Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Nice article from The Boston Globe

1. It's inspirational, because it features someone writing. Something I'd like to be doing. Right. Now. (see yesterday's title)

2. It talks about Dennis Lehane working on his next book, which is always a good thing.

3. But beyond that, it's got everything, fathers and sons, brother and brother, and a killer first line.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I've got a paper due Thursday

Writing comes easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until your forehead bleeds. -- Douglas Adams
Replacing the blank piece of paper with a Word screen designed to look like a blank piece of paper seems to have no effect. Still blank. Still waiting for the forehead to bleed.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Education Deficit Disorder

Frankly, that's probably the real disorder fueling Ritalin and Adderall administration.

In his testimony to the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee, Bruce Wiseman, National President of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, stated that "thousands of children put on psychiatric drugs are simply 'smart.'" He quoted the late Sydney Walker, a psychiatrist and neurologist, as saying, "They're hyper not because their brains don't work right, but because they spend most of the day waiting for slower students to catch up with them. These students are bored to tears, and people who are bored fidget, wiggle, scratch, stretch, and (especially if they are boys) start looking for ways to get into trouble."

read-on The Myth of ADHD. Not much new here, but a good intro/reminder (depending on what you need).

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Couldn't have put it better myself

You know how every now and then you'll hear or read something that pretty much sums up the way you've thought/believed for years--decades even--but have never been able to express satisfactory manner? You feel elated to see that someone was able to, but a little bitter because it wasn't you.
I had that experience last night while polishing off Rex Stout's Before Midnight for the umpteen millionth time:

I would appreciate it if they would call a halt on all their devoted efforts to find a way to abolish war or eliminate disease or run trains with atoms or extend the span of human life to a couple of centuries, and everybody concentrate for a while on how to wake me up in the morning without my resenting it. It may be that a bevy of beautiful maidens in pure silk yellow very sheer gowns, barefooted, singing Oh, What a Beautiful Morning and scattering rose petals over me would do the trick, but I'd have to try it. -- Archie Goodwin

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Nice evening

Pushed aside pretty much everything tonight, and just hung out with the family. It was Samwise's 6th birthday, so turned off the computer, closed the books and was just a dad and husband (and a napper for a brief while). Great night.

6th birthday? My second child is 6. Yeeeesh, I'm old.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A National Punch-Line and a Local Shame

Idaho town votes to rename itself

Officials in the northern Idaho town of Santa, Idaho, on Monday voted to rename the 115-person hamlet to hype an online gift exchange management service.

hat tip: Huckleberries Online

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Recommended Reads...

Too tired to come up with something more consequential than my last post, but feel the need to post something. So here's a handful of links collected over the last few days worth reading and thinking about (in no particular order):

Friday, November 18, 2005

Some Hearts Live-Blog

Friday afternoon, brain's not chugging on all cylinders, so we'll go with something easy here. I'll unwrap the debut album from Carrie Underwood, this year's American Idol (for the 3 of you--and kletois--that didn't get the memo), and give it a listen:

  1. Wasted Am 2:09 into this song when I decide to start live-blogging this. Music is pretty much standard country, but her vocals are typically strong. This is why she won. Good start out of the gate.
  2. Don't Forget to Remember Me..."It was a'ight." Nice song, doubt I'll be adding it to any play-lists. Very sentimental, very Martina/Faith-esque. (shock!) Okay, I'm cheating a bit here, on the 2nd listen before I posted. The song's better than I thought initially
  3. Some Hearts Dang! Take that, Clarkson. Poppy, yet true to her country roots. Randy opines, "That was the bomb!" Paula claps and weeps, "I'm proud of you, you really made this song your own. You were having fun there in the studio, and you can really feel that"
  4. Jesus, Take the Wheel um...have heard a lot about this, never heard it yet. Weakest so far. But not bad. Just trite. I'm not gonna touch the theology. Probably sounder than 70% of the stuff on CCM charts at the moment, anyway.
  5. The Night Before yawn. Pretty, but boring. Will sell very well, video will be huge on CMT.
  6. Lessons Learnedeh. better than The Night Before, 'bout sums it up.
  7. Before He Cheats sort of a new-school country feel to the song, but you don't get more old-school than a song 'bout yer man cheatin'. Fun song. Good vocals.
  8. Starts with Goodbye Different feel than the other ballads, less countryish. Pretty good. Still Martina/Faith-esque, but, um, that's pretty much Carrie Underwood, right?
  9. I Just Can't Live a Lie I really wish there was something stand-out enough here to say...the vocals are really good. The lyrics and music are well...pretty standard. Again, this'll be a big hit, no doubt, but not one I'd go out of my way to hear.
  10. We're Young and Beautiful Nothing profound here, but fun song.
  11. That's Where It Is See track 4.
  12. Whenever you Remember This could've been the song that the Idol producers used for the finale. Probably would've liked it better, actually.
  13. I ain't in Checotah Anymore Carrie actually co-wrote this one, so one would think you hear a bit more of her in this, y'know. Nice "little-town-girl-makes-it-big" song. Almost an anti-"Baby Girl." Which isn't really right, but it's close enough for this.
  14. Inside Your Heaven ugh. I guess they had to put this on.
And that's it. CD's over.

