Archive for July, 2005

Extreme hurricane-proofing

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

They say a man’s home is his castle. Some take this a bit too literally. (Hat tip: Alex.)

A crime against time?

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

Late last week, the House and Senate approved the final version of an energy bill that includes a provision extending Daylight Saving Time by a month. The bill is now on President Bush’s desk, and he says he will sign it. So, it’s as good as official: DST will start three weeks early and end one week late, starting in 2007.

The DST extension was cut in half from two months because of complaints from the airlines that it would disrupt international flight schedules, of all things. (It’s good to know that Congress is on the side of the little guy, as usual. Heh.)

I meant to post this quote two weeks ago, as I figured the local anti-Daylight Saving Time denizens would appreciate it, but then I forgot all about it, what with the various hardware and website crises that have befallen my digital world recently. But now it’s newly relevant, so here it is:

I think Washington likes DST because, having regulated everything else, it now wants to regulate time. (Maybe next year it can regulate space, and form a continuum.) At least the Jacobins, for all their calendar-related crimes, did not claim that they were making the sun shine longer. It takes a 21st-century American congressman to utter such nonsense.

Heh. Indeed.

But, hey, at least Congress has good, solid reasons for making this change:

[Co-sponsor Fred] Upton [(R-Mich.)] noted that the extension means daylight-saving time will continue through Halloween, adding to safety.

“Kids across the nation will soon rejoice,” he said, as they get another hour of daylight trick-or-treating.

Oh yes, the kids will rejoice… but what of their parents, the actual voters? What will you tell your constituents when their children, and indeed children all across America, are stricken with unprecedented sugar highs come Halloween 2007, all because of your DST bill?!? Their blood sugar will be on your hands, Congressman!!! :)

Then there’s this, from fellow co-sponsor Ed Markey (D-Mass.):

“The beauty of daylight-saving time is that it just makes everyone feel sunnier.”

LOL! God bless America…

P.S. South Bend Tribune columnist Jack Colwell says this whole thing is Mitch Daniels’s fault — and also the South Bend Tribune‘s fault, in a way.

P P.S. Bush may be slightly perturbed that he was unable to get this provision passed. :)

Sunday songblogging

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

I like music. I like it a lot. I like lots of different kinds of music, too. I’m going through a distinct country phase right now, but I also enjoy music from just about every genre: pop, rock, alternative, folk, classical… even the occasional rap or heavy metal song. And of course, I hold a special place in my heart for all manner of Celtic, Irish, or Canadian Maritime music. :)

But I don’t blog about music very much. I suppose this is because it’s hard to put into words what I feel about a song, even a song that I really really like at the moment, even a song that moves me or that I think is utterly brilliant. I’m not a music critic, after all, just a listener. I like what I like, and I don’t like what I don’t like, and to the extent that I have anything to share with others about my musical tastes, it’s usually along the lines of, “Hey, listen to this!”

Which brings me to this post. It occurred to me the other day that perhaps I should start an occasional feature listing a few songs I like right now, thus inviting commentary, ridicule, or whatever else y’all might like to say about my chosen tunes. Who knows, maybe I’ll even inspire someone to download one or two of ’em (legally, of course!).

Country-haters won’t have much use for my playlists at this particular point in time, but because this is me, that will inevitably change eventually. I’ve always been prone to obsessive “phases,” both in my musical tastes and in my interests and hobbies generally. (Hello, A.D.D.!) Anyway…

Songs I love right now
“4th of July” by Shooter Jennings
“Mississippi Girl” by Faith Hill
“Don’t Ask Me How I Know” by Bobby Pinson
“Stand Back Up” by Sugarland

Songs I like right now
“Somebody’s Hero” by Jamie O’Neal
“Redneck Yacht Club” by Craig Morgan
“Daddy’s Money” by Ricochet (so getting played at our wedding)
“Letters From Home” by John Michael Montgomery

Songs I recently loved, but I listened to ’em so many times that now I’m mildly sick of them… but I still like them
“Independence Day” by Martina McBride/Carrie Underwood
“Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by Billy Dean
“Something More” by Sugarland
“Baby Girl” by Sugarland

Close encounters of the canine kind

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

Butter just boldly tiptoed up to Robbie and sniffed him. Robbie promptly responded by licking her face. Butter was not pleased. “MEEEOW!”

Aww.

Sunday catblogging-blogging

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

Courtesy of fellow 2L Chris McLemore, here’s a New York Times article pondering why cats seem to be more popular on the Internet than dogs — and concluding that it’s because frequent Internet users, and bloggers in particular, have a lot in common with cats:

There’s a deeper answer to be had at infinitecat.com, where users post pictures of their cats gazing at pictures of other cats already posted on the Infinite Cat site. You see an infinite regress: pictures of cats looking at pictures of cats looking at pictures of cats.

