday we cleaned up VERY thoroughly and returned to sea level. Stay tuned for a highly important and heartwrenching post about ... dwarves!

Amy: Worms? Ew, pukatronic!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Some Rare Saturday Blogging

Posted: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 15:28:59 -0800

Source:

I don't know about you guys (our regular readers/bloggers) but I'm ready to move on from the O'Reilly stuff and dive back into what TBAiT is supposed to be all about... the thoughts of the Bay Area Blogosphere...

I'm not sure if Drudge will leave the KRON4.com link up all weekend, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's 500 comments on that thread eventually. I do see some of our regulars in there slugging it out for SFers...

But what do you say, before I go to dinner in Redwood City, a few minutes of real live TBAiTing...

Who are you?

Posted: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 19:14:46 GMT

Source: The Preston number is now ringing my mobile! :S Maybe we were wrong, maybe it's not a call centre. Maybe it's a real person. Call centres don't usually have your home and mobile numbers, do they?

I don't even know anybody in Preston.

I suppose I could just answer it next time... ;]

Facing Their Memories

Posted: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

Source: In a sea of military badges and unit patches and medals and faded combat fatigues on the Mall yesterday, the satin purple jacket stood out.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Blogging ... LIVE!!

Posted: 2005-11-09T20:46:32Z

Source:
... from the Shenanigans Pub on Bodanplatz!!

Yes, Konstanz has an Irish pub. In fact, it has TWO Irish pubs, only a couple of blocks from each other, and owned by the same people. They have recently both put in free wireless internet. Of course, the first one we went to, Shamrock on Bahnhofstrasse, had a busted adapter. So after Josh gave up and went home, I came over here (I hadn't even known this place existed until informed by the apologetic waitress at Shamrock) and, assisted by the British guy on staff who suggested I move across the room for better connectivity, successfully got my computer connected for the first time in three months. McAfee will hopefully stop screaming at me now.

I have to go home soon, so the dwarves will have to wait, but I suspect I'll be back soon.

I'm still alive ...

Posted: 2005-11-07T18:25:23Z

Source:
but still working on a post about the Huttenwochenende, and internet access has been weird lately.

Here's an article about a very interesting archaeological find in Israel (especially considering what I've been reading lately).

VII. Certain bodies can pass through solid walls painted to resemble tunnel
entrances; others cannot.
This trompe l'oeil inconsistency has baffled generations, but at least
it is known that whoever paints an entrance on a wall's surface to
trick an opponent will be unable to pursue him into this theoretical
space. The painter is flattened against the wall when he attempts to
follow into the painting. This is ultimately a problem of art, not
of science.
VIII. Any violent rearrangement of feline matter is impermanent.
Cartoon cats possess even more deaths than the traditional nine lives
might comfortably afford. They can be decimated, spliced, splayed,
accordion-pleated, spindled, or disassembled, but they cannot be
destroyed. After a few moments of blinking self pity, they reinflate,
elongate, snap back, or solidify.
IX. For every vengeance there is an equal and opposite revengeance.
This is the one law of animated cartoon motion that also applies to
the physical world at large. For that reason, we need the relief of
watching it happen to a duck instead.
X. Everything falls faster than an anvil.
Examples too numerous to mention from the Roadrunner cartoons.
-- Esquire, "O'Donnell's Laws of Cartoon Motion", June 1980

Fighting to Save Coit Tower from al-Qaeda

Posted: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 23:59:57 -0800

Source:

src="http://63.99.108.241/lunch/0505/053105/tall/BL 026.jpg" width="200" height="267" vspace="0" hspace="6" />All right ye defenders of San Francisco, get ready to grab your pitchforks and fight back against Bill O'Reilly's terrorists targeting Coit Tower.

In case you missed it, here's the audio of O'Reilly's on-air diatribe against the citizens of Baghdad by the Bay for voting to discourage military recruiters from school campuses.

"...If al-Qaida comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead."
*


Well, now Supervisor Chris Daly is firing back... calling O'Reilly a wingnut. Watch what he told Phil Matier today on the KRON 4 Morning News:

Coit Tower's a monument to San Francisco's firefighters. They put out the fires in San Francisco after the great quake. American heroes -- they were there on Sept. 11 and now you want al-Qaida to blow up Coit Tower? Give us a break. You are out of line."

Eric at And the Family Buick thinks we ought to take O'Reilly up on his offer to leave the rest of the country behind:

San Francisco should leave the country. Get attacked by al Queda. Be ignored by the O'Reilly version of America. Aside from the insightfully snarky points made by the SF Comical (including that only tourists go to Coit Tower, which O'Reilly said should be blown up), I think we might be missing a decent opportunity to cut and run on America. Get out while the getting's good, I say. We could start by running the vastly outnumbered Republicans out of town on a rail. And then build a huge tie-dye-technicolor wall around our precious bastion. Or maybe we should all just make O'Reilly even more of a target for ridicule. "The Colbert Report`" is a good start, but there's much farther that we can go.

I'm willing to defend Coit Tower, as long as I don't have to climb all those steps.

UPDATE: My goodness. I was kidding about the pitchforks. Or was I? I haven't seen this kind of reaction, including comments from Alabama, since the anarchists were after me.

Since the point of this site is to highlight the Bay Area Blogosphere, I'm going to make another pass through the aggregator for opinions from OUR bloggers.

For instance, Dennis DeKat downplays the whole thing by showing a picture of Mussolini hanging by his heels.

Actually, if not for the bay area, and SF, this country would not be much of an economy. We are just about the only thing going that makes money here (since manufacturing has been given away to slave labor camps in China)…

Friscans should gang beat him if he ever shows up in this town ala Mussolini…

Fiat Lux tries to explain, "why Bill O'Reilly is a jerk."

On the one hand, jerky people are going to make jerky statements, and calling them out can make the jerks seem more important than they are.

On the other hand, it is important to call jerky people on their jerkiness, because silence can equal assent. And saying that it's OK to bomb San Francisco is not OK.

Angie at Ang's Weird Ideas would like to give O'Reilly a taste of his own medicine.

His little rant is too too funny. Now of course, he could die of a heart attack right now, and you know, he wouldn't be missed. Funny how that works huh??

BTW, it appears our out of town friends are coming from the DrudgeReport which put the KRON4.com story above the fold today.

UPDATE2: O'Reilly responded to the whole brou-ha-ha today in a crackly cell phone interview with Sacramento based talk show hosts Armstrong and Getty. Listen to what he had to say here.

Also, the head of the San Francisco Firefighters Union, John Hanley, is angry at O'Reilly's remarks, since Coit Tower honors the firefighters that saved the city from General Funston's bungling during the 1906 earthquake.