Probably doesn't sound like it, but I enjoyed the album. Pretty good stuff. Sure, I was less than impressed with the ballads, but there are precious few country ballads I really care for. "Whiskey Lullaby" is the only one I can think of from this year that does anything for me, so it's no slight to Carrie that I didn't care for what her songwriters brought her. She did well with them. This is much better than Fantasia did with her big shot (and Fantasia's a better singer). That's pretty much a back-handed compliment, not intended to be.

(celebrity voices impersonated...poorly)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Well, it is that week... I feel obligated to post this. All non- Idahoans can skip this one.

From the comments at Huckleberries Online:

Q: What do a BSU student and a U of I student have in common?
A: They both got into BSU.


How to Understand Guys

For those of the female persuasion out there trying to understand the male of the species, here's some help. Not quite as good as Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys or Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man, and definitely not even close to High Fidelity. But, this does a pretty good job.

This is also helpful for the men in the audience wanting an easy way to explain our gender without actually having to talk.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I liked the pilot episode, but it wasn't great. It was...okay. Something to do while waiting for House to come on and the Mrs to come home from work. But thankfully, this show keeps getting better...last week's episode fired on all cylinders. The mystery was good, and provided a nice vehicle to get into Brennan's backstory. The supporting cast shone--even got something good out of the boss character, who always seemed like a throwaway. Perfect mix of utter despair and light moments. They're doing a better job of showing Boone as an investigator, not just someone to react to Brennan/Brennan's genius. He's becoming more of an Archie Goodwin than a Dr. Watson.

Tonight's show wasn't as good. But it was still up there. Boreanaz' physical reactions to Bones so casually putting the hand on like a glove, and the eyeballs in a jar were perfect. Nice to see him as something other than uber-broody Angel. (I understand he was a little less broody on Angel, but I've only seen a couple of episodes of that).

It's not quite "appointment TV" yet, but I bet House getting a new timeslot come January is going to make me miss many episodes.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Begging Your Indulgence

Okay, so don't want this to turn into a "cute cat picture" kind of blog. But how do you not share these pictures? The Kidney Kid loves his Daddy's threads (well, shoes and cap anyway)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

musing when I should be sleeping

Had a 1st season Monk re-run (man, I knew that show had gone more for the comedic lately, but seeing this episode really underlined how far they'd drifted!) on while I was doing some work tonight. When it was over, Frankie & Johnny started. I hadn't seen this underrated movie in a long time, so even tho it was edited for TV, decided to watch. Some random thoughts:

  • I need to listen to more Debussy. Really don't think I know more than Clair de Lune and whatever they used for the Wings theme song (two Shaloub shows in one post...that's a record).
  • Possibly the least comedic romantic comedy I can think of. Probably not the best follow-up to Pretty Woman for Garry Marshall.
  • I think this was the first time I saw Nathan Lane. Dang, he's funny! Oh, imdb tells me I saw him first in Joe Versus the Volcano, but I've repressed every memory of that film.
  • There's a lot of subtle work in this show. Don't normally think of Pacino or Lane as subtle, or even Elizondo.
  • The supporting cast does excellent work, easy to be overlooked and not give it your all with Pacino and Pfeiffer headlining things.
  • While she's made better movies, maybe even had better characters...don't know if I've been more impressed with a Pfeiffer performance.
  • The ache of loneliness permeates this movie. Probably the greatest detraction from the comedy. Does a great job showing how empty people can be. Particularly in the final David E. Kelly-esque montage.

Why I need to travel more

I've never seen this. Am told it's "a must see. . . American excess combined with American too-much-time-on-your-hands, with a delightful, though thoroughly useless, result."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Stimulating Reading

Say what you will about Doug Wilson (and many have, do, and shall)...the guy is a stimulating writer--not always in the way he intends, I'm sure. I mention this, for two reasons, many of my friends will be made uncomfortable by the fact I'm complimenting him--good. It pays to be that way every now and then.

