No Fancy Name
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
firefox extensions that make my life easier
In a comment to my post about the BugMeNot extension for Firefox, Curtis said I should list all the extensions I use with Firefox. So, blame this post on him.

Firefox Version: 1.0
Theme: Plastikfox Crystal SVG 1.5
Extensions: (get some here!)
- BugMeNot: right-click in the username text field of any registration-required site and you'll (possibly) get a valid username/password. Submit, then surf.
- DictionarySearch: select & right-click a word, opens a new tab with definition from dictionary site of your choice (I use
- FoxyTunes: control your media player (MusicMatch Jukebox, in my case) from within your browser's status bar or toolbar.
- Linky: adds link-related options to the context menu.
- Gmail Notifier: integrated GMail notifier, checks mail at customizable interval, click to open GMail in new tab.
- GooglePreview: inserts a thumbnail Web site preview in Google search results. Lets you know ahead of time if site is just going to be too heinous to visit...
- QuickNote: like a sticky note, helpful because I have crappy handwriting and my browser is always open anyway...and if it isn't, then I'm not working so notes are irrelevant.
- Sage: RSS/Atom feed aggregator.
- Tab X: adds an "x"-closes-tab button in each browser tab...this really should be a standard part of the browser UI.

update on groups and school
Apparently, this post was "scorching". I didn't even swear in it! I said "poop" for crying out loud! :) Stream of consciousness rant, sure, but scorching?

We haven't gotten our grades on anything, obviously, but here are some updates. Yes, it got worse. In my Org Design & Change class, the guy who had sent the "help!" message at 11:30pm (which I ignored) ALSO sent a message later in the night, which I got (because I get up at an insane hour and try to get some real work done before class). It was one of those "I had printer problems, can you print these?" messages because, of course, there's no computer lab in our building that's open in the mornings. Oh wait, there are five, and they are. Whatever. So I seized the opportunity to potentially edit (note that I did indeed leave hope for the content to be ok)...luckily. His stuff was crap, I fixed it and I printed them. He didn't even notice that I changed anything. When the prof was reminding us all about how he grades cases (there are a total of 9, he picks the best 5), my partner says "we only have to do one more!" to which I said "assuming we get good grades". He said, "but we turned them in," to which I said "and?"

You get the picture. I am assuming he is going to bail after one more case, and that's fine—the prof already said that we can write them on our own and get our own grade, so if he bails, I'm going that. Even if, by some stroke of luck, these cases are graded well, I'm not going to make the prof think I'm some sort of slacker—this fella is one of the few profs from whom I can get a rec letter!

In the Business Systems and Policy class, I continued to take the noticeably helpful route rather than bitchy editor route. The kids in my group—and they are just that—are not IT-inclined, they're never going to be, and they are trying. This class is a required class for all business students, and the people in my group happen to all be in the Accounting track. Not that there's anything wrong with Accounting at all, it's just these folks have no interest in IT and are struggling with the concepts. But the key is that they're trying. Even the guy who says "I just need to get a D" (which is true, but sad) he puts in the effort, it's just not quite right. So, with these folks I'm just going to help them, for as long as they continue to honestly try. I talked to the girl who was the team leader and made sure she didn't think I was some raving lunatic with a figurative red pen, and she didn't, she was grateful, so it's all good. Now, the case certainly could have been better, but that's something I'll only do when it's my turn to lead again—until then, I'll just fix what's there.

We got our tests back, the one that caused me fear and trepidation. I got a 141/150, which is an A, which was the highest grade in the class, which is just fine with me. The points I got wrong, they were all in the true/false section, which I already noted that I can't do—I swear, I can convince myself that anything is true or false.

I think my prof stopped actually reading my essay answers, the ones with the diagrams and other drawings in them. I don't blame him—apparently he was very generous with his points. In one question, we had to detail the steps in the database design process. I wrote the steps, in a little flow chart form, and described the actions and outcomes in/from each. You know, an essay answer. It was worth 10 points, I got 10 points. Turns out he gave 8 points for just listing the names of the steps. Geez, I worked way too hard. Sarcasm intended, because I wouldn't have put less down on my paper than I was capable of's just annoying.

But my boss was pleased to hear that her technical director (me) was technically inclined. Always a plus.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
i do not like earthquakes
Earthquakes are my least favorite natural disasters. Certainly not to discount the ferocity of hurricanes and wildfires, but at least you can see them coming and have a fighting chance. In the last 10 minutes, along the San Andreas, the following quakes were measured: 5.9, 5.0, 1.9, 4.1, 3.0, 2.8, 4.5, 4.7. I didn't feel anything up here in San Jose, but my co-workers 20 miles north of me did—it was the rolly kind of quake(s).

I certainly hope the people of Parkfield/Coalinga/Paso Robles are ok right now, and that this isn't a sign of more, bigger quakes to come. Freaky San Andreas. Times like these really make me miss the east coast.

tober<- This is Toby, and he approved this missive.

Monday, September 27, 2004
this is why I hate group work
There are a lot of morons in the world, and inevitably my grade will be affected by it. That's why I hate group work. Three different examples, just from today:

NOTE TO PROFESSOR-ISH PEOPLE: There's actually a question at the bottom of this rant, and I'd really like to hear various opinions....if you would be so kind?

1) In my online Phil of Science class, we have a week or so to discuss a specific thing, usually some problem that has several parts. One person is the "spokesperson," who is responsible for summarizing the "group response" and submitting a separate document to the prof. The problem with this situation is that this particular group of eight people had two people who didn't participate, and three other completely different ideas among the remaining six people. Two were variations on a theme, and that's fine—someone with summation skills can handle that. But one was a completely different (and just factually/fundamentally wrong) take on the whole thing, and try as we might, the person couldn't be swayed to one of the "right" ways of thinking. This person only logged in twice during the whole discussion, so we had to go for a period of time hoping that we could persuade them to change, but since we couldn't the spokesperson had to include this tangential line of thought. Add that to the fact that I had already taken my turn at spokesperson and couldn't jump in and "help" (e.g. fix the mess) unless I wanted to step on someone's toes, and we now how what I consider a crappy submission. Plus, the spokesperson posted the "final" version after she submitted it! What the hell happened to "everyone look over the final version before I submit the final final version"? Argh. The good news is that the prof has access to the entire discussion thread and grades appropriate to what she sees going on, so this particular occurrence won't really affect my grade, it just really annoys me.