"Coit Tower is a monument to the bravery of the men and women of the San Francisco Fire Department," Hanley said. "When Bill O'Reilly makes an attack on Coit Tower, he's attacking us and our bravery."

He added, "Mr. O'Reilly, maybe we should bring you into some of our burning buildings and see how brave you are."

UPDATE 3:A couple of Bay Area bloggers have similar thoughts on Mr. O'Reilly.

Alan at E tenebris, lux dormiens says:

While I appreciate knowing about Bill O'Reilly's unhinged comment hollering in anger over San Francisco's vote to "encourage schools to discourage military recruiters off the campus," somehow, I don't think O'Reilly should be given more attention than is necessary. Then again, the only way to get ratings is to advocate inflammatory positions. He's certainly getting that

Dave at Daventics puts it more succinctly:

One needs to remember that Bill O’Reilly is paid to be an idiot. Smart, thoughtful folks don’t get big ratings.

So you expect Bill to make a statement as stupid as this one:

So everytime KTVU beats us in the ratings, that must mean we're too smart and thoughtful. I like that, even if my bosses won't.

TAGS: , ,

Friday, November 18, 2005

Meme

Posted: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 14:37:09 GMT

Source: Posting anonymously, give me three hints about you and I will try (and most likely horribly fail) to guess who you are.

U.S. Orders College to Drop Fellowships For Minorities

Posted: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

Source: CARBONDALE, Ill., Nov. 11 -- Federal prosecutors are threatening to sue Southern Illinois University over three scholarship programs aimed at women and minorities, calling them discriminatory.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The mountains, the mountains ...

Posted: 2005-11-08T10:13:54Z

Source:
This weekend, Josh and I departed for a "Huttenwochenende" in a self-catering guesthouse on a Swiss hillside with about 30 history students. This is the closest I can find on the web to the view from the east windows (we were a bit lower down, though):



That's Säntis on the left - the guesthouse is called "Säntisblick" or "view of Säntis". Just imagine most of the snow replaced by grass, though of course there was still a fair amount on the upper slopes, global warming and all. Of course, for most of the weekend it was too foggy to see the mountains, and it rained all morning and part of the afternoon on Saturday, nixing the long hike that had been planned as the centerpiece of the weekend. However, the clouds lifted partway Saturday evening, and when we got up Sunday morning we had a clear view.

Since hiking was out of the question, the other aims of a Huttenwochenende - eating, drinking and carousing - came to the fore. A truly astonishing amount of beer, wine, vodka and Kirchwasser was carted through Swiss customs, evenly distributed among the 10 or so cars in order to comply with statutory limits. Remarkably, though, although people were drinking pretty much constantly throughout the weekend, there wasn't the kind of serious drunkenness and mayhem that would inevitably occur if 30 American college students were put in the same circumstances. Well, apart from somebody urinating in the kitchen, which took place only a few hours after we got there and was strongly rebuked by the leaders. This may have to do with the fact that Teutonic drinking seems to be much more laid-back than Anglo-Saxon drinking, start earlier, so kids first drink around their parents and other responsible adults, and involve less bingeing. Also, the youngest of these kids was 19 and many were in their mid-20s.

Josh and I went for a brief walk on Saturday afternoon when the rain had mostly slackened off, and discussed whether similarities between Swiss and New England farm architecture and technology were solely due to adaptations to similar terrain or had some other connection. The Alpine foothills do look remarkably like Vermont must have a hundred years ago before it was reforested, only of course much more heavily populated. Then a gang of Germans went hiking and Josh went along with them too, while I sat inside and read Gregory of Nazianzus.

The guys cooked dinner: giant vats of tortellini (Friday) and vegetable curry (Saturday), and because a large contingent stayed up till 4 or 5 am, breakfast on Saturday lasted until 3:30 PM, and on Sunday there was a big brunch (müsli, salami, cheese, brown bread, Zopf - frosted braided white bread - jam, honey, Nutella, and Bauernfrühstück - eggs scrambled with onions and potatoes). On Saturday night there were skits - we were divided into five groups and given lists of phrases/characters/objects to work into a five-minute sketch. I was rather terrified by this, but it turned out to be unexpectedly fun - luckily, a fellow group member was visited by inspiration, so I didn't have to worry about coming up with ideas, and all I had to do was pretend to be a penguin while hitting Batman with a pillow (this was funny because the word for "bird" in German is also, in its verb form, a euphemism for "have sex"). Meanwhile, Josh (in a different group) was a "desperate housewife" wearing a towel and with falsies made of apples. And then the leaders did their skit, which involved one of them wearing a condom on his head.

Yeah, we wish we had pictures.

After the brunch on Sunday we cleaned up VERY thoroughly and returned to sea level. Stay tuned for a highly important and heartwrenching post about ... dwarves!

Heretics and vegetables

Posted: 2005-11-03T10:12:40Z

Source:
I've been rereading my books and packets from History of Christianity and Patristics this week. Frequently in the evening Josh is hanging around being semi-productive and when I find an amusing passage I read it to him. (We appreciate that late-antiquity Greco-Roman humor, you know.) As a result we have made a discovery: the early Christian apologists and theologians (and, apparently, their opponents) were obsessed with vegetables. Their humorous turns of phrase almost always revolve around produce.

To wit:

"Rightly, indeed, did the Athenians accuse Diagoras of atheism, since he not only divulged the Orphic doctrine as well as the mysteries of Eleusis and of the Cabiri and chopped up a statue of Heracles to boil his turnips, but he proclaimed outrightly that God simply did not exist."

- Athenagoras the Philosopher, Plea Regarding Christians

Radishes seem to be a particular obsession, thus:

"They introduce, however, the novelties of fasts, and feasts, and meals of parched food, and repasts of radishes, alleging that they have been instructed by women."

- Hippolytus of Rome, Refutation of all Heresies

And, of course:

"This creation and masterpiece of nature, this Polyclitan canon, as soon as he came of age, was taken in adultery in Armenia and got a sound thrashing, but finally jumped down from the roof and made his escape, with a radish stopping his vent."

