September 2004 Archives

LOL-- I'm Thailand!

| | Comments (4)

You're Thailand!
Calmer and more staunchly independent than almost all those around you, you have a long history of rising above adversity.  Recent adversity has led to questions about your sexual promiscuity and the threat of disease, but you still manage to attract a number of tourists and admirers.  And despite any setbacks, you can really cook a good meal whenever it's called for.  Good enough to make people cry.
Take the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid

Thanks to my good friend Liz for introducing me to Monkey Girl. Reading about this Aussie's extraordinary life has made my weekend.

The Sound of one Dog Barking

| | Comments (2)

I remember the first time I encountered the opinion that a barking dog was an irritant. I was reading the blurb on the cover of a John Denver album. I can't remember the exact quote, but he said something to the effect that he wished everyone could have the opportunity to stand on a mountain where there was no traffic noise or barking dog. It startled me, because no one in my family had ever expressed irritation at the sound of a dog barking in the distance.

I say "in the distance" because of course it's a different matter if the barking actually hurts one's ears. I'm referring here to barking that's either distant enough to be at a comfortable decibel level or deep enough to have no high-pitched ear-piercing component. I'm particularly fond of the deep "woof" of a massive dog. I always included the sound of such barking in the "nature" category, along with the sounds of crickets at night and cicadas in the trees. I realize now that not everyone feels this way.

Fortunately, most of my nearest neighbors have dogs of their own. I live on a cul-de-sac on which there are only seven houses including the two at the end that face the cross street. In these seven houses live six dogs. Not that my puppy barks much, but he is surprisingly territorial about the back yard, and he doesn't seem to understand that the fence is the boundary. It's a paddock fence, not a solid one, so he can see through it, and he barks at anyone on the other side. He doesn't get much opportunity, really-- the neighbors on either side of me are almost never in their yards. The neighbor on the right has let his yard become overgrown to the "dense forest" stage, while the neighbor on the left is a ninety-year-old woman who lives alone.

I've introduced Saint to the neighbors who live directly behind me. They were dog owners until their fourth beagle died, bringing an end to some sixty years of beagle ownership. Saint is still a little nervous when he sees them, but the wife plans to offer him treats through the fence to win him over. She and her husband like it that there are dogs in the neighborhood, and they like it that the dogs bark. This is my feeling, too; irritation is in the ears of the listener.

The Insulated Jar, revisited

| | Comments (1)

I rarely check my blog statistics. Having been offline for weeks after my web host revamped their servers, and again for weeks after switching my dsl provider, I had assumed all of my readers would have deserted me.

I was surprised when I checked the stats for the first time in months and discovered that I had had more than a thousand visits to my blog during August. Studying the entry pages, I found that two entries have drawn the most attention. A lot of people seem to like the picture of the big snake. Disclaimer: the claim that it's a record-breaker was an exaggeration. Still, it's a hell of a big snake.

The second most popular entry page is The Insulated Jar, which makes me feel kind of bad for not having written more about this topic, for those who are interested. I promise to write more, when I get some thoughts together.

Vote For Bush Or Die

| | Comments (0)

Memo from the Department of Subtle Campaign Rhetoric to VPOTUS: MEMO SENT 9/7 WAS A JOKE. REPEAT: MEMO WAS A JOKE.

We all need to relax

| | Comments (0)

These poll numbers are upsetting, but Bush has had bounces before, and they've all faded. Take some deep breaths. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Then click here

The Undecideds

| | Comments (2)

It's so hard for me to understand how there can be voters who still haven't made up their minds that I keep coming back to it again and again. This election is a clear choice between a conservative and a liberal; whoever wins could appoint as many as four Supreme Court justices, as well as hundreds of political appointees who will run every government agency for the next four years. Rumsfeld and Ashcroft are just the tip of the iceberg. Appointees will run everything from the parks department to the department of defense, the EPA, the labor department, the education department, housing, health and human services, and on and on. In all departments, political appointees will set and enforce policy. Along with the departments are multitudes of agencies, which will also be run by political appointees.

This suggests that undecided voters have no opinions regarding any policy area, whether it be taxation, abortion, drilling for oil in Alaska, or the use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone, that is more important to them than some quality they are looking for in a candidate.

Pundits say voters choose the candidate who they won't mind having in their livingroom for the next four years; the candidate with the personality they feel most comfortable with. Can voters really be willing to toss all considerations of policy aside in favor of the guy they'd most like to have a beer with?

I have a different theory. I think that for some undecided voters, what they want more than anything else is to vote for "a winner." They want to find themselves on the winning team on the morning after the election. To make the wrong choice is to become a loser by proxy. I think these voters enter the booth trying to guess who is going to win, and cast their vote for that candidate.

August 2011

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      


Powered by Movable Type 4.12