2) In my Org Design & Change class, I am paired with another person and we do case write-ups together. Each case has four parts, and there are usually two cases each time cases are due. So, the first cases were due last Thurs—I "suggested" that my case-writing partner do parts 1 and 2 of each case (problem identification and alternatives considered), then I would do parts 3 and 4 (alternative selected/rationale and implementation). I did this on purpose, so I would have my hands on the document before printing and turning in to the prof. A significant number of people can't use Office software, I've found, despite having to pass a lab class on using Office (in the Business Dept, at least)! I can understand not knowing how to deal with Excel or Access, but freaking Word? Give me a break. Anyway, as I was saying, this worked out well last week because I could reformat and correct the dude's work before writing my part and printing the suckers. This time, to be fair, I took the first two questions, he was to handle the last two questions, print and hand in tomorrow morning. At 11:30pm Monday (class is 7:30am on Tuesday), I got an e-mail along the lines of "Help! I don't know what to do for case #4. Can you do it? If I don't hear from you by midnight, I'll just do something" Ok, at least he said he'd still do something. No, although I did get the message before midnight, I'm not going to do it for him. I'll take the hit on the grade—I'm not setting a precedent for the remaining cases we have this semester, not to mention the team project. I have already entrenched myself as writing coordinator for that one. So, tomorrow morning will be interesting—the cases will probably look like poop.

3) In my Business Systems & Policy class, I have three other people in my group. We also do cases, and tomorrow afternoon a case write-up is due. I was team leader for the first one, I made a template (document) for everyone to follow for when they're a team leader. This time around, I had to write up just my thoughts (industry analysis, Porter's Five Forces for the business, and a few specific IT recommendations based on a suggested competitive strategy for the company) and send to the new team leader (it rotates, we each get two turns) to compile and produce a document. I wrote a lot—I wanted the girl to have a lot to draw from (e.g. cut and paste) and some extra examples to maybe help them think of other things. I already talked to the prof about how my group has zero IT knowledge and are behind the curve. He suggested I be extra helpful and try to pull them along without being terribly obvious that I was doing so. Well, to this girl's credit, she sent us all her "final" document. I sent it back twenty minutes later, in the case template (it wasn't) and with edits all through the damn thing. Do people not know about spell check? Grammar check? Just a general glance at the overall "look" of the pages? Argh!

Ok, so the bottom line is that rant felt good, but my opening sentence isn't really least the last clause isn't true. Each of these profs knows the deal. But I still hate knowing that anything remotely scholarly I might do, is considered "extra" and not "normal." So sad.

Profs? How do you usually handle situations like this, from your point of view? Any suggestions for getting through three more months of this, plus another semester with even more group work?

my new favorite kitchen gadget
I love quesadillas. After class, I'd often go to the student union or a mexican place to get one for dinner. Now, of course I know you can make quesadillas without a gadget, but the Salton Santa Fe Quesadilla Maker was on sale at Target for like $14.99 (half price!) and I couldn't pass it up.

It is now my next-favorite kitchen gadget, right after the coffeemaker and ahead of the microwave. I think I've had a quesadilla every day for the last five days. Only once was it the basic cheese variety...I made a kick ass ricotta/roasted red pepper/garlic quesadilla, a shrimp and sour cream one, a chicken/spinach/garlic one...awesome. So healthy! Except for all that quesa, of course. But chicken and spinach and garlic? Good stuff.

So very much worth the fifteen bucks—I get a nicely grilled quesadilla in under five minutes. Three cheers for sales at Target!

an annoying thing about blogrolling
I get stoked when I see a little [!!] next to entries in my blogroll, because that means "yay! new things to read!". But...people who use Blogger's comments (and not third-party commenting like Haloscan) will often appear as "updated" when just a comment is posted. Because you see, in Blogger land, a comment = a new publishing push (you just don't see it, but that's why it takes "a moment to appear on the site").

I'm all for comments. I LOVE comments. But even more, I really look forward to updated indicators in my blogroll. It is a joyous little occasion when Caleb pontificates or Juice talks about air freshener, and I really want to know the latest in the BFE Bocce Ball scandal.

It's trickeration!

since I had so much fun with the strike tag...
These tasks didn't get crossed of the 24 Hours of Le Work list, so I decided to pull them over here and cross them off. I also listed a few more. I would have a much larger list if I put in all my work-related things, but that's not cool. So, this is just non-work work, and school work.

- play some Battlefront... much fun, and I suck at it!
- write my portions of 2-person group case reports (2) for Org Change & Design class
- write 300 words for Phil of Science class, on Popper it was exactly 300 words of e-prime, always a plus
- read boring text for Int'l & Comparative Management class I gave up. It (literally) put me to sleep.
- write up a case for Int'l & Comparative Management class
- write up an exercise for Int'l & Comparative Management class
- refresh the site for my books, since I have two hitting the streets in the next 2 mo. maybe for the weekend
- review the book that's been on my desk for months, for errata ugh
- revist the quizzes I wrote yesterday, and make them 10 questions each, not 5
- write a blog post about mozilla extensions, lest people think I'm not a geek

Sunday, September 26, 2004
making a list
I'm not a big list-maker, mostly because it's really depressing to see all the things I have to do, all in one place. But, inspired by people like ~profgrrrrl~ and Mel, who are so good at making lists and crossing stuff out, I decided to turn my scrap of paper into a blog post. It's true, I just want to use the <strike></strike> tag pair.

Today's list:
- edit course exercises 4, 5, 6
- think of a discussion trigger for each lesson
- create 5-question T/F quizzes for lessons 1 & 2
- install Star Wars: Battlefront it's very cool; playing is for another day
- go to the office and install *!&$*#@! Microsoft Access, so I don't have to use the lab at school we don't have it
- use the office Mac to update some installation screenshots for PMA AiO install chapters
- update Windows and Linux/UNIX installation screenshots for PMA AiO install chapters
- finish edits to PMA AiO chapters 20, 23
- write my portion of 4-person group case report for Business Systems & Policy class
- write my portion of 2-person group case report for Org Change & Design class moved to new list
- write 300 words for Phil of Science class, on Popper (300 words, isn't that cute?) moved to new list
- read boring text for Int'l & Comparative Management class moved to new list
- write up a case for Int'l & Comparative Management class moved to new list
- write up an exercise for Int'l & Comparative Management class moved to new list
- update Tracker (our in-house time tracking system) for 9/17-9/27
- get ready for actual work day (Monday)
- clean fish tank (I think my fish hate me) fish are happier

Unfortunately, I have to skip my friends' kid's soccer tournament this weekend. I made it to the first half of one game, yesterday. What a crappy friend I am.

