Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It must be Spring

I saw our resident chipmunks out on the deck this morning, so it must finally be Spring! 39° F, overcast, and some of the snow is melting. Yay! I'm going to pretend I didn't see that NOAA is predicting a chance of snow for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Zabartik and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

flying spaghetti monster
Your Noodly Appendage
I haz it

Click on the picture above to see it at full size, and/or vote for it on icanhascheezburger.com.



I never see faces in my dreams.

I see people's hair, their clothes, bodies, etc. and I know just who they are, if applicable to the dream. It never seems odd to me in the dream that I can't see faces. But I can count on one hand the number of times I can remember seeing someone's face in a dream.

One was yesterday. One was this morning. Odd.

Yesterday, just before my alarm went off, a character wandered into my dream who had ice-blue eyes with white pupils, and who's face seemed to have bits of latex glued to it. His eyes were hard to look at (maybe because I'm not used to being able to see eyes at all in a dream?) My Mister was there (no face) and the three of us had a fairly mundane conversation (on the deck of a schooner) that was interrupted when I woke up.

This morning was one of those epic length dreams with an unusual level of continuity for a dream. It involved attending a dog show, then going to a theatrical performance that was over-rated so we left early, and ended up with us watching something on a TV in a swanky bar. My company was, of all people, Geraint Wyn Davies and a wealthy 50-something lady friend of his. There were lots of details in the dream that stand out for having been clearer than usual, like the screen and buttons on my cell phone when I turned it off at the theater. And I could very clearly see Mr. Davies' face through the whole dream.

Geraint Wyn Davies? I haven't even seen anything with him in it for ages. Most of the TV he's in is either not shown in the US, or is on the Sundance channel, which we don't have as part of our cable package.

Yes, I used to watch Forever Knight. I'm a fan of vampire fiction, film, and tv shows, and I've seen every episode of F.K. more than once. He's nice to look at. Has a nice voice. But I was always more of a Nigel Bennett fan (he played the quirky, antagonist vampire to Davies' protagonist role.) And I'm sure I haven't seen an F.K. episode in several years.

So why, of all the people who could show up in a dream actually sporting a face (his own, even) would my brain pick Geraint Wyn Davies?

Dreams. Go figure.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tournament of Politics

Campaign 2008 as a Texas Hold'em Tournament.

We've returned from a commercial break, and now join the hand in progress at the final table.
It's still any body's game

We still haven't seen the flop. Bets are being made, three players in the hand, and the players are sizing each other up with a little not-so-friendly banter.

Clinton might be on tilt at this point, judging by her tells. But her image at the table has been a bit erratic, so it's a bit hard to read her. That bluster we've been seeing in the last few hands could be calculated for effect. Her name is well known in poker circles, but this is her first tournament at this level. Even so, she was an early favorite to make it to the final table.

McCain looks confident, and will surely play tight until one of the other two is eliminated. He was short stacked early in the tournament, but he's come back strong. He's virtually guaranteed a spot in heads up, so why waste his chips on a risky bet right now?

And Obama? He's the youngest player in the tournament, and it's also his first presidential tournament. He's holding his own, has been reading his opponents well, and has a good shot at a seat in the final two. He's got some really enthusiastic fans in the audience, and he's representing a strong hand. He's slightly ahead of Clinton, just going by their chip count. But I think he's been the more consistent player throughout, and I'm going with Obama for the win.

How about you, Bob? Who's your pick to win?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Free Tibet
Originally uploaded to flickr.
by Kenny Maths

Click the image to visit the
original page and read
Maths' original text.
The Olympics are being hosted by China this year.

My question:

OMFSM in what way can this be seen as a good idea?

China has an appalling human rights record, and even today is carrying on a calculated ethnic cleansing campaign against the ethnic Tibetans who haven't fled the country. Death, imprisonment, oppression, and relocation of Han Chinese into Tibet in vast numbers have made Tibetans a minority in their own ancestral lands.

However, the Chinese government continues to characterize H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, who is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and was recently awarded the US Congressional Gold Medal, as a corrupt, power hungry subversive, and a criminal mastermind.

Inside Tibet, violence has broken out once again.

What business do we, the United States, as a "freedom loving" country, have participating in the Olympics in China? As we become increasingly dependent on China for its products and manufacturing services, we paint ourselves into a political corner, in which we don't dare to speak up against blatant abuses against human rights. This isn't helped by the fact that the Bush administration stepped down off what moral high ground we might have had when it started using and trying to justify the use of torture.

More info:
China says 13 people were killed by rioters in Lhasa. Tibetan exiles say 99 have died in clashes with authorities.

Tibetan activists have released images they say support their claim of heavy casualties and Chinese brutality.

They say the pictures depict protesters killed by Chinese security forces at Kirti Monastery in Sichuan province on Sunday - but the BBC is unable to verify these claims.

A representative of the Chinese embassy in London, Yu Jing, said it was "hard to judge from the pictures" but that if they were accurate, there would be an explanation.

