No Fancy Name
Friday, June 30, 2006
successful studying...w00t!
I've never been one to partake in study groups, but a few of us decided to throw something formal-ish together in order to study for our comprehensive exams in the fall (or the spring, if we fail them in the fall). There are five of us, and we've all had classes together at some point in the last year, and there are other things we have in common such as mututal intense dislike (or like) of certain profs, and a general disdain for people. Yeah, in the elevator on the way to our study room at the library, we all remarked how much we don't like this case people who are loud and disruptive in libraries or classrooms. Then we figured that a group of people who don't like people is definitely the best group to join.

Anyway, we had our first study session on Tuesday, and I dare say we had a blast. Being ultra-organized and geeky people, some of us had independently rearranged the MA reading list into a timeline rather than genre groupings, because after all the exam is based on a timeline (part I is classical to 1800, part II is 1800 to present) rather than a genre, and we all knew the genres associated with each author. We also pre-determined the works to read for each author, just so it would be on the list (the reading list is one of those "read something by Hardy, something by James" etc rather than specific texts).

So we started at the beginning, and we started with something small so we could figure out how we were going to structure the sessions—general discussion, then pulling out references to such works from previous exam questions and answering those questions together, then thinking about other kinds of questions about the works might be on the exams. After two hours of discussing the Iliad and the Odyssey, and figuring out what we'd read for next time (one work each by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes, and the Aeneid) we adjourned to a nearby P.F. Chang's for food, drink, and much talk about faculty and students. It was awesome.

We plan to kick the ass of the comprehensive exams.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006
timesuck to end all timesucks
Tom says: "'Timesuck' Is An Understatement" and he's exactly right.

This site "hosts an eclectic collection of eighties music videos," he says. In other words, all the videos of bands I liked but never got to see because we didn't get MTV or I was away at school and the TV was off-limits whenever 120 Minutes was on or the videos weren't even on MTV but some other video channel I didn't see get the picture.

I didn't know many of these videos existed, or I knew but I never saw them, or in some cases I completely forgot these bands existed and I liked them a gazillion years ago. For instance: Aztec Camera. Bauhaus. Bronski Beat. Cabaret Voltaire. Cocteau Twins. Dead Can Dance. Dead Milkmen. Dinosaur Jr.. Fishbone. Fuzzbox. Husker Dü. New Model Army. Shakespear's Sister. Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Siouxsie. XTC ("Dear God", of course).

neat. (and no, that's not where I've been. I was just busy and stuff.)

bloggerhacks wiki
Since the beginning of time (August 2005), John at Freshblog has been compiling a list of Blogger Hacks from all around the web. These hacks range from how to implement categories, different things one can do with Blogger-based comments and archives, and other template goodies like my expandable posts how-to and a gajillion other things having to do with layout and tagging and blah blah blah. One can imagine how keeping links to these things all on one post can be time-consuming and also difficult for the user to figure out what's been added recently and so forth. Plus, the post just has one-line descriptions along with the links.

But now there's the BloggerHacks wiki! Each hack is listed individually on a page, the page is categorized appropriately, and best of all the hack pages all follow a standard template containing information and links for the author, skill level, general method of implementing the hack, and links to sites using the hack. Of course, the detailed post describing the hack (and required code) still remains the primary source of information; the wiki is simply a catalog you can browse and get a feel for things before you click through and start wading through code.

Have a look! Many contributors spent time moving the hacks from blog to wiki and writing additional info, and since it's a wiki it's open for additional contributions. For instance, add your own link on a wiki page describing a hack you use. I tried to put in as many links to users who have implemented my expandable posts how-to, on its wiki page but if I missed any, add yourself! (or you can leave a comment here and I'll add it for you)

[crossposted at Blogger in a Snap]


24.5 days to 10000 spams

24.5 days to 10000

I used to be one of those people who would review their spam folder every day to ensure things weren't miscategorized. At the beginning of June, I decided to stop doing that because a) mail in the spam folder really was all spam and b) I wanted to see how long it would take to get 10000 spam messages.

The answer (for me) is 24.5 days.

Sunday, June 18, 2006
my Firefox extensions/customization roundup

It's been over six months since my last Firefox roundup of customizations and extensions I use. Things have changed a bit, but relative to the number of extensions available to us, one might say things haven't changed all that much. Like I wrote before, it's not that I fear change, it's just that I know what I like and don't tend to add to it unless it really helps me in some way. I keep an eye on with the RSS feed of new extensions everytime it updates, just in case I see something cool and useful (for me).