- Lucian, The Passing of Peregrinus

(this work, concerning a former Christian and then Cynic who had immolated himself at the Olympic Games, is heavily rhetorical, sarcastic and slanderous; you are, however, free to imagine whichever bodily orifice you prefer as containing the radish, and also to speculate which member of the married couple Peregrinus was disporting himself with)

And, of course, exhibit A, formerly my email signature file in senior year at Williams:

" Iu, iu, and pheu, pheu ! Truly we may utter these exlamations from tragedy at such bold invention of ridiculous nomenclature, and at the audacity that made up these names without blushing. For when he says, 'There is a certain Proarche before all things, above all thought, which I call Monotes,' and again, 'With this Monotes there reigns a Power, which I call Henotes,' it is obvious that he admits that he is talking about his own inventions, and that he has given names to his inventions which no one else had given them before. ... There is no reason why someone else shouldn't assign names like these on the same basis: There is a royal Proarche above all thought, a Power above all substance, indefinitely extended. Since this is the Power which I call the Gourd, there is with it the Power which I call Superemptiness. This Gourd and Superemptiness, being one, emitted, yet did not emit, the fruit, visible, edible, and delicious, which is known to language as the Cucumber. With this Cucumber there is a Power of like quality with it, which I call the Melon. These Powers, the Gourd, Superemptiness, the Cucumber, and the Melon, sent forth the remaining crowd of the delirious Melons of Valentinus."

- Irenaeus of Lyons, The Refutation and Overthrow of the Falsely So-Called Knowledge

"You know, we've won awards for this crap."
-- David Letterman

Honoring the Living

Posted: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 13:07:08 -0800

Source:

The primary difference between Veteran's Day (today) at Memorial Day is that today is about living veterans while Memorial day honors the dead.

Alan at E tenebris, lux dormiens offers some solemn thoughts on the men and women who have fought for us and are still among us.

Some of these soldiers were those who joined the war because they had an belief that they should earn the freedom that their forefathers had given them. For that, they have earned more than we could hope to reimburse. What little we can give, however, should be a life of august comfort, not of abject poverty by slowly eroding benefits.

Hear Hear

TAGS: ,

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Meme

Posted: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 19:19:55 GMT

Source: Comment with a full song or a few lyrics that remind you of me or you feel apply to me. Then repost this on your journal and see which lyrics your friends associate with you!

Katrina Adds to Patois of 'Nu Orlans'

Posted: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

Source: NEW ORLEANS -- In this city of so many linguistic influences, Hurricane Katrina is the latest to reshape the colorful local tongue.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I'm still alive ...

Posted: 2005-11-07T18:25:23Z

Source:
but still working on a post about the Huttenwochenende, and internet access has been weird lately.

Here's an article about a very interesting archaeological find in Israel (especially considering what I've been reading lately).

Things I am Waiting for in the Post

Posted: 2005-11-02T10:50:21Z

Source:
In the grand tradition of Margaret's London Chronicles, here are the things that the yellow Deutsche Post van with the hunting horn on the side has not yet delivered to my door (or, in the last case, to the Uni post office for pickup):

My permanent BahnCard.
My health insurance card.
A letter from Uncle Jan in Rotterdam of which Margaret received a copy, like, two weeks ago.
A reply to the letter I sent Grandma last month.
Josh's box of books (carefully selected for maximum usefulness in his research ...)

Just squeeze your rage into a bitter little ball and release it at an
appropriate time. Like that day I hit that referee with a whiskey
bottle. 'Member that?

-- Homer Simpson
Whacking Day

Bringing Back Bunny Ears?

Posted: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 11:56:35 -0800

Source:

Some of us are of an age when we remember having to hold the antenna on the television just right or sit in just the right spot in the room in order to see much of anything on the television.

Then came cable and satellite televisions and we expected the TV to be always on... and it pretty much is.

Now with more and more people going to digital television, there's something of a movement away from the cable and back to the antenna.

The Digital Dad is starting to look for alternatives to digital cable.

As part of this research I found a great site called HDTV Pub. You can put in your zip code and get reviews of antenna coverage and service providers in your neighborhood. I found a guy who bought a Zenith HDTV antenna and is getting outstanding reception in my zip code - hooray!

TAGS: ,

Monday, November 14, 2005

The sky has fallen and it's early in the morning, but it's okay somehow

Posted: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 17:02:11 GMT

Source: I won't go on and on about work today, cuz I can't do that every day. This morning I was incredibly slow with making the muffins and I burnt my elbow on the oven and then my fingertips on the icing, and they hurt every time I had to wash anything in hot water. I cried a little bit on my break but nobody noticed. Well, maybe Richard did cuz he was nice to me after that. I got to clean the tables all the rest of the day which is good, I love doing that even though it's boring.

When I was coming back with one of the trays, a man was waiting for me by the dishwasher and asked me what time I finished. I don't know where he was from but he wasn't English. He said "would you like to come out with me? I am a gentleman" and I said "I can't, I'm sorry" and he said "tomorrow, then?" and I said "I'm sorry, I have a boyfriend" and he looked sad and went away. Aww.

I inhale so much smoke at work I feel like I might as well be a smoker myself. The smoking section is right next to the dishwasher, where I spend most of the last half of my shift. I can feel the smoke in my throat and everything. And my fingers reek of cigarettes because I'm always having to pull butts out of the bottom of coffee cups. I hope my fingernails don't go yellow.

My feet really ache from standing up all day. So I got some magic magnetic therapeutic insole things that are going to change my life, apparantly.

I came home and half an hour later Chris had to leave for work, aww. But it'll be nice to get an evening to myself. I'm going to watch Sailor Moon and eat nice pasta. And knit, of course.

(Okay, so this post was all about work in one way or another. But never mind.)

Oh! By the way, everybody who I owe CDs too... I'm so busy at the moment I don't have a chance to do anything. But when I get paid, which should be at the end of the month, I will be sure to go to the post office and post everything I owe. Thankyou for being patient with me ♥

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Concerts: 2. Grace: 0.

Posted: 2005-11-02T09:35:15Z

Source:
Since arriving in Konstanz, I have planned to go to two concerts. One was a performance of the Brahms Requiem in the Basilika Birnau (across the lake, between Überlingen and Meersburg, insanely Baroque interior). This concert was at the end of September, when even figuring out where Birnau was and how to get there was an almost insuperable challenge. It was the same day we first went to church in Zürich, and as it turned out I would have had to leave for Birnau about five minutes BEFORE we got back from Zürich, in order to make it there on time. I had decided the previous night that in any case, we were spending too much money and I didn't want the headache. So we just drank Most and ate Kuchen in the Marktstätte.

Yesterday, however, I had every intention of attending the concert of the Mozart Requiem (and the Jupiter symphony) in the Konstanz Münster. It (like the other one) was supposed to begin at 5 (this seems to be a popular hour for concerts in Germany; I suspect a conspiracy between the musicians and the restaurateurs). So at about twelve minutes before 5, I sallied forth from our door on Konradigasse to the Münster, which is about a two-minute walk away.

The place was MOBBED. There were probably three hundred people outside the west door, most of whom appeared to have tickets, but there was also quite a scrum around the ticket table. I shoved my way into said scrum, but not quite soon enough: when I was still about two places away, the guy behind the table threw up his hands and shouted, "Kein Platz mehr! Kein Stehplatz mehr!" In other words, the place was sold out, including standing room. Those of us still wanting tickets kind of looked helplessly at each other and then began to drift away.