Earlier, Mr Wen [Jiabao] said the Dalai Lama's claim of "cultural genocide" in Tibet was "nothing but lies".

Mr Wen defended China's handling of the crisis, accusing protesters of robbery, arson and violence.

"There is ample fact and plenty of evidence proving this incident was organised, premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai clique," he said.

Mr Wen also said the protesters "wanted to incite the sabotage of the Olympic Games in order to achieve their unspeakable goal".
-BBC News


At the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in 1987 in Washington, D.C., [the Dalai Lama] proposed a Five-Point Peace Plan regarding the future status of Tibet. The plan called for Tibet to become a "zone of peace" and for the end of movement by ethnic Han Chinese into Tibet. It also called for "respect for fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms" and "the end of China's use of Tibet for nuclear weapons production, testing, and disposal." Finally, it urged "earnest negotiations" on the future of Tibet.
- Wikipedia
racefortibet.orgThe goal of the Olympic movement is to build a peaceful and better world and promote international understanding by educating the youth of the world through sport and culture. ICT will therefore actively oppose any attempt by China to misuse the Games or its athletes to misrepresent the relationship between China and Tibet or appropriate what is Tibetan and portray it as “Chinese.”
Beijing 2008: Race for Tibet

Rights group Reporters Without Borders urged officials on Tuesday to boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics over what it called brutal repression in Tibet, and France said it could examine the idea.
- Francois Murphy, PARIS (Reuters)


China accused the Dalai Lama on Tuesday of orchestrating Tibetan riots to wreck Beijing's Olympic Games, but the exiled spiritual leader denied the charge and vowed to stand down if the violence spiraled out of control.

The Tibetan government-in-exile said from the Dalai Lama's base in the Indian Himalayan foothills that it now believed 99 people had died in clashes between Chinese authorities and Tibetan over the past week, including 19 on Tuesday alone.
Premier Wen Jiabao defended the security crackdown imposed on Lhasa, capital of the predominantly Buddhist mountain region, and on neighboring Chinese provinces where rioting by Tibetans erupted over the weekend.
- Chris Buckley and Lindsay Beck, BEIJING (Reuters)


More than 2,000 Tibetans gathered from all over northeastern India on Tuesday for their biggest rally in the area in years, demanding the United Nations investigate reports of killings of protesters in China.

Led by hundreds of shaven-headed Buddhist monks in maroon robes, some as young as eight, they waved Tibetan flags and marched through the streets of Siliguri, chanting "We want justice, we want freedom".

"The U.N. is watching what is happening in Tibet but it is doing nothing," said Dawa Gyalpo, who runs a library of Tibetan culture in the India village of Salugara and helped organize the protest.

"We are asking the U.N. that there must be an investigation."
-Simon Denyer, SILIGURI, India (Reuters)

Also visit:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Attack of the 50 foot project

Work. Work. Work.

Still at work after a very long day working on a project that, like some undead B movie monster, refuses to die. Little bits of it break off, become unnaturally animated, and then crawl around on their own, terrorizing the peasants.

I can't figure out if I'm in the role of the unlikely heroine who saves the day despite overwhelming odds, or if I'm one of the peasants.

To change anaolgies, one of the orc peons from the original Warcraft seems more likely.

Zug zug.

Ok, break's over.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Zero G interview part 2

I'm tuned in again to Aussie radio thanks to the wonder of the internets, listening to the Zero G show on 3RRR FM. They've just wrapped up an interview with Peter Woodward, part two of the interview they aired last week. I especially enjoyed Rob Jan and Gail Adams' questions, as they avoided the usual set that interviewers default to when they catch Peter. Rob and Gail had obviously done their homework and kept the dialog flowing in a variety of interesting directions the whole length of the interview.

I particularly enjoyed listening to them discuss the ways Hollywood rewrites history in movies that are presented as "historical" films. They mentioned The Patriot and U-571 in particular, and I'd've been delighted to hear an entire hour of where that conversation could have gone if they'd had the time to run with it.

(edit: Did I say an entire hour? I think that could've been interesting for the better part of an evening, at least.)

I wish it was surprising

First Karl Rove used John McCain's adopted Bangladeshi daughter, Bridget, against him in the infamous push-polling campaign to discredit McCain in South Carolina during the 2000 presidential race. Now Rove and his political machine are using Bridget again, this time to emphasize McCain's role as a deeply compassionate man.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not criticizing McCain for adopting a baby, whether from Bangladesh or anywhere else for that matter. Far from it, since as far as I know the McCain's saved her life when they adopted her. I'm just appalled by the gall of Rove, expecting us to swallow his story-switching like a bunch of Orwellian proles.

Friday, March 7, 2008


From the Barack Obama flickr page
This photo was posted to the Barack Obama flickr pool. I've read that it was taken by David Turnley

I'm all but holding my breath as the primaries roll on and Clinton and Obama remain so close in delegates.