Recently, a post at Freshblog alerted me to another blogger's Firefox Screencap Project, so I figured it was time to do another one of these roundups...this time with a screenshot of many of my extensions in action. No, of course I don't have all these things activated at the same time—that would be way too busy and I', not a fan of busy. Instead, I keep everything a click away, either in the statusbar or via right-click context menu.

Keep reading for a list of extensions, links to their home pages, and brief comments from me.

Firefox Version:
Theme: Azerty, which I also use as my Thunderbird theme.
Extensions: (get some here, or keep up with the RSS feed)
  • Blogger Web Comments: I wrote about this extension in a post of its own.
  • FootieFox: Because I don't follow soccer outside of the World Cup or my friends' kid's league, this extension will likely be installed until the World Cup is over. It's a matches-at-a-glance sort of scoreboard, with goal notification and what not (it's quick, too). It's not World-Cup specific, rather it has all sorts of leagues and teams ready for activation in your customizable scoreboard.
  • ForecastFox: Displays weather information for a location of your choice; many customizable options.
  • Gmail Notifier: An integrated GMail notifier; checks mail at customizable intervals or click to open GMail in new tab.
  • GooglePreview: Inserts a thumbnail preview within Google search results.
  • Greasemonkey: I have Greasemonkey installed but disabled. I only use it to test out some customization I think might be cool and useful, but typically there aren't any that I stick with and as such I keep Greasemonkey disabled.
  • Hyperwords: I've been meaning to write something in-depth about Hyperwords for months, but I just never get around to it (sorry, Hyperwords folks!). I do like the extension, and it's replaced several other extensions that were staples for me for quite a long time. But one of the problems with an extension that really does pack a lot of usefulness into its wee self is that, well, it's jam-packed full of stuff. The developers have made their own calls about the categorization and hierarchy of the links to functionality, and many times it's not something that makes a lot of sense to me, personally, so I have to re-learn a way of categorizing things. For instance, let's say I want to highlight and lookup a UPS tracking number. In Hyperwords, it's Map -> Track Mail -> [carrier]. "Map" and "Mail" are not things that automatically come to mind when I think "track UPS package status" and so by the time I remember where it is in the Hyperwords menu, I could have typed "" into my location bar and been on my way. But the argument about categorization and functionality links is moot. What I'd like to see is a customizable Hyperwords. That is, offer a list of actions and allow the user to select only the ones they want and also allow the user to categorize these actions however they'd like. Although I use Hyperwords a fair amount, I'd use it a lot more (and as such give more affiliate bucks to the developers!) if I didn't have to stop and think about/search for where the lookup action falls in the menu, while scrolling through things I'd never use.
  • LinkChecker: allows you to check the links on a page, as it checks and then colorcodes all links: red is for broken links, yellow is for forwarded links, green is for good links, grey is for skipped links.
  • Performancing for Firefox: This is a full featured blog editor that does not throw an inordinate amount of crap formatting into one's blog post (this is A Good Thing and important to me). This extension really deserves more than just a brief mention here, so I'm going to keep it on the "write about it" list. If it had been a solid release before I finished my Blogger book, Performancing (and Performancing Metrics) would definitely have been included.
  • ReminderFox: I am really enamored with ReminderFox because it is absolutely perfect for my needs. As you might recall, I have serious luddite tendencies. I do not own an electronic organizer, and I do not use any online calendaring system with alerts and emails and shared things and blah blah blah. The reasons are simple: I rarely do anything on a schedule, except for school, and thus I can easily keep track of things in my head or on a sticky. But then I saw ReminderFox, and its statement of purpose: "ReminderFox does not seek to be a full-fledged calendar system. In fact, the target audience is anybody that simply wants to remember important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc) without having to run a fat calendar application." Amen to that! It's like the Sage ("a lot of what you need and not much of what you don't") of calendars. I use it all the time now—kid's soccer games (even if I don't make it, I know they're happening and can call for an update), TA meetings, etc—it just sits quietly in my menubar. I love it.
  • Reveal: I wrote about this extension in a post of its own.
  • Sage: RSS/Atom feed aggregator; this is my primary feedreader. As its description indicates, "It's got a lot of what you need and not much of what you don't." Exactly. I'm a huge fan. Although I say "primary" I really mean "only" for although I have a token account at Bloglines, I never use it. I prefer my feed updates on-demand and in my sidebar.
  • Sort Extensions and Themes: The developer's site has no links to this extension, and direct links redirect to the developer's main (linkless) page, so I'm not sure what's up with it. All it does is provide a link in the Extensions (and Themes) window to sort the installed items. Good for those of us who like order!
  • Tab X: adds an "x"-closes-tab button in each browser tab.
  • TinyURL Creator: An interface for using to convert long URLs into smaller ones (easier for pasting into email and IM).
  • Update Notifier: I'll just quote its own description: "Allows quick access to your extensions and themes and the ability to check for any available updates. Easily configurable for automatically installing updates when available and checking for updates when Firefox starts." Yes. It does that.
Gone from my previous list are BlogThis (replaced by Performancing), BugMeNot (more often than not, subscription-only places have worked around BMN accounts and blocked them, so I gave up trying), DictionarySearch (replaced by Hyperwords), Translate (replaced by Hyperwords).