UPDATE: Everything crossed out on this list was completed between 7:30am Sunday and 7:30am Monday, with a few breaks taken for napping and eating. I don't like having un-crossed-off stuff remaining for the day, especially when it all has to be done today, and I actually do have a job, but that's life.

Saturday, September 25, 2004
because mel asked nicely...

julie in pigtails
julie in pigtails,
originally uploaded by jcmeloni

In a comment to this post, Mel asked if there were any photos of me with pigtails. Indeed there is such a photo—this one—of me circa 1975 or so.

It is currently in a heart-shaped frame on my parents' shelf, hence the heart-shaped-ness of the photo. Apparently they cut it to fit the frame, I don't know. But anyway, here it is.

bugmenot firefox extension
It is very cool. Get the extension here; download via Firefox, restart Firefox and then go play at your favorite registration-only sites. The way it works: when you reach the username/password area, right-click with your mouse in the username text field. The extension makes a connection to BugMeNot and pulls the first valid username/password it finds, for that site. Submit, then surf. If you don't right-click, you can enter your own username/password should you happen to have it. Joy!

[via little. yellow. different.]

Friday, September 24, 2004
the saddest song i've ever heard
This is a song that I've been listening to for many years (10? oh jeez.), and it ALWAYS makes me teary (mp3).

If I can find one that I like, I'll counterbalance this with "the happiest song I've ever heard", but that may take some time. :)

one of these things is not like the other ones...
A November 2001 map from the State Department showing where al-Qaeda is active.

[via David Morgen, who really has a lot of good stuff at his blog]

"the unfeeling president"
Kate passed along via email a link to this recent E.L. Doctorow piece which was very persuasive (and moving)'s an excerpt:
A war will do that [ed: allow a leader to gain and remain in power] as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the president who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the 35 million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the 40 percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills—it is amazing for how many people in this country this president does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest 1 percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the quality of air in coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.
As of this writing, Technorati only showed a twenty or so blogs linking to this short piece, but one of them was the peach, which asks "Is there some kind of absolute, genetic, hard-coded difference between people who see this clearly about Bush, and the others who look at him and see the opposite? Are our brains wired differently so that where we see a shallow, phony, self-interested would-be dictator, those red-staters see substance, integrity and the secure future of our democracy?"

I'm starting to think there must be, because I don't have a better answer.

who served (and who didn't)?
The now-infamous bitchphd posted a link to a "random, but damning, list of who did and did not serve in the US armed forces." [at Trish Wilson's blog]

Wowzers, that list sure is one-sided...guess which way it tilts?

NFL Predictions, Week 3
I have no reason to think I'll do any better this week than I did last week, but here we have this week's installment of the Julie v Curtis NFL picks extravaganza, in which Curtis is currently leading (56% to 53%).


WEEKS 1-2 RESULTS16/3018/32

Oh, and here are some college picks, for the hell of it: Penn State, Notre Dame, San Jose State. I was going to do the Top 25, but I saw no upsets that I'd pick. For instance, I don't think the Owls will beat the Longhorns. It's a food chain thing. Not that cows eat owls, but they are bigger. Sort of how like Spartans beat Mustangs, and how almost anything beats a color, so how the Cardinal win anything, I don't know.

UPDATE: Would have been a good week to bet with actual money.

good job, bunnies!
The 30-Second Bunnies Theatre Troupe will be hosting the "Starz! Hare-Raising Halloween Marathon" in October! Good for them! I may actually have to get the Starz! channel just because of their good taste. The bunnies are going to re-enact Freddy vs. Jason, Scream and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Watch the Starz! trailer.

Thursday, September 23, 2004
i'm almost officially a teacher!
My course at will be open for registration next week. I am excited, not only for the extra income (always good!) but because I finally get to be a teacher, with students! Being a teacher in that I write books, people buy them, and they learn things is totally different. Plus, I get an actual "special category" teaching certificate from the state of New York. You know, for people who aren't really teachers. :)

I was stoked the moment the folks (a lovely fellow named Gordon) said "we'd like you to develop a course, and if you want to teach it too, that'd be a bonus". Heck, yeah! So, over the last two months I wrote up the course lectures and exercises, a lovely lady named Tara inserted big red questions all through the text (but counterbalanced it by adding aesthetically pleasing graphics), and I dutifully made edits. I am actually still making final edits to a few of the exercises, but that hasn't precluded them from:

- publicizing it (WARNING! photo of me, and I ain't pretty)
- making the syllabus public (smaller warning, less terrible photo of me)

Whoo! Just have to finish those edits, and make up some 5-question quizzes and one discussion prompt per lesson, and I'm done. Crap, that's a lot of stuff, better go do it!

shaun of the dead
This weekend, I will go see Shaun of the Dead. I've seen the long preview twice now, and it looks very funny. Those wacky Brits.

sky captain still good, the second time around
I saw Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow again last night, because I told Kate that I'd go with her if she wanted to see it, since I went by myself the first time, and our other usually-go-to-movies-with friends went over the weekend. Anyway, it was still lovely the second time around. So very pretty. I was able to laugh harder at the very funny parts, because I knew they were coming and what they meant. Laughing is good.

The best part of the evening was eating cheaply, prior to the movie. I'm a big fan of hip, cool, fine dining. I'm also a fan of diners. I'm an equal opportunity eater. This particular night we had planned to go to the old spaghetti factory because, well, sometimes you just need mizithra cheese. Anyway, we each had a big ol' plate of pasta, bread, salad and got the bill, and it was $18.16. Eighteen dollars! Total! Not each! In California! Clearly, we need to go there more often.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004
an appropriate quiz (and a funny one!)
Which Dilbert character are you?

"Alice is the only female engineer in Dilbert's department.
She's habitually overworked.
Her cardiovascular system is basically coffee.
She has a quick temper when confronted with the idiocy of her co-workers.
She does not handle criticism well."