Remind you of anything? Those cats are like so many bloggers sitting at home staring into their computer screens and watching other bloggers blog other bloggers. Cats, who live indoors and love to prowl, are the soul of the blogosphere. Dogs would never blog.

Heh.

Of course, I have no idea what the author is talking about…

:)

I want my 99 cents back

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

A few minutes ago, out of curiosity, and because I figured Becky might like it, and because the iTunes Music Store said listeners who bought Faith Hill’s wonderful “Mississippi Girl” also bought it (why, people, why?!?), I downloaded the new Jessica Simpson version of “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.”

It was so awful, I stopped the song about halfway through, downloaded the Nancy Sinatra version, and played it, just to cleanse my palette. :)

Horrific crash kills 4 in Avon, CT

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

A horrific, fiery, 20-vehicle crash at the base of Connecticut’s Avon Mountain yesterday morning killed four people, injured 19, and made East Main Street in Avon — a.k.a. Routes 10 and 44 — look a bit like a war zone:

Stories here; photos here. (Hat tip: my dad.)

Politics & media: two burning questions

Friday, July 29th, 2005

Was the New York Times‘s Judith Miller her own source?

And, did President Bush give the press the finger yesterday?

Frist to endorse stem-cell research?

Friday, July 29th, 2005

So sayeth Drudge: “In a break with Bush, Senate Republican leader Bill Frist will support bill to expand fed financing for embryonic stem cell research — will announce decision in morning with lengthy Senate speech…”

Does this mean he’s not running for president? Cuz, uh, yeah. The base ain’t gonna love him for this one.

UPDATE: Here’s the New York Times article.

A Picture Share!

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Meow. (Hey, it’s almost Friday…)

Top secret? Ha!

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

In comments on an earlier post, thebeef describes how to find Area 51 on Google Maps.

Vatican endorses moral relativism in Israel-Palestinian conflict

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

I admit I don’t really look to the Vatican for moral guidance in my own life, but given how many people do, I must say I find it deeply disturbing that the Holy See’s moral compass is getting sidetracked by moral relativism:

“It’s not always possible to immediately follow every attack against Israel with a public statement of condemnation,” a statement from the Vatican press office said Thursday night, “and (that is) for various reasons, among them the fact that the attacks against Israel sometimes were followed by immediate Israeli reactions not always compatible with the rules of international law.”

“It would thus be impossible to condemn the first (the terror strikes) and let the second (Israeli retaliation) pass in silence,” said the statement, which had an unusually blistering tone for the Holy See.

Taken at face value, that’s a nonsensical statement. Just because an act of retaliation is arguably “not compatible with the rules of internatinal law” doesn’t mean that the attack and retaliation are equally bad, and thus that their condemnation is equally important. Lots of things might violate international law and still be less bad (and therefore less important to condemn) than a terrorist atrocity that deliberately targets innocent civilians.

Let me try an analogy here. If a murderer kills your wife, and you respond by punching the murderer in the face, would that mean “it would be impossible to condemn the murder and then let the punch-in-the-face pass in silence”? Of course not! Yet punching someone in the face certainly is “not compatible with the rules of law.” However, it’s perfectly possible to condemn only the GREATER sin — the murder.

The only way the Vatican’s statement makes any sense is if Israel’s retaliations are not only violations of international law, but are just as bad (or nearly so) as the terrorist attacks that provoke them. The Holy See is implying that terrorist attacks and Israeli retaliations are on the same moral plane. I think that is a VERY hard position to justify, though I’d love to see the Vatican try. Then at least they’d be stating their position honestly, instead of hiding behind this “international law” bulls**t.

And besides, if the Vatican feels so strongly that both the terror attack and the retaliation are morally condemnible, then the Vatican should condemn them both! Staying deliberately silent (which the Vatican is now essentially admitting it has done) only makes sense if BOTH actions are not worth condemning — which is to say, that the deliberate murder of innocent Israelis is not worth condemning.

Infallible, my eye.

Bear

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

I agree with Alan Sullivan: young Bruins are indeed rather disquieting. :)

Seriously, scroll down the first page of Sullivan’s blog, Fresh Bilge, for lots of great pictures from his trip to the Northeast.

P.S. I wasn’t planning to title this post “Bear”; that was just a placeholder until I thought of a title. But now that I see it, I like it — it’s actually cracking me up, for some reason — so I think I’ll leave it. “Bear.” Heh.

More on Cody & Erin

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Patrick has more thoughts on the newly announced engagement of fellow rising 2Ls Erin Galloway and Cody Groeber. And, in comments on my earlier post, Cody gives us some details (though not too many, yet) on how he proposed. Sounds awesome!

Western India devastated by floods

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Bombay and the surrounding areas in India are facing calamitous floods as a result of an unusually severe monsoon season — they had 37 inches of rain on Tuesday alone! The death toll is 513 and rising.