Friday, December 02, 2005

Tonight's Feature will be...

Gumball Rally! Quick, if you read this soon after I post, it's not too late! I first saw this movie when I spent a drunken weekend with Lex at Davidson when we were undergrads (it's interesting how many things I can point to as having happened during a drunken weekend with Lex) and it blew me away. Many, many times funnier than the later Cannonball Rally. And it gave me one of the movie quotes that I use most often, from Raul Julia as Franco Bertollini as he rips the rear view mirror off and throws it out the window: "What's-a behind me is-a not important!" Catch it on, of all things, the Speed Channel on digital cable tonight at 8pm EST.

The thing that would make the evening complete would be an un-censored showing of
Used Cars, but alas, I can't find it anywhere.

Not The Best of Times, Not the Worst of Times

I will be quite happy to see the ass-end of this week. After such a wonderful, restful week at the Outer Banks over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was not prepared for this. A bad cold (or allergy attack - I sometimes can't tell which) that has given me a wracking cough, my everyday PC starting to spontanteously reboot and now will not come up at all (I was about to hit send on a reply to your email, mapgirl, when the system breathed its last - sorry!), the anticipation of a termination notice coming today for all of us on this account as the customer is taking the service back in-house but mostly the worry about my best little buddy Damien, who has a fast-growing, nasty-looking growth on his mouth and went in for surgery Thursday amid cautions from the vet of how quickly these things usually spread. Ack!

I didn't want to post any of this until I could do so with a little less downage, so now that we're reaching the end of the week things are definitely looking up. The really good news is that the vet called late yesterday and while they wanted to keep him overnight, Damien came through the surgery well, they removed the growth as well as a probably unrelated lump from his left side and his x-rays showed nothing in his chest. Both lumps are being sent to the lab with results coming mid-week. I know he's likely going to have reoccurrences but my main fear that we were going to have to make some tough decisions right now are allayed and he's coming home this evening. Almost as good, my boss let me know yesterday that he's got more than enough work on other accounts for me and that he's gotten my termination notice cancelled. I expected it to be rescinded later regardless, but Lord knows I'd rather not get it in the first place! The computer thing is still a problem (I'm using the computer I built specially for photo processing and my vinyl audio rips to do this - I don't want to turn it into a general-purpose machine) but I went out to Best Buy to pick up a replacement power supply (I'm pretty sure that's the problem) and realized that for an additional 20 bucks I could get a spiffy new shiny black Antec case so now instead of a reclamation project I've got something fun to do Sunday while it rains all day! Still coughing my head off (didn't get much sleep last night) but these things usually run their course in a week so I'm anticipating feeling a lot better by Sunday.

This is all by way of apologizing for being a bit self-absorbed the last couple of months - between the studio tour, the much-needed rest last week and with the yuckiness of this week, I haven't raised my head up very often to look beyond what's happening within a hundred feet of wherever I am. I think it's time to get back in touch with the rest of the world.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Rockin' Christmas

Head nod to my buddy Gikiski for this (worksafe) link - if this doesn't get you in the mood for rocking out for Christmas, nothing will. Turn it up to 11.

Godless Hurricanes

I meant to comment on this a couple of months ago, but the end of the hurricane season seems appropriate. There were a couple of studies published over the summer on global warming and hurricane intensity that make pretty compelling arguments for the connection. That was before Rita and Wilma (and the studies would have used data prior to Katrina), which were three of the strongest hurricanes in Atlantic Basin history. The three of them devastated a huge amount of US territory, killed thousands of people and caused effects that will be felt for years to come.

It seems to me that the evidence connecting global warming to increases in hurricane intensity and duration is a hell of a lot stronger than any "evidence" connecting Saddam Hussein's regime to the 9/11 tragedy or to WMDs, so why haven't we dedicated the nation's resources to fighting global warming (or as this administration would probably put it, a "war on weather")? Why are we not putting the kind of money into fighting global warming as we are into fighting the insurgency in Iraq? Which is of more long-term danger to the US?

A quote in the Washington Post article on the studies published in Nature and Science probably answers that question in an unintentionally humorous way. In a response to the German environmental minister's taking the President to task for not taking global warming and its consequences seriously in the wake of Katrina, the spokesman for Senator Inhofe said "It is reprehensible for a politician to promote an agenda by twisting a tragedy Americans feel so deeply about, particularly when there is no merit to his ideas". You know, you really can't make this shit up! Let me rewrite the rest of his statement for him - "Policy decisions should be based on sound science [intelligence], and the notion that Katrina's intensity [the attacks in NY and DC] is somehow attributable to global warming [Saddam Hussein] has been widely dismissed by scientific [intelligence] experts."

So we're willing to commit thousands of lives, hundreds of thousands of troops and billions of dollars to an effort of dubious utility on bogus, misunderstood and cherry-picked intelligence data, but we're not willing to invest a fraction of that cost into doing something that has much more evidence behind it and a much lower cost in human suffering to achieve the goals. Amazing.