Secondly, two of his posts today are well worth reading a couple of times. First, is The Apostle Paul. Nice snapshot biography of's a keeper. The other is Not on the Ballot about the elections many of us have the chance to participate in tomorrow. A lot of it has nothing to do with anyone who reads this space, because none of us live in Moscow, ID. But there's some points well worth making/chuckling at/both.

For those who are readers of this blog residing elsewhere, it is quite possible that there is an election near you (except for you international readers), and so you too have an opportunity to get out there and vote against the Dumb Stuff. And when the Dumb Stuff seems overwhelming, just remember the two different approaches David could have taken with Goliath. The first is the counsel of despair. "He is so big! I can't win." The second, the counsel of faith, is: "He is so big! I can't miss." Lots of Dumb Stuff out there in a balloting booth near you -- you can't miss. Figuring out how to vote is like trying to hit a cow on the rear end with a canoe paddle.

Politics is not our savior, but it is important for us to be engaged in the political process. We only contend that we should be engaged in it with a right sense of priority and balance. In other words, we should be involved in the life of the community, including voting, for the same reason that we rake the leaves in our yard. It is the responsible thing to do. But we are to do it with full awareness that the state is not god, and we, the whispering voices of demos in the state's ear, are not god either. When I consider the religious fervor of those whose closest brush with the numinous is to put up lots of yard signs, I am reminded that only Jesus Christ is Lord.

The election is tomorrow. And on Wednesday, the day after the election, Jesus will still be Lord. It turns out that His name is not ever going to be on the ballot.

A Reevaluation

Had some downtime this weekend, not enough energy to do/watch/read something productive, so the Mrs. and myself watched an episode of But Can They Sing?.

First, I hope I can spare some of you readers the pain: you always have something better to do than to watch this. For your own sake,for the sake of your children, for the sake of the nation--don't watch this thing.

Secondly, having seen the feedback given by the coaches/judges on this show. I've come to reevaluate American Idol's Paul Abdul. She is a harsh, cruel b*tch, bent on destroying dreams and crushing hopes.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Rejoice in the Lord

The Christian religion is no morose system, stifling every spring of cheerfulness in the heart, or converting its waters into those of Marah. It lifts the spirit out of the thrall and misery of sin, and elevates it to the enjoyment of the divine favour, and the possession of the divine image; nay there is a luxury in that sorrow which weeps tears of genuine contrition. Therefore, to mope and mourn, to put on sackcloth and cleave to the dust, is not the part of those who are in the Lord, the exalted Saviour, who guarantees them “pleasures for evermore.” Such joy is not more remote from a gloomy and morbid melancholy, on the one hand, that it is, on the other hand, from the delirious ecstasies of fanaticism, or the inner trances and raptures of mystic Quietism. -- John Eadie

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hey, it's not supposed to bend that way

sigh...Apparently it's been to long since I've had a post containing the words: doctor, ER, or pain.

So last night, after most of the crew has been sent home I'm doing the typical hustle when he get a rush of cars in the drive-thru. And since the new manager they just transferred in can't seem to bother doing anything, I was hustling a little more than normal. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I was bagging an order, taking one, and trying to start a basket of fries, and I was keeping myself from falling on the floor as my ankle bent in a way not matching original specifications, and my leg slipped out under me (for the record, I dropped no food). An off-duty manager catching up on paperwork told me he heard "popping." The manager who had been busily standing there, was forced to move while the off-duty guy compelled me to sit down and put my foot up.

After a few, I get up, foot's sore and stiff, but eh, whatever,

So I finish my shift a couple hours later, come home put my foot up and try to do some Greek homework. Before long, that soreness became really intense pain, I start shivering uncontrollably. But, I was able to get a good deal of homework done before I threw in the towel, went through the drive-thru and picked up a injury report (did you know fries don't come with that?).

Took the ER forever, given I seemed to be half of the patient populace, but they finally got me drugged-up and x-rayed. Nasty sprain. Should be back up and around like normal in a couple of weeks. Finally get home and only then get to sleep.

Now why do I go into this much detail? Why not simply say, "Sprained my ankle at work last night. Ow. Ow. Ow. Thank heavens for Vicodin!" So you, too, can appreciate the bitter irony that's been boring a hole in the back of my skull all day. When I temporarily regain consciousness mid-morning, I get this email from my Greek professor saying I need to be "more diligent with your time."

Since my friends have been going on about the fun of Prednisone over at Sea Salt & Vinegar, I figure I better throw in my review of Vicodin--like when I took it this summer--I'm woozy, tired, and semi-coherent. This time, at least, it's taking care of most of the pain. Anyhow, if this post isn't as semi-amusing as I think it is, I blame it on the pills.

nip/tuck gets a major (and much needed) facelift! Great work, guys!