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Saturday, June 17, 2006
more unrelated wee chunks of content
* GHANA! Awesome.

* I look forward to using Amazon Grocery. I was a huge fan of Webvan, back in the day, but since its demise I've not taken advantage of the various grocery delivery services attached to stores nearby because the fruits/veggies/meats at Safeway/Albertson's aren't nearly as good as Whole Foods (duh). Webvan had very high quality foodstuffs, so I really could get all my shopping done through them. Sigh. Anyway, Amazon Grocery will be good for bulk purchases of dry goods and what not, I'm sure.

* Scott McLemee's IHE column about Wikipedia is interesting and the comments aren't as horrid as usual. From a technology point of view, I'm a fan of the wiki concept and of Wikipedia. I contribute when I see things that should be fixed (typos, grammar, etc) but then the quasi-academic side of me kicks in and I stop short of really working on an entry. Why? Because I'm conditioned not to publish crap (blog posts notwithstanding!) and in order not to publish crap one must put in time, effort, and research, and if one is to do that then why is one not working on one's thesis/conference paper/article? Hmmmm? HMMMMM???? If I look at editing Wikipedia entries as rewards (contribute to the greater good! w00t!) rather than Things to Do, then perhaps I could happily sit down one day and fix up some entries and add others.

* Mel has a post that includes a random bullet of crap about "Asparation," aka the most stupid name for a vegetable I've ever heard. It contains no asparagus (it's a cross between broccoli and kale) and already has a perfectly lovely name (broccolini), so wtf? In a recent poll of four people, I got the following responses: 3 "that's dumb" and 1 "what's kale?" Good job, PR people. Go back to "broccolini."

* I might have to buy this microbe-shaped liquid soap dispenser.

* Had dinner last night with the mentor prof family, and I still adore them. Plus? Good food. Things I've learned: mentor prof #1 will direct my thesis, and when I told them the school I was targeting for PhD work (I've finally made my list, which is essentially the same school I've wanted to go to from the beginning plus four others close by/fit my style) and asked for an honest opinion if I had a chance, they indicated there was nothing about me or my work that would preclude me from going there. In other words, I'm not applying over my head at all. So, I feel good about that. I'd really, really like to go there, and like I said, it's the school I've been aiming for since I began at SJSU. The school? The northern-most UC campus. I've liked the town for a number of years, and there are so many people in the department with whom I'd like to study that it makes me a little verklempt. But, like a good little grad student, I'm applying to four other schools.

* I finished my draft syllabus, and stuck it in mentor prof #1's box (he's the bossman of the TAs)...a month early. I didn't want to obsess over it all summer so I just took a crack at it and I'll see what he has to say when he meets up with us in July. Actually, I know what he has to say, a little bit: "Got your syllabus. I think that's some kind of record for being done!" Since he already knows I'm some sort of overachieving freak, we later discussed classroom logistics...because I said I hoped the room assignments hold because I have a good one (yes, I already went to look at it) in the Business building, with tables that can be moved around. Did I mention I'm stoked about this? I fully expect the bubble to burst after day 2 (the diagnostic in-class essay) but leave me to my glee for now. :)

* US-Italy is on soon...must go make a drink or something. I hope the US shows some fire in the belly, or something.

