log (2002/12/20 to 2002/12/26)

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Tuesday, December 24, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

So what would it be like to live on the equator, or on a planet without an axial tilt, or a planet that always held the same face to its primary, or otherwise in a place where the turning of the year did not provide this graphic and powerful (overwhelmingly powerful) metaphor for death and rebirth, for light renewing itself at the time of deepest darkness?

Today is the day we make Christmas cookies. I make the dough from a blue recipe card that we got at Sherbrooke Village many years ago (probably on our honeymoon, come to think of it), and roll it out onto cookie sheets, and M and the little daughter cut it with cookie cutters and decorate it with sprinkles, and I bake the cookies in the oven.

They're all done now, and the cookies turned out sweet and yummy as always. Which is sort of odd, because I realized about three fourths of the way through that I forgot the cream of tartar and the baking soda. So these are unleavened Christmas cookies, but for some reason it doesn't seem to make any difference.

Maybe leavening is just a story told by the big international cream of tartar and baking soda corporations.

But anyway now we're all sitting around playing Animal Crossing and deciding whether and which presents the kids should (be allowed to) open here on Christmas Eve. I suspect I won't be posting anything tomorrow, so I will wish anyone reading this, tonight or any other time, light in the depths of the dark, and a joyous turning to the year.

Monday, December 23, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

A reader writes:

When did you switch to an alternate calendar universe? The best picture would be of a calendar from where you are.

Quite true; yesterday was not in fact Monday, December 22, 2002, as this log claimed. Aren't you glad I type all this in by hand, rather than using a fancy content management system? You'd miss all the endearing little quirks.

Well, some of them anyway.

So I don't have a picture from that particular alternate universe, but here are a few more recent Klez images, just for fun:

Okay, so it's not up to the level of that day back in October, but it's kind of endearing; these little snippets of ordinary people's hard drives, browser caches, daily lives.

Minus the porn, which I don't (usually) post here.

So I'm on vacation (which is why I have the luxury, even more than usual, of forgetting what day of the week it is and stuff). I've been checking my email and making phone calls a bit, but not much. I've been going through the List of Things To Do, which contains stuff like:

Drain Pool Cover

Christmas Lights

Wrap Presents for M

Mail Mail

Basement Wiring

Call Dinesh

Move Punkins

Do something about mess!

Many of those things are checked off (the wiring being mere telephone wiring and therefore easy, the cover on the big tub of water being covered with ice and therefore undrainable, the Christmas lights being up and festive, M's presents wrapped and under the tree, a phone message having been left for Dinesh, etc, etc).

I've even made some progress on that last one.

But only some.

It's a constant battle.

Sunday, December 22, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

Take-out Indian food:

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Vindaloo

Chana Masala


And nice, hot, spicy, lip-burning Vindaloo it was, too. At least to my pampered Western palette. Real India folk probably feed it to tiny infants too young for the real stuff.

DMCA case verdict: Not guilty:

"It is troubling for enforcement of the (criminal provisions of the) DMCA," said Evan Cox, an attorney with the San Francisco firm of Covington & Burlington. "This was the kind of case that the DMCA was meant to prevent. If this enforcement led to a not guilty verdict, you have to wonder what would lead to a successful case."

Hurray for jury nullification! It's true that they found that the accused probably didn't intend to break the law (rather than finding that the law was invalid outright), but it's a fair start.

You know it's a nice enlightened summer camp when the application form has check-boxes for "male" and "female" and "other". I wonder what they do with the hermaphrodite and/or tranny kids that apply?

There's an interesting asymmetry I've noticed a few times and never written down before: if you have heterosexuals you can make groups of uninterested people as large as you like (boys in one room, girls in the other), but if you have homosexuals the largest uninterested group is two (one gay man and one lesbian woman).

More reasons to be ashamed we let these guys sneak into office: it appears that the U.S. is now like the most sexually uptight nation in the U.N.:

U.S. delegates argued bitterly against the inclusion of such phrases in the proposal until the last day of the conference, when, faced with an impasse, the conference took a vote -- an unusual tactic for U.N. conferences. The U.S. lost the first vote -- to exclude language on "reproductive rights" -- 31 - 1. They lost the second -- over "adolescent reproductive health" -- 32 - 1.

How embarassing.

Responding to our entry the other day, a reader writes:

hey, she's mine! ALL MINE! all y'all stay AWAY from Sharon Stone! i've even taken up smoking to attract her interest. hope it works. thanks for the png of Sharon.


p.s. note to dave: post reader input. do it now.

And on the same subject:

Bugs, remind me to remind you to post reader input.

It would be amusingly anti-meta to post only that reader input comprising reminders to post reader input, but I won't.

I think you're being too hard on Arlen Specter. I don't think he was really suggesting that anyone had suggested that Trent Lott be executed; I think he was using humorous exaggeration to make a point. Hyperbole, not strawman. But then, I could be biased because I've always had a strong suspicion that Arlen Specter is really a costumed crimefighter. I mean, if "Arlen Specter" isn't a secret-identity-of-a-superhero name, then I don't know what is.

On the first part: well, yeah. And the problem I have is with the notion of using the death penalty as a bit of humorous exaggeration. If he weren't part of an apparatus that is actually capable of putting people to death, it wouldn't be so bad. Given that he's one of the people with his hand on the lever, it's at least in very bad taste.

On the second part: must be.

Another reader writes, quite frighteningly:

Please don't stop writing. Your writing, whether profound or foolish, is a highlight of my every day.

I hope not many readers (including this one) have had their days blighted by my not infrequent silences (lacunae) lately.

So long, long ago we asked "Now what will you do?". Readers replied, or at least typed things into the nearby box:

I will sit here in the dark, with my fingers crossed, hoping that you will decide that it is worth your while to continue to write. Otherwise, I will just sit here. In the dark.

"main body in light-on-dark" s/b dark-on-light, yes? can't help further

Not decide to spend all of our time playing with the code of our blog while ignoring its content.




Take off my shoes, sit in a tree, and learn to play the flute.




Stand on my head and scream like a chicken.

Damn, you were here in Boulder? Sorry I missed you. I mean, not that I even know you. Hope you had a good time. The mountains are usually green, BTW; just not this year.

zark off


"This may make the page look sort of boring and black-and-white, but hopefully it's still readable." Actually, the b/w nature is more readable -- the orange and brown is becoming tiresome after a while (lack of contrast) and I'd choose a more distinct color for "visited links" to distinguish them. My opinion only, of course.

The reader who likes this log in black and white (as I admit I sometimes do myself) is reminded to use ctl-g in Opera, and no doubt other things in other places. Someday when I feel comfortable abandoning ancient browsers, I'll switch over to CSS and provide alternate style sheets.

The link to dontlink dot com (which may have been from me, and which we may already have blogged for all my lazy memory can tell) is to a fun site that gathers all the stupid "you are forbidden to link to us" pages around the web (which make just exactly as much sense as "you are forbidden to speak our name").

One random fun one is this page, which is really long and full of legalese, and of course I'm forbidden to link to it, hee hee hee.

It would be uncharitable at this point to gleefully shout "Idiots!".

The other reader inputs are, as usual, entirely self-explanatory. But then isn't everything?

Whew, it's not actually Sunday anymore, is it? Strictly speaking.

I should go to sleep.


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