Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Interesting bit of History

up for grabs:

Rare Magna Carta to be sold at Sotheby's in NYC

I've never liked the popular impression that this was a constitution in the sense to which we understand it today. A la the reporter's comment "The Magna Carta established rights of the English people and curbed the power of the king."

What it established (and no, I haven't read it in ages) was the rights and privileges of a select class of people vis-a-vis their feudal obligations to their lord, and the limits of his authority. As a foundation document laying the groundwork for basic rights of man, perhaps, but hardly a declaration of freedom for all citizens. I'd personally consider it akin to limiting the power of central government, and providing more autonomy to the other rich, violent jerks keeping the average citizen impoverished and beholden. And yes, I oversimplify, but it's a blog folks, not a dissertation.

In any event, it's yours for a piddling $30 mil.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ya know what?

People really like chocolate.

The kids' school does an annual chocolate sale to raise money. Given the cost of tuition, I find that a little ridiculous, but OK. Sell $500 worth of sugary crap, earn a prize worth about a buck-fifty on the open market. For the last two years, I have resisted bringing any to work - I feel like it's annoying people.

It seems people like being annoyed.

I left a box of 40 bars (at $1/each) upstairs in the kitchen here at the office at about 9AM. When I last checked it at about 2PM, there were five bars left. More importantly, the box (when full) was mostly almond, which I dislike. Of the 5 remaining bars, none were almond, so I guess the huckster company behind all of this (part of Reader's Digest, apparently) knew exactly what they were doing.

On top of all that, my dad took three bars last week back home to my brother's kids. Oldest niece called up that night placing an order for another 36 for her and her friends. So pop is picking up another box at the kids' school right about now. Any leftovers will be brought back here tomorrow.

I have to wonder - would people normally buy all this crap, or do they soothe their consciences about eating candy by saying it's going to a good cause? Either way, I've got a pocket full of singles and my kids are in line for a cheap, lead painted Chinese toy that will break the first day.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Every time

you think you've seen it all, here comes more silliness:

Glamorous politician wants law to allow 7-year itch

Leaving aside that I don't find a fifty year old, twice divorced libertine to be glamorous, these are the kinds of crazy things that come out of people's mouths when they're interested in attention more than substance. I don't know if she's serious about marriages only legally lasting seven years. I don't much care if she is. Clearly, though, there are a lot of nutballs in the world, and unfortunately too many of them get elected.

I don't suppose we could institute a seven-year lifespan on politicians, could we?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Laugh of the Day

Dan Rather sues CBS, Viacom for $70M

Ole' Dan thinks he got the shaft from CBS for their "intentional mishandling" of the aftermath of the story he chose to run, despite the holes in it the size of a National Guard jet.

What's the Frequency, Kenneth, indeed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh, and By the By...

Shana Tovah to all and sundry. May we all be blessed with a happy, healthy, and sweet new year.

More Conversations

Less peculiar, but more welcome. Got an email from Mrs. Skinny's cousin, who is over in Afghanistan doing the police-type work he used to do in the Great Northwest. He's just looking for Taliban instead of more home-grown ne'er do wells.

Cousin is, as the rest of that particular branch of the family tree, one of the most decent people I've ever me in my life. Well educated, well read, and a lot of fun to hang out with. I should think of him every day, but I don't, which is sad. He's certainly risking his life, though he said I need to look out for myself far more than he does. He travels around with a troop of Polish airborne guys, which he claims is like riding around with a legally armed motorcycle gang.

All the same, I worry about him, and hope he stays safe. It's worse for people with husbands and fathers overseas I grant you, but he's still family and he's a long way from home. Mind you, he says he's in great shape - toting 50 lb. packs around 7,000 feet above sea level is one solution to staying fit, but I'm not sure we all need to head to Downtown Kandahar just to get healthy.

Anyway, I've got a small piece of my heart over in harm's way, so add a thought or prayer for him if you've a mind to.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Strange Conversations

I'm just back in the office after an offsite meeting, the door is closed, and somebody knocks.

There is New Executive Recently Promoted, doing a tour of the building. NERP asks for a brief tour, then says "how do you know when all this stuff is ready for you to take?"

Well, here's a pretty how-de-do.

So I explain briefly about Records Managers and how they feed things to archivists, and see to it that records make it through their life cycle, and end up in the archives when they're ready.

Mind you, I've been asking about getting an RM here for 5 years, so it's a little shocking to have such a conversation out of the blue. I don't know if this will lead to anything, but I'm glad somebody took an interest for five minutes.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Toddler Study Proves Humans Outsmart Apes

"In other Sciency-type stuff, Apes clearly still lead by a wide margin of intelligence over reporters and headline writers."

Thursday, September 06, 2007