Friday, June 16, 2006
spread it around the blogosphere!
The folks at ScienceBlogs and Seed Magazine are holding a fundraiser through DonorsChoose to help raise money for specific science-in-the-classrooms needs nationwide. For instance, 4th Graders in St. Bernard Parish who lost all their science stuff in Hurricane Katrina, or K-2 kids in South Carolina or low-income K-2 kids here in EPA and so on and so forth.

ANYWAY, the ScienceBlog bloggers have unique lists of causes near and dear to their hearts, and we can choose to donate to any of them...even $10 is $10 closer toward the goal of an individual cause. Dr. Free-Ride has a list of the participants and links to their challenges, and more information on the prizes for YOUR participation as well as the Seed Magazine matching donations

Go! Give! Spread the word!

If I, a person who took only three science classes in her entire academic career and only because I had to, can get involved with science-y types, SO CAN YOU!

non-traditional students
[warning: there's no thesis in this post. I realized that at the end. It's just stream of consciousness with links in it.]

I've always been a non-traditional student. When I went to college the first time, it was as a non-traditional student in an extremely pretentious-named program. When I went to grad school the first time (and lasted all of half a semester) I was thus four years younger than everyone else, so while not officially designated "non-traditional," I was. (That wasn't why I left.) When I went back to school a few years ago, first to community college and then in the business department at SJSU, I was a good seven to ten years older than almost everyone. Now, when doing the MA in English I'd say I'm probably the average age, because we have a lot of people who took time off, or who are secondary school teachers and have been working for awhile, or they've come back to school because they like the intellectual environment (my friends Tim and Annie, for example, are a lovely married couple in their 50s, dutifully working their way through the program. Tim's the prez at a local Bryman College and Annie works at SJSU in the student services/financial aid/something like that office).

In other words, I've been or seen numerous types of students over the years (I hope this will help make me a good teacher, eventually). For instance, the three types of "A" students Dead Dad talks about. But in my little cosmos of education there's a significant portion of people who are "A" students inside, who want to be dutiful or can be brilliant and can't always maintain it because of external forces (family, job, etc) and then end up being maniacal at the end and it all blows up in their face and they don't end up being "A" students. In other words, people in the cracks between the three types he talks about.

I know the point of his post is this:
But I worry sometimes that academia is too geared towards the Dutiful, and too quick to punish or shame the Maniacal. The “overall” gpa as an indicator definitely favors the dutiful over the maniacal, even though the maniacs’ best work is almost always better. ‘Distribution requirements’ were written by and for the dutiful. The concept of ‘prerequisites’ has Dutiful written all over it.
As someone who has operated in all three camps (I know which one I fall in for real, feel free to guess although it shouldn't be that hard) my transcripts look like a train wreck. I do think there's a sort of black hole that can suck in students—good ones and bad ones—while they're attempting to fulfill distribution requirements before getting on to "the good stuff," students who might hit a really bad patch of taking courses they don't want to take, and do poorly for a number of reasons both internal and external, and end up just dropping out entirely. Then again, if the school has a wide range of courses to fulfill requirements, and the student has a decent advisor, that black hole can be avoided—but how many students really have a good advisor for these things?

My friend Kate is a non-traditional student. She flunked out of SJSU a lifetime ago, when she was eighteen or nineteen (I won't tell you how old she is now, but I will say she's old enough to have been my babysitter when I was a kid). She got the spark of going back to school a couple years ago, and did it. She took all her lower-division stuff at community college and this fall she's "moving up to big kid school" and will be a a Behavioral Sciences/Psychology double major at SJSU. Go congratulate her.

My friend DeeDee is also a non-traditional student. She's a bit older than me as well, and her original degree was at a christian school which ended up being non-accredited somewhere along the line. Basically, DeeDee has spent the last eighteen years teaching English and Spanish in junior high...religious schools which looked at her degree and where it was from and not the lack of her actual state teaching license. In short, DeeDee went back to school a few years ago to get a "real" BA and ended up with three. She triple majored in English, Spanish, and Linguistics and now she can get an emergency teaching credential in California and teach/sub—at the first-year teacher level of pay. She's also doing the credential program at SJSU so in a year or two she'll be exactly where she should have been twenty years ago. She's a great teacher, the kind every parent would want for their kid.

I have a great deal of respect for non-traditional students, and I truly hope there will always be a place for the people who fall through the cracks or take a really long detour to get where they're going or decide they want to go somewhere completely different. If there's not always a place for these folks, I'll start my own damn school!


random asterisks of crap
* I have not fallen off the face of the earth, I just had nothing to say.

* The wee gosling in my pond, shown here and here is almost all grown up. It is now 2/3 the size of its mother, and has all the goose coloration. I haven't seen it fly, though, but I also haven't seen its parents fly recently either (they just saunter from pond to pond, or swim). I wonder if they're going to stick around after the gosling is grown, or fly off to join their extended family? Probably the latter.

* Today I can register for my fall classes. It's not a big deal—I just like crossing things off the list.

* It's kinda neat to log in to the online system (note: it has taken a good three years for my school to get their shit together re: the vastly too expensive PeopleSoft installation, but right now the things I hate about it could be described as relatively minor. It's come a long way...) and click on either "student center" (my stuff) or "faculty center" (my class enrollment). Makes me feel all official.

* Idiot. Also an idiot.

* One of my cats (Max) successfully stalked a fortune cookie the other day. "Fortune cookie" is not a euphemism for "birdie" or really was a fortune cookie. He loves to lick them, don't know why. Anyway, I put the cookies inside a cabinet specifically so he wouldn't get them. Next thing I know, he comes trotting over to the coffeetable with a cookie in his mouth, sits down in front of me, and starts licking the thing to death. I now keep the cookies in the refrigerator.

* I learned some things about last semester's Most Horrible Teacher From Hell, and it was awesome and all vindicating and what not.

* You wouldn't know this, but Mel has a post brewing about X-Men: The Last Stand. I've been waiting for over a week to read it and then comment on it, but alas it has not yet shown up. This is what happenes when you have a post started (her) and then someone calls (me) and you essentially talk about all the things you planned to write about. I think the bottom line for both of us is that we have issues with everything in it. This is especially if you know anything about the actual X-Men universe in the comics, which we do. Or at least I do, and now she does because I told her.

* I have the hiccups now, so I must end this and take care of that. I also have to finish writing some text I've been staring at for days.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006
insomnia, adult swim, nick at nite, tvland
I haven't been sleeping very well at all lately, and for no good reason. It's really annoying.
I echo Paul the Spud's joy at the news that Cartoon Network will start airing old episodes of Pee Wee's Playhouse. I loved Pee-wee Herman. In my many drives across the country (almost always a different route. because that drive is boring enough—no need to add to it by always driving I-40 or I-80) I always stopped at roadside dinosaurs, much like (and including) Dinney on I-10 in Cabazon, CA (that'd be the one in PeeWee's Big Adventure.

When I can't sleep and my brain is shut down so I can't do anything smart or useful like work or read, the TV is usually on one of three stations: Cartoon Network (Adult Swim), Nick at Nite, or TV Land. TV Land was really great over the weekend because there was a 48-hour Benson marathon. Benson! It was awesome. Nick at Nite is also a big favorite because who doesn't love Roseanne and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Mad About You? It doesn't matter that I've seen some episodes five or ten times each over the years—the same can be said for M*A*S*H, all the Law & Orders, and CSI, and I still watch those shows. They're comforting in their familiarity.

But on Cartoon Network we have my absolute all-time favorite cartoon of all-time (it's repetitive for emphasis): The Oblongs. I love love love the Oblongs. Just last night I was thinking "wow, thirteen episodes are seriously not enough of The Oblongs, but I'm glad Angus Oblong quit rather than make some watered-down crap like The Man wanted him to. Someone should really pay Angus Oblong to make a ton more." Well, something along those same lines. The Oblongs rock.

What do you all watch when you can't sleep (if you watch TV and don't do something intellectually stimulating)?

Friday, June 02, 2006
also? the spelling bee.
Good for you, Katharine Close of New Jersey, for winning the National Spelling Bee. I'm not a huge fan of high-pressure, national TV broadcasting, offshore betting spelling bees for kids because really—it's an ulcer waiting to happen for your 12-year-old, don't you think?

But that's probably just jealousy because I'm not the world's greatest speller. I have trouble with all -ance/-ence and -ant/-ent words, probably because I can't hear the difference (raised with the Central Pennsylvania accent, don'tcha know...linguists love us).

So yeah, "u-r-s-p-r-a-c-h-e" means "money for college."*

* ok, ursprache is really a synonym for protolanguage, which I believe is much easier to spell

good to know my hometown is still filled with misinformed bigots!
I come from Podunk, Nowhere, and have not been back there in several years. I keep telling my parents it's not them—it's everyone else. That's actually true, because my parents are okay and the area is beautiful, but the people generally suck. Here's a prime example: The Most Rev. Thich Van Dam, president of the United Buddhist Church of America, wants to buy an empty building there and turn it into a Buddhist monastery. The reaction from what I believe to be a representative sample of the population:
However, some Yeagertown residents at the hearing said they did not know if the area was ready for monks garbed in robes.

“I don’t think the community is ready for anything like this,” said resident Neal Tate. “I know Yeagertown ... I went to that school ... I don’t think were ready for this type of monastery in this small town.”
Other residents said they had issues with the faith altogether.

“We are a country that was founded as ‘one nation’ and that nation is ‘one nation under God,’ not under Buddha,” said resident Lisa Stalnaker. “When you came to America, you left Buddha behind ... This isn’t the ‘perfect place’ for you ... you have no one here who is interested in Buddhism.”
What a fucking tool. Hello? Constitution? Freedom of religion? At least there was one halfway intelligent person there: "While others in the audience agreed with Stalnaker, one person, Don Howell, disagreed, saying that the constitution of the United States guaranteed people the freedom of religion and the freedom to worship as they wished."


Now, I am not a religious person, despite being raised Catholic for twelve years. The other side of the family is fundamentalist crazy Christian (as opposed to the perfectly normal Christian folks I count among my friends, the type to whom Lisa Stalkaner, et al, give a bad name). If I were religious, I'd probably be a Unitarian Universalist or *gasp* Buddhist. In fact, probably the only reason I'm not a Buddhist is because I'm really, really lazy and too apt to call someone a fucking tool.

But let's take a really quick look at the basics of Buddhism and the Noble Eightfold Path and see what has the collective panties of Lisa Stalnaker, et al, all in a wad:
- right view / realizing the four noble truths
- right intention / commitment to mental and ethical growth in moderation
- right speech / speaking in a non hurtful, not exaggerated, truthful way
- right action / wholesome action, avoiding action that would hurt others
- right work / one's job does not hurt oneself or others, directly or indirectly
- right effort / personal effort to improve
- right mindfulness / mental ability to see things for what they are with clear consciousness
- right concentration / state where one reaches enlightenment and the ego has disappeared

Ah ha! I see it now. The HORROR!! Ethical growth. Wholesome actions. Personal effort to improve. Clear consciousness. Enlightenment and the evaporated ego. CLEARLY the downfall of the county.
Van Dam said, the church would likely draw members of the Buddhism faith from all over Pennsylvania.

“Just like for education institutes ... most people go over there to study and meditate,” he said. “Anyone can go; anyone can stop by to learn. In Buddhism, we don’t convert other religious members. Buddhists never knock on your door.”

I might have to make a trip to see my parents just to support The Most Rev. Thich Van Dam just on principle.

Yes, I realize being anti-dumbass makes me bigoted against dumbasses, and dumbasses are as free to be dumbasses as Americans are to be Buddhists, but how is this country supposed to move forward—instead of this horrible backward slide—if we _start_ at the position of dumbassery, e.g. the lowest common denominator, when there are millions of Americans of all religions and races who do not share said dumbassery?


wisdom in old movies
Last night I went with a school chum to the beautiful old-movie-showing theatre and saw a Cary Grant flick, The Talk of the Town. There's a scene in it when a senator comes to the summer cottage of this law prof and tells him that the president would like to appoint him to the Supreme Court. Then, almost as an aside, the exchange goes something very much like this:

SENATOR: By the way, what party do you belong to?

LAW PROF: Oh, I belong to nether party. I vote how I feel is right, on the issue or for the person.

SENATOR: Ah, good, good! An independent voter. The backbone of our country.

Wow. So 64 years ago it was good to be an independent, and the Supreme Court wasn't built on party lines (with particular parties having to pray that their members didn't die or have to otherwise resign so as to be replaced by scary members of the other party). Interesting.

In other news, went to a spectacular restaurant before the movie: Lavanda. So for my Palo Alto (and surrounding area) readers, which I believe includes only myself, my boss, Dr. Free-Ride, and Liz Ditz, I highly recommend the place.

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