Yoicks. I can't believe they sold out the MÜNSTER. Die Bädische are either more musical than I thought, or more religious than I thought. Lesson: next time get over fear of speaking German on crappy telephone and order tickets in advance, or at least show up half an hour early.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

New Diagnosis for Overweight

Posted: Tue, 08 Feb 2005 00:00:00 EST

Source: Germaine Savoy has known for years she needed to lose weight and figured she was in for another lecture when she went to see her doctor last week. She wasn't expecting to hear that she had some strange, ominous-sounding syndrome.

Good news for my dad

Posted: 2005-10-28T12:06:04Z

Source:
I can now authoritatively tell you how to say "hit the road" grammatically in German: not "schlagen die Straße" but "schlagen gegen die Straße". Gegen = against, and is required when you talk about hitting a thing (as opposed to slugging someone). So "let's hit the road" would be "schlagen wir gegen die Straße."

I doubt very much whether it's idiomatic, but at least it's correct.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sox still champs

Posted: 2005-10-27T09:28:35Z

Glen Quagmire: Who wants to play drink the beer?
Peter Griffin: Right here.
[drinks beer]
Peter Griffin: What do I win?
Glen Quagmire: Another beer.
Peter Griffin: I'm going for the high score.
Glen Quagmire: Actually, Charlie's got the high score.
Charlie: Hey, your clock wont flush.

Ahoy Matey, er I mean Craigey

Posted: Wed, 02 Nov 2005 13:42:04 -0800

Source:

Dr. Saddam from Tiger Cafe2 is back from helping the Katrina victims... and is now using Craigslist to help himself.

This week I dared walk the plank again. I tried posting a second "friends only" ad for a regular rollerblading partner. (The first ad introduced me to someone who didn't even own skates, who almost dozed off within five minutes out of her house.)

Go to his site to see her pic for yourself... hope you have some good skates, Dr. S. And I'm sure Craig Newmark is delighted to find out that he's your matchmaker.

Speaking of which, Craig's blog features this picture and the question, "Can you make a 'net router with pinecones.?"

The things you can learn from an ex-con.

TAGS: , ,

Positive thoughts.

Posted: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 08:54:11 GMT

Source: It's going to be okay.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Merck Withdraws Arthritis Medication

Posted: Fri, 01 Oct 2004 00:00:00 EDT

Source: The blockbuster arthritis drug Vioxx was taken off the market yesterday by Merck & Co. after a study confirmed simmering concerns that it significantly raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. More than 2 million people take Vioxx worldwide, making this the largest voluntary drug recall in...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Aww!!!

Posted: 2005-10-26T10:12:07Z

If it wasn't so warm out today, it would be cooler.

104 Ain't Bad

Posted: Wed, 02 Nov 2005 13:23:45 -0800

Source:

Let's all give Joi Ito a little link love, now that he's fallen out of the Technorati 100:

Although I didn't conduct this experiment on purpose, it's interesting data. On the other hand, it would be interesting to see how much sheer number of posts vs interesting posts can increase rank and traffic. More posts means more pages to view as well a higher likelihood that someone will link to you.

The discussion in the comments focused on a recent change Technorati announced... that it only counts incoming links from the last six months... so that newer bloggers have a chance. Joi concedes in Comment Five:

Yeah, I think the shorter window of links counted does allow newer blogs to gain rank faster. I think this is a good thing

TAGS: , ,

Stress

Posted: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 07:56:39 GMT

Source: I'm up at 8.30 and it feels odd. I'm shaking so much that the mouse is going all over the place. I don't think this is stress, this is just being awake early. I went to bed at half past ten and I didn't get to sleep until five because that's my usual bed time. Maybe I could get into an early bed time routine if I got the job, but Chris always has late bed times even if he has early shifts and I don't want to miss out on seeing him. Maybe I wouldn't be able to handle full time after all, maybe I should just go for part time. After all, then if it goes okay I could ask for more shifts and that'd be a good thing. If I start full time it'd be harder to go to part time if I change my mind. But I want more than just Saturday shifts or something, because I want more money. I want to work three days a week maybe. If they offer me either just Saturdays or full time, I'll probably pick full time. But I can't exactly say that I'd rather have part time but will accept full time if that's all they're offering me, can I? Maybe I can kind of ask for somewhere in between? Like, three and a half days? 30 hours a week? Is that just hopelessly picky? I'll try and still sound flexible... I don't want to screw this up. I just don't know how much I can handle.

Plus, I'm wondering if I've even got the time right. On the phone, he said "three... no ten-thirty." Well, maybe he said two-thirty because that's closer to three? How will I know? I can't ring him back because I've had enough of phones. Will it be really awful if I turn up five hours early? I mean, he's going to be at work all day anyway?

And I've just remembered that on my CV I lied and said I'd worked for a week in Lucy's friend's friend's shop, and she asked him and he said he'd be my reference. Which is okay except for the fact they'll ask me what I did and I'll have to lie. I'm going to say I didn't use the till or anything, just put stuff on shelves and answered customer questions. That shouldn't be too hard to lie about. But still!

If they ask me why I've not had a real job before... I'm going to say that I never really needed one before and that as I was doing my Open University studies I didn't look that hard for a job. Is that okay? I could also use my OU as an excuse as to why I don't want to do really full-time, even though you can work full time with it. I'll just say I don't want to push myself too hard...

I really want this job. I just also want to be the kind of person who can get up in the morning, and I don't think I can.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Wal-Mart shoots itself in the foot

Posted: 2005-10-26T09:53:06Z

Source:

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Stress

Posted: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 07:56:39 GMT

Source: I'm up at 8.30 and it feels odd. I'm shaking so much that the mouse is going all over the place. I don't think this is stress, this is just being awake early. I went to bed at half past ten and I didn't get to sleep until five because that's my usual bed time. Maybe I could get into an early bed time routine if I got the job, but Chris always has late bed times even if he has early shifts and I don't want to miss out on seeing him. Maybe I wouldn't be able to handle full time after all, maybe I should just go for part time. After all, then if it goes okay I could ask for more shifts and that'd be a good thing. If I start full time it'd be harder to go to part time if I change my mind. But I want more than just Saturday shifts or something, because I want more money. I want to work three days a week maybe. If they offer me either just Saturdays or full time, I'll probably pick full time. But I can't exactly say that I'd rather have part time but will accept full time if that's all they're offering me, can I? Maybe I can kind of ask for somewhere in between? Like, three and a half days? 30 hours a week? Is that just hopelessly picky? I'll try and still sound flexible... I don't want to screw this up. I just don't know how much I can handle.

