Now on Facebook

Not only have I surrendered to the inevitable and joined Facebook, I've just learned that I can cross post my blog entries to the Notes section on Facebook. Throwing caution to the wind, I've gone ahead and done this.

As it turns out, connecting my LiveJournal blog to Facebook is problemmatic for two reasons.

1) I expected the connection to be a "going forward" sort of thing. Not so much. I think the last six months of blog posts just got dumped simultaneously into my Facebook notes. (I've been posting so infrequently lately that it may be only a dozen or so posts, but it still was a bit of a surprise.)

2) On the blog, I've always been maintained anonymity, and I've used aliases for my friends and family. That isn't the way Facebook works, of course. So, I've limited access to my notes to my friends only. This may be the best that I can do.

I'm beginning to wonder if making the connection was a mistake. I'm comforted by the knowledge that one or both of the people who might read this will surely let me know if my fears are genuine.
  • Current Mood
    worried worried

My keenly honed sense of irony

Earlier this evening, I was in Macy's department store. I'm not proud of it, but I'm not ashamed, either. We happened to be at The Domain, my wife wanted to stop into Macy's, so we went in.

The first thing I noticed was that the smell of perfume or cologne or something was almost impenetrably strong. So much so, I swear, that the back of my throat started burning.

As if that were not enough of a warning, there was one display that convinced me that I was particularly maladapted for the Macy's environment. Next to a stack of women's blouses, a sign read:

Ruffled Peasant Tees - $29

It is refreshing, I suppose, that Macy's feels free to use the word "peasant" in a purely descriptive, non-pejorative way. There may be some easily-offended types out there who would decry the use of "peasant" by a upscale retailer or their stereotypically upper-middle-class patrons. Personally, I've never been a fan of the word police (you can imagine the self-loathing I'm struggling with right now), so I'm not going to bust Macy's for being politically incorrect.

But seriously- $29 dollars for one "peasant" t-shirt? Ruffled or not, at $29, that one shirt represents almost a month's income for your typical 21st century peasant. Don't get me wrong, Macy's can charge whatever they want for their clothes, but have they no sense of irony?

Surely, reasonable and accurate, non-pejorative connotations of "peasant" in this sense would include all of the following:

serviceable and satisfying; perhaps rough and unpolished, but not shoddy; lacking unnecessary or impractical adornment; and inexpensive

Might I suggest this substitution: "Ruffled Poser Tees - $29
  • Current Mood
    amused amused

The Big News

I've been keeping this news off the internets for a long time, but the time has come to let it out.

The lovely Whimsy and I are expecting a baby. On Friday, the 29th of May, we found out that we're having a girl!

Whimsy is doing beautifully- she's been getting glowing reports at the doctor's office, and the pregnancy has not been too difficult for her thus far. I'm so proud of her, I feel like I may burst, sometimes.

I wasn't there

My friend shadrax115 tried to get me to go. He asked me several times- "It's Wrath of Khan, man, on the big screen! It hasn't been projected on the big screen like that for decades!"

I demurred.

"There's going to be ten minutes of footage from the new movie, too!"

I was unmoved. In reality, I had no desire to see only ten minutes of the rebooted Star Trek universe. I wanted to see the new movie all at once.



Begin calculations for time warp, I suppose.


This man is a menace

Just when you thought the Dark Lord was gone forever, he pops back up again. The former Vice President is exercising his right, as a private citizen, to criticize the current administration. Specifically, he thinks it is a bad idea to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, and restrict interrogation techniques to the Army Field Manual.

Let's take a moment to savor the use of the phrases "former Vice President" and "private citizen" with respect to Dick Cheney.

At around 3:09 in the clip above, he asserts that the Obama administration is returning to a "law enforcement" model to combat terrorism. Although he doesn't say it explicitly, I believe he's making the distinction between prevention and reaction. The weakness of law enforcement that one has to wait for the crime to happen, but declaring war on terror means one can prevent the attack.

The first problem with this argument is that it is completely incidental to the morality of so-called enhanced interrogation- we've fought wars in the past without accepting those techniques as legal and justified. But the real problem isn't one of utility, it is that we have to become the bad guys to maintain our security. We can tell ourselves that what we're doing isn't so bad, and it gives results (although the results are classified, so we can't really know that). But that's bullshit- hiding behind the phrase "enhanced interrogation" is a polite way of saying that we're compromising our principles. We're basically saying that torture is wrong, unless we really need to, in which case, we'll call it something else.

