Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On vacation

Took the family to Dorney Park/Wildwater Kingdom in the northern parts of Pennsylvania for a few days. The fact that it took as much time to get from Long Island to the George Washington Bridge as it did to get from there to Allentown, PA should give you an idea of NY traffic problems.

We still had a good day for the half-day we've been here so far. A bit of waterpark, a bit of non-waterpark, and all of tomorrow to go. I think oldest may have gotten a bit dehydrated, but I hope a night's sleep and the water we made her drink will help. So more park tomorrow, then off on Friday for a weekend in DC with friends, and by the time I get back to the office I will have been gone 10 whole days. I actually had a reason to check my work calendar tonight, and there's 50 emails waiting for me.

I didn't bother reading any of them.

There's other news possibly, but I'm too paranoid to write about it. Updates will follow if circumstances make it necessary.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Old, Fat, & Happy

That's my answer to the following question posted on LinkedIn:

What is Your Personal Vision and Ambition Statement for the Year 2020?

I'm sure there are better answers than mine, but there are a lot worse answers too.


Check out what's new in History on my gadget-thingy below. Today's significant event is Bill Clinton's manly military strike in response to the African Embassy bombings. Full details on Operation Infinite Stretch are here.

Frankly, I'd rather have seen something on the Battle of Yarmuk or most of the other events listed for August 20 than revisit the Clinton administration's lame response to an attack on US property and lives. Still, it was a decent laugh to start the morning.

Monday, August 18, 2008

So here's my Question,

assuming Mr. Hassett is correct in the following article:

Democrats Offer Lesson in Misleading on Taxes

Where is the AP's retraction? I see no reason to doubt Hassett, who I assume has actually read the report in question, whereas the AP has a much less dependable track record. On the face of it, when I heard the original news story my first assumption was that the story had it wrong. Anytime you say 90% of anything chances are good it's an exaggeration; when you suggest that the country's biggest taxpayers pay no taxes at all, most rational people with even a slight understanding of economics have to think something's screwy.

I take Hassett's illustrations to heart - measuring GE in the same bucket as the Hot Dog vendors is by definition ridiculous; add to that the financial sense of reporting your earnings as wages rather than profit, and it all starts to make sense. So I repeat the question - where is the banner retraction to replace the banner headlines about corporations paying no taxes? Mr. Clemens' remark about lies, damned lies, etc. seems appropriate here.

So a word to all of us - take what you read with the appropriate grain of salt; in the case of the AP, I recommend a grain the size of the moon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Blog Mucking About

Seems as though Google now has even more crap to clutter up one's blog with. (So I ended on a preposition? Whaddaya gonna do about it?) Google Gadgets seems to include thousands of little doohickeys that add everything from semi-naughty pictures to quotes from every bible in existence.

Some looked OK, so I added two on the right - Today in History and Hubble images. I'd prefer not to bother with stock tickers or Super Mario games, but if the masses request it I'll consider adding them. For about 2 seconds, and then we'll go back to the bland dictatorship that is this trivial corner of the internets.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Can it pop a wheelie?

I think at 18 I knew what a screwdriver was. Nice work, man, and keep it up.

H/T to the Corner, where Mr. Robbins notes that left alone, we can come up with answers far better than government.

Oh Beloved Europe

I heard this story about the Spanish basketball team the other day (though this is more commentary than reporting, and identified as such, happily):

Gasol, Calderon question fuss over photo

What it brought to mind immediately is not the particular childishness of the Spaniards here - most of the rest of us stopped doing this in Kindergarten. It made me think of the liberals who go on & on about how we need to be more like Europe, how the Europeans are more in touch with their feelings, how they're nicer, more sophisticated, etc.

A dirty little secret about Europe these people never acknowledge is the incredibly casual racism that you bump into over there. I've been to England three times (and no, this makes me neither particularly experienced nor a jet setter), and each time I've run into people making the most disparaging comments about other races without a second's thought. The most interesting case came from a taxi driver of clearly foreign extraction (South Asia as I remember) ripping into members of another ethnic group as being dirty, classless, etc.

I'm not all that surprised, frankly, at the behavior of this basketball team. The ancient tribalisms and the powerful nationalism of European countries hasn't really died out - it's available anywhere you choose to listen carefully enough. I don't much care - I still vote by the "Sticks & stones will break my bones" theory, and I think all the hypersensitive types (yes, I mean you Sharpton & Jackson) need to relax a little. But I am disturbed by the constant drivel coming out of the left that all we need to do is be more like the Europeans and the world will magically be a happy place.

Europe is a beautiful place that has many wonderful people and culture, but let's not miss the crap that comes along with it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Doctor Rocker

Neat story:

Brian May, guitarist for rock band Queen, completes Ph.D. thesis following 30-year hiatus

Sure beats the Honoris Causae Harvard hands out like Pez. Has Ozzy Osbourne ever used a pressure-scanned Fabry-Perot Spectrometer? Did Mick Jagger ever record high-resolution spectra of the Zodiacal Light?

I think not.

(H/T to the Corner)