Plus, I'm wondering if I've even got the time right. On the phone, he said "three... no ten-thirty." Well, maybe he said two-thirty because that's closer to three? How will I know? I can't ring him back because I've had enough of phones. Will it be really awful if I turn up five hours early? I mean, he's going to be at work all day anyway?

And I've just remembered that on my CV I lied and said I'd worked for a week in Lucy's friend's friend's shop, and she asked him and he said he'd be my reference. Which is okay except for the fact they'll ask me what I did and I'll have to lie. I'm going to say I didn't use the till or anything, just put stuff on shelves and answered customer questions. That shouldn't be too hard to lie about. But still!

If they ask me why I've not had a real job before... I'm going to say that I never really needed one before and that as I was doing my Open University studies I didn't look that hard for a job. Is that okay? I could also use my OU as an excuse as to why I don't want to do really full-time, even though you can work full time with it. I'll just say I don't want to push myself too hard...

I really want this job. I just also want to be the kind of person who can get up in the morning, and I don't think I can.

PHP awarded Programming Language of 2004

Posted: 2005-01-05

Source: PHP has been awarded the Programming Language of 2004, according to the TIOBE Programming Community Index. This index uses information collected from the popular search engines, and are based on the world-wide availability of skilled engineers, courses and third party vendors. Congratulations to us all!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Cows, kind of.

Posted: 2005-10-23T13:06:28Z

Source:
Right. So, on Monday morning I set off from Konstanz to Bad Schussenried, a small town in Swabia which is the closest railway station to Dürnau, where I was going. I took the ferry to Meersburg, a regional bus to Friedrichshafen, and a train to Bad Schussenried (the train went through Ravensburg, which among other things is where all the developmentally correct German board games we played as children came from). It was a very pretty trip. I was met at the station by a cheerful Polish girl named Agata, and we went straight to the pasture to milk the cows. Except only one cow, an ancient and all-wise matriarch named Beauty, is actually milking at the moment, and she's what one of James Herriot's Yorkshire farmers would call a "two-titted 'un," so it was actually like milking a very large and patient goat. Of the other four, one is a heifer, two are pregnant and I don't know what the other one's excuse is.

From there we went back to the main building, in the town of Dürnau proper, and had a catch-as-catch-can lunch, at which point I learned that the "cooperative" doesn't observe Summer Time. It was at this point that it became clear that I had, in fact, stumbled into another nest of Steinerite nuttiness. (Apologies to the one disciple of Steiner who may be reading this, and who is nutty in a good way.) I really need to learn to trust my gut and realize that when a place is described as a holistic cooperative, I probably don't want to be there. However, what the description in the WWOOF list had not made clear was that the place wasn't really a farm at all. It said they had 16 sheep; I saw no evidence of sheep. (At one point they also had pigs and goats, which they got rid of.) It said that the cows were part of their efforts at self-sufficiency; I saw absolutely no proof of any efforts at self-sufficiency - they went grocery shopping and ate yogurt out of plastic containers and fruit from the produce section like anybody else; there were a few jars of preserves scattered about, but I do that in my apartment kitchen in New Haven. And everybody mainlines coffee and smokes like chimneys (in fact, the main use for the 5 liters a day of milk Beauty gives is to go into mugs of coffee - the WWOOF ad mentioned butter-making, but no butter was made while I was there). One of the other ventures that a member of the cooperative is involved in is a transport company that shuttles tourists in vans to the various airports and railroad stations in the area - not exactly sustainable, even if the vans run on biodiesel which I have no evidence they do. Most crucially, the WWOOF ad gave the impression of a farm with some other activities attached, which you could choose to participate in or not; the reality was a cooperative business venture with a few cows, where if you didn't want to be titanically bored and feel useless and liked you were eating for free, you ended up working in the printing press most of the day, collating German newsletters for Anthroposophist groups.

At least the crazy people on the Vermont farm two years ago really tried to walk the walk.

I'm making it sound like they deliberately duped me into coming, which I'm sure wasn't true; they were all very nice, and I learned a fair amount of German, and taken as a cultural experience it wasn't too bad. But as a farm-learning experience it was pretty darn frustrating. One can't really learn to milk in a week, because you need time for your fingers to get strong (I think concert pianists and violinists should take up milking as cross-training immediately); I definitely made progress, but there's no way I could milk a cow and strip her completely by myself at this point, especially if she was going on all four cylinders. And apart from the afternoon I arrived, which we spent mucking out a cow stall and piling the resultant muck in a compost pile, I really didn't do anything farm-related except 20 minutes of milking each morning.

In addition, it was cold as all ****, and one characteristic of self-sufficiency that WAS in evidence was that the place was heated almost entirely by wood stoves - when it was heated at all. The living quarters were spartan, to say the least - the cooperative owned several buildings in various parts of the town, none of which were in very good shape. Now, I realize that people trying to live according to their principles frequently have very little money and have to do building projects in fits and starts. However, the cooperative has existed for twenty-five years, and it seems that in that time they could possibly have done more than put in some new offices and bathrooms in the printing shop, and refurbish one room in the Hauptgebäude*. The latter is an old stucco building that's lost the outside trim on its windows and has plaster falling off in various places, and the dining room still has a hole in the ceiling where a wall was torn out, and in fact the windows were replaced while I was there, which entailed knocking large numbers of bricks out from around the old ones. The hall was full of construction materials and the kitchen was shabby in the extreme. Meanwhile, the building where I slept was heated by one little stove whose chimney went up through my room, which meant that on the two nights that a fire was actually lit (my housemate didn't seem to understand that when I told him I'd like a fire in the evenings because I liked to be warm, I meant in general) it was bearable, while on the others it was freezing (the weather was cold and misty the whole week, though the afternoons were usually sunny); and the house was generally shabby, dusty and depressing.

Now I realize I have my own unique tastes and that most people aren't as dependent on having clean, attractive surroundings as I am. But would it be too much to ask that a farmhouse make some attempt to be, like, cozy? I mean, again, they may not have much money, but patchwork and curtains and well-chosen used furniture don't cost much. Of course, it isn't really a farm anyway - the cows are a 10-minute drive away. In fact, what's ironic is that in the immediate vicinity of the Hauptgebäude are: 2 cow barns (confined cows, not so cool); 3 horse pastures; a henhouse with a yard where pigmy goats also hang out; two large vegetable gardens; and various people who spend a lot of time driving around on tractors with wagons. I saw all this when I went for a walk, and I spent some time throwing windfall apples to the horses in one pasture (they got electric shocks from the fence when I tried to feed them from my hand). But I couldn't participate.

