Monday, January 30, 2006

Scott sent me the TV show Rome for the Late December Celebratory Period, and I got all transfixed. It rocked.

Julius Caesar, by the way, gets stabbed to death, in case you are squeamish about things like that. Fair warning.

What did I learn about Bibledays from watching Rome? Well. I learned a great deal. Oxen, for example, are big. Or rather, BIG. Way bigger than cows. I would be willing to bet that oxen taste as awesome as they look.

MEANWHILE, IN GERMANY (where I live) . . . um. Well. I watched the TV show Rome. And, um, the Romans used to control large chunks of the place. And I could hop on a train and be within a few steps of Roman ruins in about 45 minutes.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Carlton (who is but a click away for those looking to the right side of the screen) recently posted regarding the kerfluffle surrounding Iran's newkillar program. I will add a couple of cents.

I am opposed to Iran pursuing either newkillar weapons or newkillar power. The weapons bug me because they are designed (and can, so far as I know, only be used in such a way as) to kill large numbers of civillians quickly. I don't cotton to killing as a general rule, but reserve a special scorn for those who would knowingly kill non-soldiers. The newkillar power bugs me because, so far at least, there is no use which doesn't set large chunks of the earth up for thousands of years of less-than-ideal radiation exposure (accidental, of course).

[An interesting aside: I was having a chat with a fellow I teach (an engineer for a large German energy firm) and I asked him why, as a matter of engineering, we couldn't build newkillar plants deep underground. He thought about it a bit and said that he couldn't imagine physical problems. Money, of course, is the problem. So thousands of years of nastiness in exchange for some profit/savings now. Good, eh?]

So, I stand here, high atop anti-nuke mountain, and can (and must) present what is perhaps an impractical but nevertheless deeply-felt position statement: ain't NOBODY got no business with newkillar weapons or newkillar power. It follows from this that no state with newkillar weapons or using newkillar power is in any moral or ethical position to tell another they can't have them. I suspect that Iran (at least under its current government) would rank high on any list of countries likely to get up to no good, but we shouldn't get too situational on issues of such import. Therefore, anti-proliferation efforts should be dropped in favor of anti-newkillar efforts.

Not gonna happen, of course. And so world politics sinks deeper into the mud.

MEANWHILE, IN GERMANY (where I live) . . . the Chancellor (Angela Merkel) has surprised many by not sucking ass. Two examples: 1) During the recent Russia/Ukraine gas-supply controversy, Angie stepped forward to make it clear that her government has no intention of changing plans to go off of newkillar power once and for all as soon as the current stations reach the end of their operational lives. Good. And surprising. 2) While visiting with Dubyah, Angie took the opportunity to mildly but clearly register her disapproval of the Guantanamo (and G-style) prison(s). Dubyah, of course, promptly made it clear that he doesn't give two shits what she thinks.

Also of note is the fact that temperatures here will soon compare nicely with both witches tits and grave/well-diggers' assholes. The good news is that I will get to wear my black fuzzy hat (too warm for temps near freezing). The bad news is that I will have to wear my black fuzzy hat.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Lou Rawls has died.

"You'll Never Find (Another Love Like Mine)" is just an awesome song. It is so awesome that it prompted me to accumulate 25 other Lou Rawls songs.

They, um, range in quality from not awesome to awesomly unawesome. But that one song. Man. Awesome.

Rest in peace, Mr Rawls. I'm gonna miss your lovin' (so to speak).

MEANWHILE, IN GERMANY (where I live) . . . [a new feature on this blog]

I don't mean to give away state secrets (so I will stay on the vague side), but a fellow I teach works for a big American company that sells things to a HUGE American retailer. Said retailer has had a notoriously (at least among those who follow such things) shitty run of things since entering the German market. This year has been no different. In fact, it's been REALLY bad, sales wise, I'm given to understand, this past year.

Happy Happy. Joy Joy.

The big retailer is one you know if you live in North America, by the way. They recently built a new center which is known as "super" right up against the Teotihuacan pyramid complex near Mexico City. Bastards.

They are finding Euros harder to come by than Pesos and Dollars, at least.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

So many things have happened lately that I've just hit a blogjam. Or not. In any event, I considered breaking the silence to post regarding the fellow who got a visit from the Man after having requested Mao's Lil Red Book through interlibrary loan. I had the following thoughts about the story:

* Should this spark a trend, and should the Man come ask about my own copy of the Lil, I will take great pleasure in reporting that I bought my copy at a yard sale at the American Embassy Association's library in Bonn, Germany, back in 1997 or so.

* I have yet to see anyone comment on the real tip off that the Man is snooping: the fact that the kid got his ILL book before the end of the semester.

But I held back on posting.

And the Man put his contingency plan in motion. The kid claimed that his story was all a hoax.

Right. Sure. What EVER.

But you suckers all bought it, didn't you?

Well shudder in your gulliboots, losers, because now it turns out that he's come forward (actually identifying himself now) and said that not only is that "hoax" story itself a hoax, but that he was actually detained and interrogated! You should be able to find out more here (you'll need to translate it from German).

Oh, and Happy Holidays! This week will see Orthodox Christmas and Three Kings Day, among others.

[edited on said holiday so as to put the text into the correct order]