I don't trust Hillary Clinton. I don't respect how she's been running her campaign. And I don't feel confident that she could bring in a win against John McCain. Not because she's a woman, but because I know so few Democrats who are excited by her, and I know so many Republicans who hate her so much she's guaranteed to bring them to the polls to vote against her, even if they aren't excited by McCain.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, inspires his supporters to near frenzy. I believe he'll bring out the Democratic voters in droves. His campaign needs to do more to dispel the myth that he doesn't have any substantial plans for fixing things.

I was chatting with a fairly liberal friend of mine who was buying that line. I pointed out that there are pages and pages of information on his plans available on his website. Outlines breaking things down for folks with short attention spans, and 10 page PDF files to download with more details than I've seen from any other candidate in as long as I can remember. My friend's reply was that she doesn't spend a lot of time browsing the web, so she'd never seen this information. She reads email a few times a week, and that's about it. Barack Obama's speeches excite and inspire. Now his campaign needs to do a better job of pointing the folks on the fence to the gritty details that don't fit in a rousing stump speech.

Personally, my fingers are crossed for an Obama/Edwards ticket. I think they'd be unstoppable together.

Minneapolis Heat Wave?

Minneapolis Heat Wave?
Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
Will Spring ever arrive? I've lived here for 4 years and change now, and it's the first time I've gotten weary of Winter. It's not the snow. It's the cold that's gotten to me.

The average high for today is 36°F. Our actual high for today was 8°F. By now, 36° F would feel plenty warm to get out and have some outdoors fun.

It's supposed to get up above freezing on Monday. Possibly even up to 39°F. If it is even close to that "warm" when I get home from work on Monday, I'm thinking of putting on some snow boots and heading over to the archery range. Depends on what time I get home, I guess. I'll try heading in to the office early so I can get out at a decent hour.

Death, meet Gary

Adored this comic from xkcd. I can totally see Gary Gygax (July 27, 1938 - March 4, 2008) challenging Death to a game when they came face to face last Tuesday.

While I'm at it, don't miss the Order of the Stick tribute to Gygax. And you can be sure Wil Wheaton had something worth reading to say about him as well over at WWdN:In Exile.

Speaking as a geek who played tabletop RPGs, and now plays MMORPGs, I am deeply grateful to Gary for sharing his brand of magic with the world, and helping to make it a richer place for so many of us.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A pain in the airplane

A woman dear to me was recently treated for abdominal pain, and after multiple tests was told by her doctor that what she had was messerschmitts. She passed this information along to me. I explained the mistake, but out of curiosity I did a little googling around the tubes of the interweb and turned up more references to women being told by doctors or other helpful sources they had messerschmitts. I felt compelled to post (in between chuckles) the correct name for this malady. Perhaps the next googler who gets told she's got the dreaded messerschimtts will find this.

I'm not insensitive to these women's pain. I share such pain on a pretty much monthly basis. But Messerschmitt was a German airplane manufacturer. What these women are experiencing is called mittelschmerz (sometimes spelled mittleschmertz) a German word that translates to "middle pain". I can say from experience that it's not fun. But it's bound to be better than a case of abdominal aircraft.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Listening to the second half of the Zero G show now as I type.

The Peter Woodward interview was delightful! What a delightful and animated interviewee Peter was. One thing he talked about was his appreciation of scifi-fantasy fans and history buffs who get out there and go to cons, reenact battles, and such, rather than just sitting in front of a television. Being one of those geeks from time to time myself, it was nice to hear a star not snubbing such fans as a bunch of nuts.

Rob Jan and Gail Adams did a great job of interviewing Peter. They asked some really intelligent and interesting questions. I may just become a regular listener, now that I know the show is on at a humane hour here. Quite a fun show!

Looking forward to next week and the second half of the show. Have to remember that we'll be doing the daylight savings time thing next week, so I'll need to tune in an hour later.

Zero G on Triple R FM

I'm logged in to the website for Triple R FM to listen to this week's Zero G program. I have it on good authority (i.e. a post by Rob Jan on the Peter Woodward Photo Collective) that there will be a two part interview with Peter Woodward aired this week and next. Lucky for me, Monday afternoon there is a reasonable hour Sunday night here, so I get to listen to it via the magical tubes of the interweb.

Ack! It's starting! Gotta go.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Listen to this...

Ok, so I'm just finished cleaning out the rattie house, and I'm getting ready to start working on a knitting project when my Mister comes running up the stairs to say, "OMG you have to listen to something."

He was right.

Check out this page and, if nothing else, listen to the song Code Monkey. Or, if you prefer emails from zombies over unrequited geek love, don't miss Re. Your Brains.

I was familiar with Jonathan Coulton only so far as that I love the closing song at the end of the video game Portal, and he wrote it. Didn't actually know his name until today.

I'm going to be buying some of his songs, pronto, and adding them to my iPod.

edit: When I went to his page to read up on buying his music I saw the text below and laughed out loud.