This meant that I spent most of the week fantasizing about how I would do things if I were in charge. And the horse farm in Singen-Uberlingen am Ried that I was planning to visit in May. When I got home yesterday and looked at the map, I realized that said horse farm is in fact probably a €4 bus ride away, so I emailed the guy asking if I could muck out stalls in exchange for riding and learning to drive.

The saving grace of the Dürnau Cooperative was that the food was a lot better than at the Egg Farm. On Tuesday we had a yummy goulash with beef from a previous year's bull calf, and the night before I left we had salmon trout from the lake, mm.

When I retraced my steps Saturday morning, it was the first really clear morning since I'd gotten here, and when I emerged from the Friedrichshafen Stadtbahnhof* and found the stop for bus 7395, I casually turned around in the process of trying to wrangle my luggage, and ...

... was face to face with the Alps.

It's quite a sensation: "oh right, that's not a low line of cloud ... that's the tops of the mountains." I stared at them from the bus stop, and then the bus went along the lake and the ferry went across it and more and more mountains kept unfolding from behind the ridges, until I could see a long line of them all the way into Austria and beyond.

One is so used to thinking (in a casual neocolonial white-man's-burden kind of way) of America as a young continent and Europe as an old one, that one forgets how old the Appalachians are compared to the Alps.

I need to read 1491.

*main building.
*city train station (as distinct from the airport train station).

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Cingular Wireless Prepaid Card Additional Cingular...

Posted: 2005-07-16T18:50:21Z

Source:

Cingular Wireless Prepaid Card

Additional Cingular Wireless Prepaid Phone Card Resources ...





Cingular Wireless Prepaid Phone Card
... APs directly ongoing cost data security notes Baca) only install. cingular wireless prepaid phone card ... an 80211 from cingular wireless prepaid phone card retail as SKVM encryption ...





Cingular Wireless Prepaid Card
Company mi2g reduces interference none of other cognitive a hindrance. cingular wireless prepaid card ... wireless plan only things authentication cingular wireless prepaid card which in most ... wireless text Handhelds initial cingular wireless prepaid card December breakthrough solutions ...





Cingular Wireless Prepaid Card
... cingular wireless prepaid card John Walker frequent assaults the mythical ... verizon wireless phone insurance over They cingular wireless prepaid card developed emphasizes quotThats ...





Cell Phone Plans Compare Cell Phone Plans and Wireless Service
... Cingular Wireless, Nextel Wi

Smartie!

Posted: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 15:02:11 GMT

Source:
/>


Believe it or not, this is a smartie. What does it remind you of? My guesses are behind the cut because I don't want you to be influenced :P

At first I thought it was a giraffe, but now I think it's actually No-Face from Spirited Away.

NATION IN BRIEF

Posted: Sat, 22 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Source: NEW YORK -- A three-alarm fire in a subway storage room in Manhattan disrupted the morning commute for tens of thousands straphangers and injured 13 firefighters.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Another edition ...

Posted: 2005-10-05T15:12:35Z

Source:
... of "Fortunately-Unfortunately"! />
Fortunately, the electrician came. AND the plumber. AND the landlady. AND the building maintenance lady.

Unfortunately, the pump is broken.

Fortunately, it can be fixed.

Unfortunately, not until Friday.

Fortunately, there's a laundromat in the Stephansplatz.

Unfortunately, we can't find it.

Fortunately, our landlord/whatever is paying for all of this, since it's his fault for having told us, "oh yeah, go ahead and install a washing machine!"

Other fortunate things:

Josh got his BahnCard and bank PIN number - not a moment too soon, as we discovered that the Bürgerbüro had received the necessary documents and was ready to give us residence permits (for which payment in cash or Eurocard was required). Hooray! We now have fancy documents pasted into our passports (I have to keep up with my sister), and Josh can matriculate, get a student bus card, a library card, and a Uni Konstanz email address (for university-based wireless).

The Fulbright money is finally in the right account, so we can pay our rent.

I got an INSANELY cheap fare on Virgin Atlantic for coming back in January and then going home in June - like, more than $300 less than I paid to come over here and go back on Jan. 2. And I booked it on Jan. 12 so I can get to Boston to see Ariel!! Anyone else in Boston want to hang out in the second week of January before I get on the CT Limo at one in the morning?

I'm going to spend the week of the 17th on a German organic farm with COWS! That I get to milk by HAND!

Other unfortunate things:

The registration cost 50 euros.

The Beamte put my name down as "Grace Martha Burson". I now have three different names in my passport. This will probably cause me to be detained at the Swiss border, like my mother in Ottawa.

I can't find out a damn thing about the mysterious Babybat network - google merely turns up screen names on Goth discussion boards.

The only other wireless access point in Konstanz is at the ABC hotel, almost as far away as the uni.

I have to use the extremely unreliable Deutsche Bahn website (which routinely sends you to places you would never dream of going on trains that don't exist) to figure out how to get to the farm.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Now I'm really going to bed.

Posted: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 02:12:21 GMT

Source:


My pirate name is:


Red Anne Flint



Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from fidius.org.

Northeast Sees Worst of Heavy Rain End

Posted: Sun, 16 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Source: WORCESTER, Mass., Oct. 15 -- Severe flooding swept away cars, uprooted trees and forced evacuations as the Northeast endured another day of driving rain Saturday. But in some places, the sun was shining for the first time in a week.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bulletins from the Niederburg

Posted: 2005-10-04T12:28:11Z

Source:
Friday

Right,
so after another enormous, late and sausage-filled barbecue in Haus B on Friday night, we came home, moved the bed into the living room and the futon into the bedroom, made it up with the two single duvets, and collapsed. Unfortunately, in the process of moving, we have misplaced a bag of white sugar, a bag of brown sugar, a can each of thyme and parsley, a bottle of dish soap, and my summer bathrobe. Extremely mysterious.

Saturday

Click on over to Josh for an account of his adventures on Saturday, including the Great Washing Machine Flood of 2005. While he was engaged in purchasing said washing machine and having the Iranian guy install it, I got up at 6:30 on Saturday and caught a train at 7:36 to Schaffhausen via Singen for a short "pilgrimage" with some folks from St. Andrew's, Zürich. From Schaffhausen (which is in Switzerland, but north of the Rhine, in one of those funny bulges that the border makes in this vicinity) we crossed the river and walked along the south side of the Rhine to Diessenhofen. The actual walking took about 3 1/2 hours; we also stopped at monasteries in Schaffhausen (now a parish church), Paradies (the church is a parish church but the cloister is the offices of an ironworks company) and St. Katharinental (now a rehab center), and twice to eat. The second part of the trip was in a nature preserve. From Diessenhofen we took a ferry to Stein-am-Rhein, a Swiss town that straddles the Rhine, where we drank Most (new wine) in a thousand-year-old brew house belonging to a monastery of equal antiquity (it's now a museum, and the town is celebrating its millenium this year) amid gigantic wooden brewing equipment engraved with initials and dates in the 18th century. Then we walked back across the river and took a footbridge to Insel Werd, on which is a Franciscan friary (still in operation, with a ministry to drug addicts) where we had Evensong in a 10th-century chapel.