If waterboarding isn't a crime anymore, why was it ever a crime? What's changed about waterboarding? The stakes are higher now, I hear someone say- we're now facing an existential threat. Even if I accept that, the implicit assumption is that, in the face of a big enough threat, principles are flexible, right and wrong are negotiable, and evil is in the eye of the beholder. Isn't that exactly the kind of thinking that leads eventually to terrorism and suicide bombers? And when the threat is gone, will it be just as easy to decide that that waterboarding is wrong again?

Once you're one of the bad guys, fighting other bad guys isn't a war, it's a gang fight. None of the good guys or innocent bystanders are rooting for either gang to win- they're just hoping to avoid stray bullets.

Surprisingly, former Vice President Cheney mentions the Oklahoma city bombing while he's disparaging the law enforcement model. I find this ironic, given that Timothy McVeigh is currently rotting in jail, whereas Osama bin Laden's whereabouts remain unknown.
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed

Here's an idea

A cell phone ought to have an "I'm lost!" mode. If it hasn't been used for several hours and the battery is about to go out, it should start periodically making a sound so it can be located.

I've lost my phone. Several days ago. It was provided to me by my employer, so tomorrow I'm going to have to go and own up to the loss.

  • Current Mood
    aggravated aggravated

The Pine Beetles at Fidder's Hearth plus Jonathan Coulton with Paul and Storm at Antone's

I saw two great music events this weekend. Saturday night the lovely Whimsy and I went down to Fiddler's Hearth (great venue, where the old Bennigan's used to be across from Threadgill's downtown) and saw The Pine Beetles play an outstanding show. For once we saw the whole thing, which means I didn't miss any of the songs of theirs I really like. They cover a song written by Pops Bayless (of Shorty Long and The Asylum Street Spankers) called Kiss Me that is perfectly evocative of the tin pan alley sensibility. Of course, I'm speaking as someone with no training as a musician, music theorist, music historian, or ethnomusicologist. But I know what I like.

Another thing I like is Jonathan Coulton, particularly when surrounded by a room full of nerds and geeks, many of whom were hopped up on Red Bull. JoCo always does a great show, but his material gets much better when Paul and Storm warm up the crowd and sing back up. The new material and the covers he did tonight really made the show fantastic, so much so that I didn't miss some of the songs he didn't play tonight. JoCo and Paul and Storm played a cover of "Birdhouse In Your Soul" that was outstanding- almost the equal of the "Sweet Caroline" cover they performed at the Cactus Cafe two years ago.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused

no time must rush

very busy weekend forgot to blog until almost too late went to a concert downtown first time I ever cheered against an encore music ended 11:20 PM had good luck with lights downtown betrayed by signals in my own neighborhood terrible badly adjusted light but I'm here okay right no return to film making for me I hope I thought I might do the second blog first so I can have more time to do the first one but Whimsy says that makes no sense and I agree

more on God and religion

An odd coincidence just happened. I'm up way too late right now, trying to let my mind spin down, so of course I'm bouncing around the web, which is precisely the wrong way to go about doing that.

I happened upon this video clip:

The Reverend Tom Honey clearly thinks and talks a lot about God, and his questions mirror my own, only put more clearly and concisely, and with better vocabulary. This clip is a much better summation (despite its length) of my ideas about God than I've ever been able to formulate myself.

Unpleasant tasks

I've got some unpleasant things to do in the immediate future. Filing my income taxes, obviously, is near the head of that list. I also need to get some estimates on having some work done around the house. I think the big tree in the back yard is dead, and it may need to be cut down. I need a new roof on this place, too- praying for hail isn't going to cut it forever (particularly in light of the last post).

I'm particulary poor at starting on tasks where I'm not confident about my expertise. Getting a quote from a tree surgeon or a roofer is difficult for me, because I don't have any way to independently evaluate the estimate. I just don't have any experience. Taxes are another fine example- the tax code is so mythologically labyrinthine that it I cannot feel good about any result. If an auditor came along as clapped the 'cuff on me for tax fraud, my only defense would be that I didn't do it on purpose.

Nevertheless, these things must be done. There's no point stretching it out. In fact, sometimes it's best to do the most difficult thing first.
  • Current Music
    Little Bit Is Better Than Nada - Texas Tornados