[via Rana]

i have fear and trepidation
I have an exam in my Business Systems and Policy class today, the class I complained about here, here and here. I will be mortified if I miss a question. Given that it's a mostly objective test, I probably doesn't matter how well I know the material (or how many fricking books I've written on the topic), I just don't do objective tests. I'm getting better at multiple choice, but true/false are just terrible because I can talk myself into true or false for just about anything. On a side note, whenever I get around to taking the GRE again, it'll be interesting to see if I do any better. I got terrible scores on both the SAT and GRE, years ago. Maybe now that it's computerized, I'll do better. But back to my exam...I keep going over my notes and I think "why the hell are you spending time on this?" and then I remember how much I hate looking like an idiot (which would happen if I scored poorly). Grrr.

UPDATE: I think I did just A of some sort. I'm sure I read too much into a few of the m/c or t/f questions and answered incorrectly, but there were essays (well, answers in bullets and diagrams, with writing) so that works for me. It was a good, challenging test that I'm sure many people failed. When I left after about 50 minutes (it's a 1.25 hour class), there were people still on question number 30, out of 45 and three essays. Not good for them. I wore my Stanford t-shirt as I always makes me feel smart.

a story from my childhood

bridge over the juniata river
bridge over the juniata river,
originally uploaded by jcmeloni
orig. photo by jane cannon mort
for the lewistown sentinel

This photo appeared in my hometown newspaper the other day, and it looked terribly familiar. I immediately e-mailed my parents and said "is that the pigtail bridge?" and found out that yes, indeed it was.

The pigtail bridge is also known as "the bridge that separates the town of Mifflin from Mifflintown". These are different towns...apparently early Pennsylvania settlers suffered from a lack of imagination. It gets better, because both of these towns are in Juniata County, and not Mifflin County, which is right next door, and you'd think that towns named Mifflin* would be in the county of Mifflin, but no, they're not.

When I was little (like 4 or 5), I would go to work with my Dad. My Dad was (he's not dead, just retired) a truck driver—a Master Paper Boy who happened to do all his work in a truck. He would get in his little truckie and drive 72 miles down to the paper plant, pick up his bundles and deliver them to stores and street corners (for the on-foot paper boys) along the way. Lots of driving. I went along, and to this day I have a mental picture of all the single stop-light towns along my Dad's route in south-central PA. It's not a marketable skill, but I have it. Not very helpful, 3000 miles away.

Every time we would go over this bridge, my Dad would tell me to hold on to my pigtails. As in "if you don't, they'll leap off your head and fly out the window, into the river below". I was dutifully terrified, and held on to the damn things the whole way across the bridge. I never said I was a bright child, but I sure did listen to my Dad!

Sunday, September 19, 2004
NFL Predictions, Week 2
During Week 1, Curtis posted his predictions and I decided to post mine in his comments. I missed one game, and forgot to (officially!) pick another, but I ended up 9/14 (64%) while he was 9/16 (56%). When he posted his week 2 predictions I posted mine and declared "It's on!"


WEEK 1 RESULTS9/149/16

UPDATE Ok! There's always next week...

it's talk like a pirate day!
Jimbo has the lowdown on links to all the translators you'll need for a successful experience.

&#*$*! newbies
But in this animation, Little Billy learns how to post in a discussion forum. Classic. [via Dan Gillmor]

Saturday, September 18, 2004
it's a wonder I get anything done

they think they're helping
they think they're helping,
originally uploaded by jcmeloni.

I love my cats. I really, really do. But my work area is just not that big, and they seem to like to congregate around my laptop. As you can see, my cats are not that small, so it's a wonder I get anything done at all...ever.

it was beautiful
Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow was spectacular. Did you ever go to a movie and think "wow, this is really put together...lovingly?" Yeah, I never have either, but that's the feeling I got last night. Sure, I know the story of how Kerry Conran made a six-minute reel of CGI robots, and took years and years to do it, and how everything was shot against blue screen, and the whole diffuse filter/re-tint the images, etc etc. I mean really, that just screams "I love my art".

The only quibble I have is that Giovanni Ribisi was not on the same opening-credits screen as Law, Paltrow and Jolie. I know, I know, he doesn't scream "star power" but his role in the movie was as important as the others, and he's just so darn adorable in this. When it comes to the casting, I can't think of three others who could have pulled this off as well as they did. I've always loved Jude Law, and rightly so! He was just perfect as Joe.

All in all, if I were a rich person I would see this again and again. Hell, I may forego coffee throughout the weeks just to see it again and again, who knows. I got teary twice, and I laughed out loud several times. Oh, for those reviewers how say "It rips of x, y, z films"—there's a huge difference between ripping something off and giving a nod to something great that came before it. Using room number 1138 for Jennings' lab is not "ripping off" THX 1138, landing their plane in a swamp on the island, leaving it and having a slithery beast swim by is not "ripping off" The Empire Strikes Back and so on...these say "George Lucas is very cool". I like Movie Mom's review, and I just do not agree with Flick Filosopher. To each their own, of course, and I loved this movie.

It also has the best ending line in a movie, ever. You'll just have to see it.

Friday, September 17, 2004
red bean smoothies simply rock
In response to a comment attached to my coffee shop post...not only are there red bean smoothies, there are also green bean smoothies, and all sorts of other strange things that I happen to like, such as taro root lattes. I must confess that I get the strangest looks in these places, being the white girl who likes the really off-beat drinks.

I have no less than four bubble-tea places that border my not-all-that-large campus. One is a Tapioca Express, which doesn't seem to have locations further east than Texas, but does have a web site. It's not my favorite, but it will do. The other cafe is a combo coffee/bubble tea place called (appropriately) Cafe Boba, but it's not all that great. My top two are Hydration Cafe, home of the awesome red bean smoothies, and a brand new Quickly franchise.

As for how to make a red bean smoothie, it seems to be equal parts red beans, sugar and ice, with a dash of water to get the blender going. Doesn't seem too difficult, but then again cooking pasta doesn't seem to be too difficult and yet I can never, ever get the noodles to taste like my grandmother's.

it's here! w00t!
After an admittedly shitty week, I cannot wait for the non-work hours so I can go see Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow. I've only been looking forward to this for like a year or more, since I saw an early preview during some movie I can't remember. I am so very excited.

I don't usually get this stoked about movies, ever. I also have extremely strange taste in films, I've been told (a lot). I'd saw that my favorite movies ever are (in no particular order):
- The Bicycle Thief
- The Great Dictator
- Gattaca
- Starship Troopers
- The Ice Storm
- The Fifth Element
- Romeo + Juliet
- Au Revior Les Enfants
- Shrek

I'd say something like "if you look really closely, there's a theme", but there's really not. Or if there is, someone please tell me. Oh, and of the Star Wars movies, I'm that person who likes the Ewoks.