It was pretty foggy and overcast for the whole trip and at several points it rained heavily. One of these was while we were on the ferry, which must make the owners of the ferry company happy because it means everyone is inside buying coffee rather than up on deck watching the view. During the ferry journey I got drawn into a fairly predictable argument about gays in the church with a Welsh evangelical (who, to give him credit, is at least literate, unlike many US evangelicals). The chaplain, who was also at the table, clearly agreed with me but I got the sense he was staying out of the conversation, possibly to see what I was made of. I talked to some other people as well; I was the only American on the trip, but there were also British, Welsh, Scots, Swiss and the leader comes originally from the Ukraine.

We made it to Stein am Rhein train station in time for the others to catch their train back to Winterthur/Zürich; my trip home was a bit more complex. I had bought a Tageskarte (day pass) for the area north of the Rhine and west of Konstanz, but though Stein am Rhein was within that area, the most obvious way home (via Kreuzlingen) was not. I ended up going BACK to Schaffhausen and then retracing my morning trip (which included the cutest little one-car commuter train) - and I was darn lucky there were no inspectors on the trip from Stein to Schaffhausen, because I don't think I had a valid ticket.

Sunday

Having spent Saturday with St. Andrew's folks, I didn't feel the need to go to Zürich the following day, so Josh and I went to the Lutherkirche. We walked into the middle of the "Kindererntegottesdienst" - harvest festival service, dominated by small children in sunflower costumes. It was kind of cute and certainly seemed to bring everybody out of the woodwork (the church was packed), and the kids sang quite nicely and acted out skits about God and nature and growing things, which was nice, but there was no sermon and the congregation's role consisted of singing a couple of songs, the intercessions, and the Lord's Prayer. However, it did allow me to claim an experience so far unique in my life: hearing an accordion orchestra in church. When they struck up the processional I kept having to stop myself from looking around for the carousel.

We followed the crowd to the Gemeindesaal because we thought there was lunch, and indeed there was lunch but it turned out to cost money, so we went home. I started bread and we ate our lunch, and then headed out to the Rosgartenmuseum, Konstanz's city museum. The permanent exhibits were free, so we passed up the special exhibit on "Family Ties" and just looked at old pictures, manuscripts, skeletons, maps, dioramas, kitchen implements, etc. Josh was very excited at being in the wood-panelled late medieval room where the Butchers' Guild used to get drunk together.

For the rest of the afternoon we cooked for Josh's birthday party. Unfortunately, although we though that at least five people were definitely coming, only two ended up showing up. We had a nice dinner, and now we have gigantic amounts of leftovers. We also learned that when buying local wine at Kaufland you have to investigate the bottle carefully: both the Oberrotweiler Weiß and the Pfalz Rot we bought ended up having screw tops. Ick.

Incidentally, yay for the Red Sox making the playoffs, boo for the blipping wild card. We should have taken the division. And Big Papi IS the MVP. So there.

Monday

was a federal holiday (German Reunification Day, the fifteenth anniversary in fact, though nobody seems particularly happy what with the 20% unemployment in the East and the political gridlock). Therefore, the guy who might fix the pump in the basement was unavailable. So we had a pretty slow day, the chief event being finding out who owns the wireless network that our computers pick up - a guy with a design company in the next street over. Maybe he'll take pity on us and let us pay him for a network key, since the other wireless network (the same one I picked up in my dorm room) continues to be a snare and a delusion.

Tuesday

This morning I set out on an epic shopping trip:

Bauernmarkt (Farmers' Market) in the Stephansplatz: veggies, apples, cheese
Lago (temple of consumerism across from the Bahnhof): find out that organic supermarket no longer exists, but discover small "Reformhaus" (apparently means organics/neutraceuticals shop) and buy parsley, milk, mustard and shampoo. Word of the Day: the German word for hair conditioner is "Spülung".
Kitchenwares shop across from the Lago: duck in, look around, say good morning to the well-dressed saleslady, realize the place is WAY too high-end, get the heck out.
Indoor Bauernmarkt in Hussenpassage: chicken thighs and a baggie of bay leaves big enough to last until I die.
Karstadt (inconspicuous but useful department store): excessively cheap iron (€10), excessively cheap alarm clock (€6.50) that it took ages to locate, and batteries for the digital camera (the right kind this time).

When I got home, I discovered that the digital camera now works (hooray!) but I had gotten the wrong kind of mustard. Also the basement pump guy is coming at 11 tomorrow. Hallelujah.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Video iPod with Mouse Ears

Posted: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 17:32:06 -0800

Source:

No, you don't have to attach an old school analog antenna to your new video iPod... but the device appears to come with mouse ears in any case. Mickey Mouse-ears that is.

Om Malik's Broadband blog notes Business 2.0 presaged today's video iPod announcement by suggesting a partnership between Disney and Cupertino.

Today it finally happened, and has become the cornerstone of the video push being undertaken by Apple.

Charles at MetroBlogging San Francisco takes a closer look at the "iMouse" connection.

Apple also unveiled a deal with Walt Disney Co. – the company behind ABC network – to sell the ever-popular television shows “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” and others in time.

As part of its deal with Disney’s ABC network, iPod users will be able to download five shows including ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost.” Current-season episodes of the series will be made available at the iTunes music store the day after broadcast. The television shows cost $1.99 per episode, without commercials.

TAGS: , ,

Sunday, October 16, 2005

pirates!

Posted: Sat, 10 Sep 2005 00:08:48 GMT

Source:
target="_blank">Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com
Holly being cute.

Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com
Me. The flash always makes me look shiney.

Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com
Me knitting.

Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com
Lucy.

Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com
Lucy's pirate outfit.


My pirate outfit. I think I maybe look more like a hobbit. Now that I look at it I also think I was falling out of my bra but never mind XD

And some of me and Lucy....
Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com

Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com

Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com

Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com

Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com

Some of them are blurry because we kept laughing at ourselves.

'Deep Throat' Gets First Amendment Prize

Posted: Sun, 16 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Source: FULLERTON, Calif., Oct. 15 -- Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter who was jailed for protecting a confidential source, presented an award Saturday to perhaps the most famous confidential source -- the man known as "Deep Throat."

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Public service announcement

Posted: 2005-09-30T06:14:52Z

Source:
We move today, so I may not be back on email until Monday (we have no idea what the wireless situation is in the apartment). Schönes wochenende, alle!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Chris Heuer Sums Up Web 2.1 BrainJam

Posted: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 17:02:53 -0800

Source:

I'm going to wrap up my look at the response to the event with these words from BrainJam founder and principle organizer Chris Heuer.

It was not about expensive versus inexpensive, though that was a part of the inspiration - it was about enabling real conversation between people with different backgrounds to expand our understanding of one another and the world around us. It was about bringing smart people together for ad-hoc collaboration, fertilizing the conversation with positive intentions, setting a little direction and watching the magic happen. It was about trying some new things in the realm of the unconference and so much more.

While calling it Web 2.1 was a bit of marketing finesse, the intentions were true - we, the creators of technology, should learn to speak the language of the 'average man/woman' and remember it is not about the things people use insomuch as it is about the people who use them. The ideals of what we happily called Web 2.0 earlier this year have been overtaken by the buzz. Web 2.1 was about re-fortifying those core values and bringing some attention back on the people rather than the technology and the hype. Web 2.1 was about bringing creators, users and facilitators together in conversation - to this end, I feel comfortable calling it a success.

(snip)

Lessons learned will be gleaned over the next few days along with a discussion centering on what is next. As of now, one thing is for sure, we will be building a community around BrainJams to help others do these types of events, and we hope to collaborate with the BarCamp folks to work towards common goals. If we are remotely successful at getting non-developer business professionals to share more of their knowledge and experience through BrainJams, we will have taken giant strides in making the world a better place.

(snip)

In the end, my best hope in regards to how this event is perceived, is that anyone else can do what we did by understanding how the systems work, how to use Web 2.0/2.1 tools and believing in themselves enough to take that all important leap of faith.

Empower to the people.

Thanks everyone for what was an unbelievable success.

(BTW, if you find a spare s-video cable in your stuff from the day, it will go a long way to getting me out of hot water with the KRON IT dept)

TAGS:

You've got your profits and your mathematicians

Posted: Thu, 08 Sep 2005 17:59:58 GMT

Source: I finished watching Volume 1 of Serial Experiments Lain. I liked it, but I have no idea what's going on. I'm putting Volume 2 on my Blockbuster list now.

I am experimenting with double pointed needles. I've done about ten rows and miracously it does look like double ribbing. The only problem is I'm knitting too loosely and it doesn't join up in between the three needles very well. But I'll get there eventually.

If you're interested in the Big Gay Read at all, please go and fill out this poll for [info]kat99999 :]

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Government Can't Explain Increase in 2002 TSA Contract

Posted: Sun Oct 09 00:00:00 EDT 2005

Source: In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the government changed a contract to hire federal airline passengers screeners in a way that cost taxpayers an additional $343 million. More than three years later, officials cannot explain exactly why.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sunday

Posted: 2005-09-28T12:59:01Z

Source:
began with us getting up late; Josh's alarm clock thinks that STOPPING at the time it's set to go off at will somehow wake one up, and I had forgotten to open the curtain so that the light could come in and wake me. (Query self: when does European daylight saving time end?) As a result, we had 15 minutes to get dressed and make the bus to the train station to go to church in Zürich. We made it, and then discovered that the ticket window doesn't open till 8 on Sundays. Nevertheless, we made it onto the 8:03 train, ate Brötchen and chocolate croissants, and tried to see some of Switzerland in the fog (it was Josh's first time in the country). We then had an hour and ten minutes between arriving in Zürich and the beginning of the service, so we studied the street map in the train station and walked to the church (about 20 minutes) through people setting up some kind of fair or street carnival.

It turned out that we had happened upon "baptism Sunday" - 2 kids had just been baptized at the 9:00 service, and two more were going to be done at the 10:30. We introduced ourselves to the clergy (British chaplain, Spanish assistant, American curate) and read the church newsletter (the chaplain's letter was reassuring - "why I'm suspicious of fundamentalism") while the church filled up: mostly with well-dressed Anglo-Swiss families and older couples, but also some South Asians and a lot of Africans (one of the babies being baptized was African). The service was pretty much what I was accustomed to in my year of going to church in England, although of course they use the new British prayer book. Everyone in the church hall afterwards was very nice, and it looks like I'll be going on a walking "pilgrimage" to some nearby monasteries on Saturday with some of them.

On the way back to the train station we went through the abovementioned street carnival, now in full swing, which seemed to feature some combination of public art, a kids' parade, and promotion of civic organizations and clean energy (yay!). A guy stuck gummi bears in our hands as a promotion, and we dodged a Chinese-style dragon to get across the street. Bought incredibly greasy food in the train station and ate it on the return trip to Konstanz, where we ended up in the middle of the insane crowds at the wine festival, drank new white wine (cloudy, sweet, tasted slightly of cheese) and ate kuchen.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

At last!

Posted: 2005-09-21T13:32:08Z

Source:
I've managed to get on to the only bloggable computer in this library (Netscape Navigator keeps giving me permanent fatal error messages, but for some reason this one computer, fourth from the end on the left, has cookies enabled. Sheesh.)

Right. So. The past couple of days have included:

  • Buying a bottle of extremely cheap wine (2€) at Kaufland, only to realize I had no corkscrew in the kitchen. My lamb was getting old in the fridge and I wanted to cook it with red wine sauce. Two vegetable peelers, a V-shaped piece broken out of the bottle, a cut finger, and a mangled cork later, I was able to do so. I doubt that the rest of the wine will be usable even for cooking; Josh and I will have some very high-class red wine vinegar ...
  • Contemplating whether the Milka chocolate company is the German version of Cadbury (purple foil wrappers, obsession with milk chocolate) and whether they put crack in their Triolade bar (layers of white, milk, and a mixture of milk and dark chocolates).
  • Another barbecue. Wienerwurst actually tastes remarkably like Fenway Franks.
  • ACTUALLY LEARNING THE PAST TENSE IN GERMAN!! (Sound the trumpets!)
  • Making a presentation in class about my native country (the class of 15 has 8 nationalities so we had 8 presentations). Amber, who's from Arizona, and I decided that there was no way we could generalize about the US, so after some basics (size, population, capital, languages, the fact that men watch the Super Bowl on TV and drink bad beer) we each did a mini-presentation on our home state. She passed out pictures of camping amid spectacular rock formations. I invented German words for "leaf-peepers" and "clam chowder". By mutual unspoken agreement, we scrupulously avoided discussing politics and government. (Incidentally, in that vein, see this UTTERLY hilarious Onion article.)
  • Obtaining two surveys from Williams College that had been delivered to the apartment, and receiving a tour of same from the caretaker (in German). It's on the first floor, which for some reason I hadn't anticipated, and is kind of dark. The furniture is kind of early-80's stripped-down - not exactly our style, but it could be worse. We'll have at least one extra bed, so people can come visit!!