Monday, June 25, 2007

Posh Nosh

Richard E. Grant (and companion), slightly dremmeled in a lightarian sauce.

Posh Nosh

(and some more)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I'm in The New York Times

A news story published today in the New York Times (and, linked above) features yours, this time, truly.

Not exactly the central focus of the piece, but you can see me at timecode 2:39 of the video piece.

The article was about the March for Change grassroots drive to promote the Obama '08 campaign, which I wrote about here.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"We're all set with our explanation of how oil production hasn't peaked.. Bring it on!"

[...]Dr Campbell, is a former chief geologist and vice-president at a string of oil majors including BP, Shell, Fina, Exxon and ChevronTexaco. He explains that the peak of regular oil - the cheap and easy to extract stuff - has already come and gone in 2005. Even when you factor in the more difficult to extract heavy oil, deep sea reserves, polar regions and liquid taken from gas, the peak will come as soon as 2011, he says.

This scenario is flatly denied by BP, whose chief economist Peter Davies has dismissed the arguments of "peak oil" theorists.

"We don't believe there is an absolute resource constraint. When peak oil comes, it is just as likely to come from consumption peaking, perhaps because of climate change policies as from production peaking."[...]

..... and they will argue until the death of their stock price and a literal decimation of the world 's GDP (and most likely the world's population), a la tobacco companies, that their product is more expensive and less available due to consumer choice (and, as a masterstroke, that "they always predicted it so").

(link goes to news story; this one to wikipedia's article on Peak Oil)

Why did Meadow cross the road?

There appears to be some frustration with the truncated manner in which The Sopranos ended a couple of days ago (link goes to final scene off YouTube).

I was going to write something philosophical along the lines of "You don't get to cross the road, capisce?" in the sense that, from the very beginning, The Sopranos has maintained a high standard of "life, take it or leave it" naturality (even within the unnatural context of organized crime etc) and that the most honest way to end the show was, in a sense, in between heartbeats.... would Meadow make it across the street? She has always been shown to be awkward at a practical level -- to the end, even, making a botched attempt to park her car... would she make it hurriedly across a road pitched about by furious SUVs in the dark of the night..... (*)

(*) I found it surprising that other commenters online chose to focus on the "larger" issues of the show; Would Tony go to jail? Would Tony be offed? Some, obsessed with this last possibility, went as far as to notice the presence and body language of the other patrons in the diner shown in the last few seconds of the episode.... I got NONE of that the first time around (I don't often do social feedback loops so the pre-broadcast hype was not part of my appreciation to that degree). And yet the massively perceived metaphor was the same....

.... then my husband, in a rare fit of acoustic acumen, pointed out that you can hear the ding of the diner's door bell just before Tony looks up for the show's finals shot; one is forced to imagine that it must be her coming in through the door that he has looked up to see.

I didn't need the ding, David.

(although the onion-rings-as-sacrificial-hosts were a nice touch)


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Only the chinese...

… only the chinese could create a society where (a) you are not allowed to name your child anything you want, thus creating a lack-of-names problem, and (b) solve the problem by arbitrary legislative decree.

(link goes to news story)

The best example in the US of such a thing is Prohibition, and its current incarnation of the War on People Who Take Drugs. (Build more jails! Brilliant!)

Hum.. maybe we're not so different....

Why my husband couldn't park in front of our building yesterday

This sign, which was posted on every vertical object within one block of the T-intersection at my house, must have been written by either (a) an idiot, or (b) a brilliant guerilla marketing person. Do I really need to know the plot of this (very ridiculous-sounding) movie in order to know why I have to park elsewhere?

Take a look at the street they cleared:

(those tiny dots in the extreme background are the production crew & cast, all contained within about a 100 ft radius)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Step right up! Get your red-hot presidential candidate!

Yesterday I took part in a nationwide initiative for the Obama campaign called "Walk
for Change". The idea is that local groups (minimally overseen but rather
merely inspired by the national campaign) would canvass their neighborhoods (some
going door-to-door) to share our enthusiasm for the candidate.

Here are some photos:

We set up a table with informational materials, registration forms etc right outside Ft. Greene Park around 10am. Tamara Hood, person on the left bent over the table, is one of our neighborhood organizers.

This is Amanda, who painted her toenails with the campaign logo
(click to enlarge):

The Gray Lady was there in the form of videographer Geoff McGhee (who was a really nice guy and always got my good side) and ace reporter Michael Cooper.

(that's Michael Cooper,
not Matthew Cooper....)

I'm told my photo will be featured in the paper but I didn't get a consistent answer on when. Watch this space.

We then walked to St. John's Episcopal in Carroll Gardens where, in the church's recroom basement, some of the national campaign staff people gave us some pointers on how to deal with the public. Basic stuff like showing interest in their lives and not badmouthing the opposition.

The church's priest is this pensive-looking gentleman who actually had some wise words to say to the group regarding the connection between true Christians (i.e., the Golden Rule / love your neighbor / what goes around comes around sort, not the "do as I say or you'll go to Hell" type) and the need to promote political candidates who espouse those values in their policies regarding education, health care, tolerance and inclusivity etc (which was his way of saying that while the church's space was open to be used for any constructive purpose by any of the other campaigns that he was not exactly going out of his way to invite them). I'm also including the photo because it is the first known instance (to me) of a priest standing directly under a mirror ball.