Thursday, September 16, 2004
this is just sad
I am sitting in the computer lab, for one of the "hands on" portions of Business Systems & Policy I get to "learn" how to use Microsoft Access. Did you know that in a database, fields are crucial to table definition and records contain data? Oh, and that things relate via keys? What a surprise to me.

Ok, trying not to have a bad attitude....trying...trying...yeah, not going to happen. What a serious waste of my time. Grrr.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
i am jealous
Mel found herself a good coffee shop, and to hear her talk about it reminds me of just how important a good coffee shop is to one's well-being. I am currently without a good coffee shop. Sure, there are plenty of places where I get coffee/other drinks (big fan of bubble tea and red bean smoothies) but there's not that one place where I want to sit, drink coffee, decompress, feel comfortable. I've had "my coffee shop" everywhere I've ever lived, except for two—my hometown, and the town I live in now—neither are places I actually want to live. Maybe there's a connection...

When I went to college, I had a coffee shop that I visited almost everyday. I hadn't yet begun my trip into the highly caffeinated world; I drank tea. But the concept was the same—this was the place we went to hang out, to feel comfortable, to decompress from school. Of course, my little gaggle of people didn't belong anywhere on campus...the big kids didn't want us around and we didn't want to be around our fellow special-program members (they tended toward the gooberish side). So, we drank tea and ate brie sandwiches. It worked out.

I went to grad school for half a semester (it sucked) but I had two really great coffee shops: one crunchy hippie place that smelled of incense and had walls covered with the standard fare of music/march/rally/free tibet posters, and one "uppity academic" place. I managed to enjoy both places far as I was concerned, it was a place that wasn't my apartment, and that's all that mattered. After a few months, I left and found my way to a kick-ass college town, where I worked in a great coffee shop. At least I thought it was pretty great, and there were plenty of people who hung out there all day and until midnight so they thought it was pretty great. When I wasn't working, I hung out there because everyone I knew and liked was there, except for the coolest person I knew in that town. She didn't like it there and never came in, and that was sad for me. But anyway...around the time that I worked at the coffee shop, I realized my love for coffee...probably because it was free.

I moved away from there after a few years, and came out here to California. It took me about three years to find a decent place where I felt comfy and the atmosphere was good, and that was a bad, bad move. I started running with a bad crowd. Actually, it was more like I started taking care of the wrong crowd and did everything I could to keep the owners and employees from getting thrown in jail or rehab. I eventually left the state, moved to Richmond. I love Richmond. I would live there again in a heartbeat. Betsy's in Carytown was my place. But then I switched jobs, moved up to Alexandria, worked in Georgetown, and became a Dean & Deluca person (it was next door to the office).

I've been back in California for four years, and I haven't had a good coffee place in all that time. There are a few indie places that I visit when I remember, but my days of sitting and decompressing from the world seem long gone...not because I can't find a good coffee place, but because "down time" isn't something that works itself into my everyday life, which sucks. I would love to sit and sip coffee at Willow Glen Coffee (5 mins away) or even Cafe Pergolesi (30 mins away), but there's just no space for that...there's always work to be done, or work to try to find, or work to stress about.

Come to think of it, I think I'm more jealous of Mel's ability to take the time to hang out in a great coffee place. :( Even if I found a place that I really enjoyed, work would find a way to seep into the experience...probably in the form of WiFi...because when your company's largest client is one of the world's leading WiFi hotspot aggregators, I tend to think of places in terms of their WiFi-ness (or lack thereof).

I had a friend once who really wanted to go off to Mexico and live in a cave. I think that's the only way I'll ever get some happy peace and quiet ...but there'd have to be a really good coffee shop nearby.

Monday, September 13, 2004
oh dear.
Senior Photo Gallery [via ~profgrrrrl~]

So very glad I did not go to high school...else I fear I would be in this gallery.

Sunday, September 12, 2004
i took the long way home from starbucks
Right, I got up early and wasn't in the state of mind to work quite yet, and I didn't want to go to the gym, either. I needed coffee, so I went out to get some and decided to keep driving. It wasn't even 7am, so I knew I could get a good drive in and still be back in time for football to start. The drive over the hill was foggy, but it always is at 7am, so I wasn't too concerned. I saw no less than five cops in a 25m span...good thing I drive the speed limit or thereabouts (now).

it started out foggy...
it started out foggy...
not so foggy!
not so foggy!

I was going to take photos from the wharf, where if you turn to your left you have a good view of the entire boardwalk (too early for deep-fried mars bars, I'm afraid) and if you look down you can see a bunch of sea lions who live underneath the pier, but the whole area was blocked off for some reason. So I headed up Highway 1 and figured I'd take pretty pictures of various beaches. I got to the last red light on the way out of town and we waited...and waited...and waited...for a lot of cyclists to get through the intersection. Apparently, on the same day as the T-Mobile International in San Francisco, there was some other race happening, at least 60m (I saw the mile marker signs). It was a wee bit unnerving, driving up a foggy Highway 1 with a bunch of cyclists on the road. I had the cruise on, just under the speed limit, and there were people passing me, of course, but call me crazy—I just didn't want to run over a guy on a bike. Eventually, I had passed all the cyclists, and in the process saw another seven cops at various points along the road. So, if anyone wants to know where all the California Highway Patrol cars are today, they're in Santa Cruz County.

Now it gets interesting, because no matter how many times I do the San Jose-to-Santa Cruz-to-HMB-to 280 and back home drive, I invariably have to potty near Pescadero, which offers no real pottying opportunities and there's no way I can hold it until Half Moon Bay. Yes, I'm an idiot. But have no fear, because the Bean Hollow beach has a fairly clean potty spot, and thus I went. That's one reason I like Bean Hollow...not only is it a nice little beach, with both sand and surf and rocks and a little inlet off to the side, it has an ok bathroom situation.

look, crags!
look, crags!
bean hollow
bean hollow

The rest of the drive was a dud—I passed all the beaches I normally would have stopped and photographed, because it was still so dang foggy! In fact, by the time I got to HMB and made the turn onto the winding road that goes to the freeway, it was actually raining. That's too bad, because the winding road is quite photogenic—in a one-mile stretch of road you have 20-foot carved dinosaurs, several nurseries, a winery, a christmas tree farm, a large pumpkin patch, and a really old cemetery.

As I made it back onto the freeway, the sun was shining very brightly and I left the little world of the coastal highway. I like the coastal highway and all the cruddy little farms and houses and wanna-be towns, with their side-of-the-road produce stands—it reminds me of where I grew up, except for the big ocean. There's no ocean in Pennsylvania.

Saturday, September 11, 2004
from the back porch

originally uploaded by jcmeloni.
I finally got a cheapo digital camera. I've had different ones over the years, but you know how it is, sort of like CDs—buy them, use them, sell them, eventually start over. I was going to get one of those $35 credit-card sized cameras, but the Vivitar ViviCam 3750 was on "rollback" at Wal-Mart and was only a little chunk more, so I figured what the heck. Now we'll have a little life in this blog...although all I've started with is this photo of my fake pond. No ducks were in it at the time, which is unfortunate because parts of them are unnaturally blue-colored from the soap/other random chemicals that live in the fake pond.

Thursday, September 09, 2004
the federal assault-weapons ban
Did anyone catch the interview on NPR today during Lehrer, with Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California)? I listed to it, then I read the transcript and I'm terribly confused. Or incredulous. I think I'm more incredulous than confused. Basically, it seemed to me that Craig was saying that they weren't even going to put it to a vote "just because we don't want to". Hell, even Bush says he'd sign the bill to renew the ban. Two-thirds to three-quarters of Americans support the ban. It seems pretty straightforward: assault-weapons bad, ban good. Ban is expiring, let's renew the ban.

Craig just sounded like a complete idiot. Check this out:
MARGARET WARNER: But do you think there will be a very vigorous sale of these?

SEN. LARRY CRAIG: Any time you lift a ban, if you had banned Lincoln automobiles for five years and you lifted the ban, there would be a pent-up demand in the marketplace for anything. Americans own firearms. More Americans today and more women than ever own a firearm for self-protection, and yet crime by the use of a firearm has dramatically dropped and is continuing to drop because the law enforcement community goes after those who in illegal fashion use a firearm.
So, that would be a "yes"...if you lift a ban, people who had previously not purchased assault weapons would now go purchase assault weapons, because it would be legal...and that's a good thing? Huh? Also, what the heck does "more women than ever own a firearm for self-protection" have to do with anything? Do they? That's nice. Nice, legal firearms, 2nd Amendment, that's wonderful. What exactly does that have to do with fully automatic assault weapons? The logic is...what now? Or...what ever was it?

Anyway, I'm either confused or incredulous, I don't know. Seems obvious: assault weapons bad, ban good. I'm not even going to get into the whole "and you want to legalize the arms for the terror cells in the US" thing. Jeebus.

everyone give props to Mac
Mac at pesky'apostrophe has been putting together a detailed comparison of election issues from the Bush and Kerry camps. They are very long, very detailed, and are also available in handy PDFs for easy printing and sharing.

So far, she's done Healthcare, Education, Environment & Energy and Veterans & the Military. A must read for those (of us) who wish to be informed voters.

it's all about the upper left
The Best of Eyetrack III: What We Saw When We Looked Through Their Eyes
In Eyetrack III, we observed 46 people for one hour as their eyes followed mock news websites and real multimedia content.
The results are fascinating, as you would imagine. I really like it when other people go off and do scientific research to back up the things that we tell our clients. Very handy!
[via Dan Gillmor]

there's a "talk like a pirate day"??
Apparently, there is, and it's on Sept 19th. Arrr!
[via Language Log (this permalink actually has interesting information about pirates and history)]

like rabbits...
My GMail invites (as with everyone else's) are multiplying. I'm back up to having 6 5 4 6 5 available, and I've even given away like 10 already! If you'd like one, just leave a comment.

i actually remember Franklin
Starting the day off right, with a quiz:

You are Franklin!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
[via Frogs and Ravens, where Rana is Rerun (and I remember him, too!)]

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
jeez, I'd hate us too
"The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous."
-- From "We're Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore", by Garrison Keillor, appears in In These Times.
Read the rest...
[via email]

some thoughts, on a Tuesday
It really feels like a Monday. I have a sneaking suspicion that this week is going to suck at work. I don't know why, because it's not the end of a quarter, but I just have this feeling.

Yesterday, the power went out at 5:05pm. This happens occasionally, it being California in the summertime. But this wasn't a rolling blackout or some other "oh, we don't have enough money to pay the power bill" type of thing, for it was only my building and the two next to me, not the ones behind us or any other part of the street. No one seemed to know why, no one had run into a pole or a transformer, or any of the other usual causes.

The handy "outage" phone number for the electric company kept saying they had no status, that usually power is restored between 1-4 hours (that's true). So I hunkered down with Bleak House, the remnants of daylight, and my trusty flashlight. I read several chapters and daylight went away, and my trusty flashlight just wasn't emitting enough light for me to read the tiny Penguin Classic print. So I called the outage status line once more, then went to sleep. At 8:30. Actually, I probably would have been asleep at that time anyway, just while watching TV, if I had power...I still hurt like crazy from my workout the other day.

I tossed and turned, turned and tossed, called the outage status line again around 11pm and found that my power would be back on between 7-9am. Great—there's nothing I like more than brushing my teeth and getting ready for school in the pitch black (although having worked for a summer at a camp for the blind, I know some tricks!). But at 2:43am, the power came back on. Microwaves beeped, printers readied themselves, the fishtank gurgled and the cats freaked out. I'm so looking forward to cleaning out my fridge/freezer and seeing what's no longer salvageable after nine hours without power.

Oh, and Mel has a robot in her house, and I completely biffed a deadline by writing down "finish chapters" on Sept 8 instead of Sept 1 in my calendar. Brilliant. It's going to be an interesting week.

Sunday, September 05, 2004
i don't do movie reviews
So I'll just say that María, llena eres de gracia (Maria Full of Grace) was really good. I also saw the preview for The Motorcycle Diaries and it looked really good, too. I'll have to save my moola, though, because I've been waiting for Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow to come out for A Really Long Time and it's almost here! It had better not suck.

As previously noted, I voted for Beaker & Honeydew as my favorite tv/movie scientist(s). You know what? I wasn't the only one, because they won! So there. Take that, Dr Strangelove, Scully and Spock. Nyah.

a good workout, i think
I just got back from the gym, and I did my first Power of 10 workout, so it was pretty quick. I felt kind of bad that it went so fast (about 25 mins), but I wobbled out of there like I had been there for a really long time, so I think it was a good workout. I have a hard time with the 10 seconds up, 10 second down on some of the exercises—triceps extension in particular. I can usually do 7 or 8 seconds, but slowing down is not something I'm good at, in anything, so that will be a problem. Maybe I'll switch to the machine to do the triceps extension, rather than the cables. I don't feel especially tired, but I worked up a good sweat and was quite wobbly (you know, when your brain says walk or move your arms and your legs and arms are about half a second behind your brain?). So, if "wobbly" and "hungry" are good indicators of a successful workout, then I probably had one. I'll know more in the morning, I'm sure!

two weeks down, fourteen to go
Or something like classes started last week. I'm actually into the flow and everything. So, for the sake of the few people who wonder how I've been spending my non-work, non-writing time, it goes something like this:

Monday night I have a 6:30pm-9:15pm class, "International & Comparative Management". I sit in the back of the cavernous room with my laptop on and the wireless up, and take notes and/or handle any work-related things that pop up/didn't get done during the day/should get done before the morning. Sometimes I've been known to read blogs during this time. This is because the prof and the class are quite boring. Not that the information isn't good—it is—but it is also dreadfully boring. I actually do take notes, should he say anything noteworthy. Lest you think I'm a terrible student, I'm not...I do all the reading, dutifully take reading notes and write my case responses. The one good thing so far about the class is the writing requirement. I love a class with a writing requirement, even if it is only a page or two per class. There's nothing special or noteworthy about this class—no group work, no big paper, just the weekly writing and a few midterms

Tuesdays are a big day. It starts with my 7:30am-8:45am class...actually, it starts with my 6:30am trip to the diner. I figure if I'm going to get up that early, might as well start the day off right, with a hearty breakfast. This class, "Organizational Change and Design", has a significant amount of group work, which I hate. But I knew about it, going in, and it is a class on managing orgs, a group being an org, so it makes sense. There is also a writing component in the class, which is good, but it's in pairs, which sucks. I don't particularly like having my grade tied to the work of another, especially when it comes to writing. Knowing we'd have to be paired off for case writing, I scoped out the class members and tried to figure out who I could stand to share the tasks. I had a few picked out, who had either been in the first half of this class with me, or who are in some of my other classes...but they either already paired up or packed up and left class when it was over, before I should track them down. That left the guy sitting next to me...a senior, frat-boy kind of guy, perfectly nice but sort of a goof. He sat near me in the first half of this class, last semester, so I know what grades he got on his tests and papers. He didn't fail or anything, but he didn't get As. Of course, neither did I, but I came a lot closer. :) Anyway, he's my partner. We teamed up with two other sets of people, to form our group. The group will be doing a semester-long study on a particular company of our choice, resulting in a paper and a presentation. I will be lobbying throughout the semester for my group to let me be the person who pulls the paper together, based on all of our responses, etc. I hope it works. Oh, because this class bleeds into the start of the workday, I have my laptop with me and my eth cable for wired access. I don't like being unavailable to my boss, although I rarely have anything to deal with at the start of the day.

Tuesday afternoon, I have a 4:30pm-5:45pm class: "Business Systems and Policy". This is the class where I get to learn all about the use of Microsoft Access as an enterprise database system, or some shit like that. Oh, and how to develop IT solutions for companies. Yes, it's a required class, else I sure wouldn't be taking it. First, I know how to develop IT solutions (and if I didn't, the company I work for would be in a world of hurt!) and second, don't even get me started on Access... But the fellow teaching it is awfully nice, and despite the sarcasm apparent in this description, I don't have a bad attitude about it. There's group work in here as well, for writing up some cases, and I had no real opportunity to pick group members based on anything other than geography...four of us sitting next to each other decided to be a group. They're all quite freaked out by the case writing thing, so I am going to generously volunteer to be the team leader for the first case. We all have to be team leader twice (there are eight cases), so they'll have to do their part, too...but I'd like to start us out on the right foot, and writing cases in the format provided by the prof doesn't freak me out.

Tuesday night, I have a 6:00pm-8:45pm class: "Management Issues in High Technology Companies". The prof is very nice, and funny in that sort of off-beat way where only I seem to laugh at his jokes. I have my laptop in this class as well, with the wireless, but more for notetaking than anything else, as it seems to be an engaging sort of class. The first class meeting was just an overview of the various high tech (semiconductors, telecom, hw/sw/services, etc.) firms worldwide and their relative revenues, but it was really funny because we were all wrong a lot of the time and just sat there yelling out names of companies that we thought might possibly be in the top ten of something. It wasn't graded, it was more like an ice-breaker and a way to kill the first class period when none of us had any assignment to do for that day. The funniest part of the class was at the end, when a woman went up to tell the prof that he didn't call her name during roll call, and it was determined that she actually should have been in the class across the hall. Now, not only did she sit through almost three hours of the wrong class, "Management Issues in High Technology Companies" and "Diversity in HR Management" are pretty damn different classes. If she didn't clue in to that, as we were discussing the relative revenues of, say, IBM and Dell, and the differences in their product offerings, methinks she ought not be in either class and instead may want to spend some time back in Business 10 or some other introductory course. Those of us still in the room were all suitably aghast. Oh, there's a group project (paper) in this class as well. One of the team roles is "Project Writing Coordinator". Guess who will be lobbying hard for that one?

I have no classes on Wednesdays, and Thursdays have the same 7:30am and 4:30pm classes, but my evening class is different. From 7:00pm til 10:15pm, I have "The Victorian Age", and although the classroom is wireless-enabled, this is a seminar class with all our desks in a circle...having my laptop open for notetaking and work-related connectivity just seems wrong, so it's back to pen and paper for this one. I check my mail and what not during the hour before this class, so if some emergency arises, I'm all over it. None has, so far. We're opening this class by reading Bleak House, so I have read the first 200 pages or so, and I have to say, I don't hate it. I am rather enjoying it, actually. The class itself is a strange mix of folks. Now, let it be known that my school of 21K undergrads is 32% Asian, 27% White, 12% Mexican American/Other Hispanic, 7% Filipino and 4% African American (plus 18% not stated). In other words, pretty damn diverse. In the business school, I'd say my classes run about 60% Asian, 20% Mexican American/Other Hispanic, 15% White, 5% other. In this class, we have about 20 people, and 18 are white. There goes the diversity. But what this class lacks in ethnic diversity, it makes up for it in the range of ages present. I'd say there are 5 people around normal college age, about 7 of us in the 30s, and no less than 8 people eligible for AARP. So far, the AARP folks haven't said much, and the conversation has been dominated by the ultra-annoying 19 year old boy who has managed to work in every book he's read plus his knowledge of trepanning. Now, I've only read the first thirteen chapters of Bleak House, but I don't think there's any mention of trepanning in it...or any of the other novels we'll be reading in that class, for that matter.

Fridays are off days, but I do have one online course and the work for it tends to happen on Fridays. This course, "Philosophy of Science", is a WebCT class and it's just fascinating. My fascination is less of the subject matter (which I've already read, having taken half of this course before) than it is the participation. There are 40 students in the class, but the first week has generated 374 messages. Yes, participation in the discussion board is graded (and required), but in an offline class, participation is graded as well—any of you teacher folk ever had 73 distinct, thoughtful student comments on something that wasn't part of the required reading (and 113 on reading that was required)? Maybe you have, and maybe my surprise stems from the lack of participation and intelligence that I've seen in my other classes. It should also be noted that this class contains zero Philosophy majors—it's an advanced general education course and the majority of the class are in business or science (the two largest schools on campus), so it's not like the discussion is dominated by anyone with any academic experience in Philosophy. It's quite heart-warming to watch and participate, because not only would I have participated less in an offline class, I'm sure the rest of the class would have been similarly quiet. Except, of course, the loudmouth on the message boards who seems intent on responding to each and every comment like a pompous ass. I'm sure he would have been like that in person, too.

All in all, an interesting mix of stuff, so far. Keeps me busy, at least.

Saturday, September 04, 2004
zell, the RNC and that pesky election thing
I've been busy with work/school/writing this last week...I thought about it a lot, and who couldn't, after hearing Zell Miller speak at the RNC? I didn't catch the live speech, but I heard snippets of it on NPR while I was driving to school one morning. I thought something along the lines of "wow, that was a little loud and hate-filled", and made a mental note to write something about it. Now, when I got home that day and read through my blogroll, I found that plenty of my very intelligent regular reads had already posted with mucho gusto about ol' Zell: Dan Gillmor, David Morgen, Mac at pesky'apostrophe, among others. So, I'll just say "what they said!" and move on.

Now, David Morgen posed the question "Why are you wasting time reading my blog when you could be reading Michael Bérubé?" to which I thought "by golly, you're right!" Seriously though, David's blog, scrivenings, is really quite good. So David, I read your blog because it's well-written, interesting as heck, you have cute kids and seem to be a good dad. I like to support folks like you, with the linking and the reading and what not. But back to Bérubé, he had written this post way back in May, which includes:
"I've devised a handy pop quiz that we can distribute to Bush supporters, in order to discover (in the best traditions of Gramscian cultural studies) the continuing appeal of the Bush presidency.

What is it you like most about the Bush administration and its policies?

___ I like the lying! It turned me on when the President spiked that EPA report on the toxic air quality around Ground Zero, thereby consigning thousands of firefighters, police, Guardsmen, rescue workers, and ordinary citizens to debilitating lifelong respiratory illness! If people are so worried about a few tiny particles floating around, let them buy those little fiber masks, for goodness' sake! Every Ace Hardware sells 'em.
There are eight other "reasons" that really, any swing voter (hell, any "committed to Bush" voter) ought to ponder. For example, my parents, who live in a battleground state, are apparently on the fence. Upon hearing this, I was suitably appalled. Not that my parents and I agree on much of anything, but I still don't understand how anyone could (with a clear conscience) vote for Bush. My folks, and any of their like-minded swing-voter friends, ought to read Bérubé's quiz. Actually, given that Bérubé teaches right over the mountain from this enclave of swing voters, I wouldn't mind if he sent one of his students over the hill and plastered the damn thing on telephone poles. Hell, if I lived there, I'd do it myself, but luckily I live in a Blue state.

About the terrible goings-on in Beslan, Bitchphd writes "I was amazed that I saw nothing in any of the blogs I read about it. I think the commenter [at Crooked Timber] who said that no one is talking about it because everyone is struck dumb with horror is, of course, right."

That pretty much sums it up, for me. All I know is that atrocities occurred, and it makes me very, very sad. I can't string together any words that make the situation any better, or that provide any comfort, or bring any new information to light about why the Chechen terrorists did what they did.

I was sitting around the cookie-eating station at the blood center today, with a bunch of other post-donation people, and we were all reading various parts of the newspapers. One man, wearing police-issue shirt/pants/boots, put his paper down and said to no one in particular "I can't believe people would use children like that". This, from a guy who has probably seen his fair share of tragic behavior. Children as political pawns, children as shields, children as targets—I'll never be able to wrap my brain around that one.

I also haven't read a lot in the blogosphere about it, save for what people on my blogroll have written (Hugo Schwyzer, Mac at pesky'apostrophe), but I agree with what one commenter of bitchphd's said: "I think people were silent because they didn't have anything illuminating to say. It wasn't just that they were struck dumb by horror." I don't have anything illuminating to say, but the five people who read my blog don't come here for least I hope they don't.

get your archive on...
04/04 · 05/04 · 06/04 · 07/04 · 08/04 · 09/04 · 10/04 · 11/04 · 12/04 · 01/05 · 02/05 · 03/05 · 04/05 · 05/05 · 06/05 · 07/05 · 08/05 · 09/05 · 10/05 · 11/05 · 12/05 · 01/06 · 02/06 · 03/06 · 04/06 · 05/06 · 06/06 · 07/06 · 08/06 · 09/06 · 10/06 · 11/06 · 12/06 · ???


job / books / new blog

04/04 · 05/04 · 06/04 · 07/04 · 08/04 · 09/04 · 10/04 · 11/04 · 12/04 · 01/05 · 02/05 · 03/05 · 04/05 · 05/05 · 06/05 · 07/05 · 08/05 · 09/05 · 10/05 · 11/05 · 12/05 · 01/06 · 02/06 · 03/06 · 04/06 · 05/06 · 06/06 · 07/06 · 08/06 · 09/06 · 10/06 · 11/06 · 12/06 · ???


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