We then went out canvassing again, this time to a combination restaurant / outdoor cafe / flea market which due to a lack of pre-arrangement with the owner, we almost immediately had to vacate.

Instead we went two doors down to Gardel's Gardens who not only let us set up a table outside their business but actually gave us the table to use for the day.

Gardel's Gardens, conveniently located near the corner of Fulton and South Portland Avenue, is a wonderfully stocked family-owned plant shop that has a little of everything and employs a helpful, knowledgeable staff who are eager to answer any questions from the plant-loving public.

Specifically, I learned that the ivy I bought from them does not need a large plant container at all in order to grow large enough to cover this entire wall adjoining my rooftop deck. Amazing!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Gimme a word.. a bouncy word....

The Germans have Schadenfreude (indeed, with a capital 'S' as is their style). The Spanish have "me alegro". I'm sure the Italians have something pithy that involves a fraction of a syllable and some sort of hand-flapping gesture.

Americans need to invent a single word (something better than your typical "sniglet" pls) that expresses the unbounded yet specific joy at seeing somebody who could not be saved from the comeupance demanded of their catastrophically bad behavior by their fortune and the connections and favors thus purchased. Think Martha Stewart, Bernie Ebbers, Enron's Lay and Skilling... These are the American royalty who did not dodge the Bullet of Justice (if I may gag you and me both with a bad metaphor).

Perpwalk was fantastic; however it is not specific to serving time but rather the event of being arrested / arraigned in a public manner. How about, to put it in dermatological terms in honor of Paris Hilton's unnaturally smooth skin (which will surely begin to fall off as a result of multiple chemical peels in the next 5-to-10) . . . Karmapimple?

My new computer

My new computer can copy a 750 meg file, within the same filesystem (which I've three-way striped unto 3Gb/s eSATA 10k RPM drives), in six seconds.

Link goes to where I bought it from. Ask for Tony.

The specs:

Part Number Description Cost Qty Ext. Cost

7853 KIT-537-2, 1/17: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, LGA 775, 2.4GHz, 64-Bit Quad-Core, 2x4MB L2 Cache
[ Item #.: 7853 ]
$603.50 1 $603.50

6283 KIT-537-2, 2/17: Gigabyte Intel P965, LGA 775 Quad-Core, Crossfire, RAID, w/Audio, w/GbLAN. [ GA-965P-DQ6 ]
[ Item #.: 6283 ]
$271.50 1 $271.50

8465 KIT-537-2, 3/17: DDR2: 1024MB 1200MHz / PC9600: Kingston HyperX [ KHX9600D2/1G ]
[ Item #.: 8465 ]
$189.75 1 $189.75

8465 KIT-537-2, 4/17: DDR2: 1024MB 1200MHz / PC9600: Kingston HyperX [ KHX9600D2/1G ]
[ Item #.: 8465 ]
$189.75 1 $189.75

1738 KIT-537-2, 5/17: Western Digital Rapter 74GB SATA 10000RPM w/ 16MB Buffer
[ Item #.: 1738 ]
$186.25 1 $186.25

1738 KIT-537-2, 6/17: Western Digital Rapter 74GB SATA 10000RPM w/ 16MB Buffer
[ Item #.: 1738 ]
$186.25 1 $186.25

1738 KIT-537-2, 7/17: Western Digital Rapter 74GB SATA 10000RPM w/ 16MB Buffer
[ Item #.: 1738 ]
$186.25 1 $186.25

1738 KIT-537-2, 8/17: Western Digital Rapter 74GB SATA 10000RPM w/ 16MB Buffer
[ Item #.: 1738 ]
$186.25 1 $186.25

1866 KIT-537-2, 9/17: 1.44MB Floppy Drive w/ 7 in 1 Card Reader, Black Color
[ Item #.: 1866 ]
$23.00 1 $23.00

8339 KIT-537-2, 10/17: ROM:DVDRW: 20x Dual-Format/Dual-Layer w/LightScribe, Black Color
[ Item #.: 8339 ]
$43.75 1 $43.75

8012 KIT-537-2, 11/17: PCI-E16: Radeon X1650: 512MB:
[ Item #.: 8012 ]
$88.50 1 $88.50

8012 KIT-537-2, 12/17: PCI-E16: Radeon X1650: 512MB:
[ Item #.: 8012 ]
$88.50 1 $88.50

1480 KIT-537-2, 13/17: 5.1 Channels 3D Surround Sound [ If system board states w/Audio ]
[ Item #.: 1480 ]
$0.00 1 $0.00

1478 KIT-537-2, 14/17: Onboard Network Port(s) [ If system board states w/LAN ]
[ Item #.: 1478 ]
$0.00 1 $0.00

6202 KIT-537-2, 15/17: Thermaltake mTower ATX: Matrix VX [ VD3000SWA ] Aluminum, Silver/Black w/No PSU
[ Item #.: 6202 ]
$84.00 1 $84.00

8342 KIT-537-2, 16/17: Power my PC with a 500W Power Supply - PSU [ NSP-50OV2.0BF12 ]
[ Item #.: 8342 ]
$49.50 1 $49.50

2964 KIT-537-2, 17/17: Fully Assembled w/ 1-Year Part & Labor Warranty & Lifetime Tech Support.
[ Item #.: 2964 ]
$10.00 1 $10.00

Sub Total: $2,386.75

Sales Tax ( : 0% ): $0.00

Shipping / 11238: $55.55

Total in: $2,442.30

Something I may or may not recommend depending on which ad is shown: