:: Friday, March 31 2006 ::
A while back, you may remember I blogged that I felt the American show of support for Jill Carroll's release wasn't as widespread as it had been in France for Florence Aubenas. Apparently the French thought so, too. In reporting the release this week of Ms. Carroll (which, by the way, hooray!), RFI commented that although the Americans hadn't been as demonstrative in their support of the hostage as Europeans usually are, the Christian Science Monitor (the paper she was working for) had done a good job of keeping her in the news over the time she was held hostage.
John Stewart commented last night that this demonstrated the news coming from Iraq isn't all bad - sometimes people are only nearly killed while there.
:: David (10:59 in Michigan, 16:59 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Thursday, March 30 2006 ::
"The army is America. We are America's sons and daughters. American's sons and daughters are getting tattoos". Lt Col Bryan Hilferty on why the US army is relaxing its 'no tattoo' policy.
:: David (1:46 in Michigan, 7:46 in Paris) - Comment
I read about this on the CBC, but when I went looking couldn't find it again, so here's The Guardian's take on US soldiers making a run for the border (the Canadian border) to avoid being sent to Iraq. It's a much more interesting question with a 'volunteer' force, as compared to when people were drafted against their will. It makes the assertion that you find the war morally objectionable somewhat more difficult to make. However, as this story in the Telegraph makes clear, there are still points to be made, even by volunteers, that what they signed up for is not what they got:
I heard a similar interview with a former American soldier who had made the run to Canada. RFI did a special on these folks, and a theme that came up was questions of what they would be expected to do, and whether those actions would be illegal under international law.
An SAS soldier has refused to fight in Iraq and has left the Army over the "illegal" tactics of United States troops and the policies of coalition forces.
He said he had witnessed "dozens of illegal acts" by US troops, claiming they viewed all Iraqis as "untermenschen" - the Nazi term for races regarded as sub-human.
:: David (0:01 in Michigan, 6:01 in Paris) - Comment
:: Wednesday, March 29 2006 ::
I was walking back to work today after lunch (well, actually with lunch), and I was thinking about what a friendly group of people I work with - there is definitely an element of a family atmosphere about the place. I've worked several places where this has been the case, in fact, but I never really participate - I have a working relationship with my co-workers, but that's generally it - I rarely socialize with them, for example. And I realized that the reason why is because to truly play the market in the American way, i.e. to be a flexible worker in a flexible labour market, you have to be ready to bail at a moment's notice. That's the agreement we make when we sign up for the complete flexibility - you can fire me anytime, but I can also take another job anytime. The market decides whether you pay me enough, whether the working conditions are good enough, etc. Especially if I have the skill set, the negotiations go both directions.
As someone who has grown up working the system to within an inch of its life, I never understood why you would complain about it - it has worked so well for me, giving me opportunities and dollars galore. But of course the flip side is that we become quite cold - it isn't just the employers, with their 'you have fifteen minutes to clean your desk' notifications - it's also each of the workers - 'someone offered me twice what you guys pay me, so I'm gone! See you later!' So when we talk about how cold employers have become under this system, it's worth remembering how cold each of us has become. And that makes me wonder if maybe the French strikers aren't right on - if they let the government win on this one, where only the young are involved, then the young will get used to it, and maybe there really will be a slippery slope, as each of them, individually, becomes just a little bit colder.
:: David (22:33 in Michigan, 4:33 in Paris) - Comment
I'm trying to work out how I should blog technology stuff, now that I have a tech job. I figure if I have too many crazy tech things I blog, it will change the nature of the blog to the point where you can't find everything else. But on the other hand, I've always stuck in random tech bits, and I don't know if I will do more than usual now that it's my day job, or whether that would actually make me shy away from posting about that sort of thing. I shall contemplate....
:: David (9:29 in Michigan, 15:29 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Tuesday, March 28 2006 ::
I finally ate at a local establishment called 'Zingermans', which is well known in the area for its food. I had a bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avacado sandwich (yup - really) and a bottle of soda. Total cost? Almost 14 dollars. It was a tasty sandwich. It was not a 14 dollar sandwich. These people are either all crazy, or all far too rich for their own good.
:: David (15:36 in Michigan, 21:36 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Monday, March 27 2006 ::
The French are set to have a general strike tomorrow over the CPE (Contrat première embauche). This means I can't listen to RFI in the morning, which makes me sad. On the upside, perhaps I can wander through some other music on my player, or even (gasp) clean it up a bit and put good music on it!
:: David (23:42 in Michigan, 5:42 in Paris) - Comment
I really need to re-write the comment program - it does so well most of the time, but obviously every now and again it just doesn't work. *sigh*
:: David (23:34 in Michigan, 5:34 in Paris) - Comment
Who knew you could put a pair of boxer shorts on backwards without noticing?
I must've been tired this morning!
:: David (12:54 in Michigan, 18:54 in Paris) - Comment -
Despite some major procrastination on my part, I think I got everything done this weekend I had planned on getting done, so I can go into the new week with my head held high (or something like that).
As a last thought on a Sunday night, it looks like the 'Orange Revolution' has been demoted to a blip in time, as election results from the Ukraine seem to be pointing to a win by the pro-Russia party.
:: David (0:20 in Michigan, 6:20 in Paris) - Comment
:: Saturday, March 25 2006 ::
I picked up a music sampler CD while we were out today, and one of the artists was Daniel Powter, a guy we saw last year in Paris at the Eiffel tower. According to some information, the song he performed then is now at (or near) the top of the charts in the United States. This may be one of the few times we are way ahead of the music curve in the US. Hopefully he will behave better at his concerts here (or maybe people will know the lyrics now)!
:: David (22:28 in Michigan, 5:28 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
Andrew and Alyssa came up last night, and we had dinner and talked late into the night. This morning they introduced us to a new card game, called Munchkin, which we found more than slightly amusing. We then wandered into Ann Arbor, and did the usual Ann Arbor things (antiquing and eating Japanese food). They then headed off to have coffee with a friend, and we headed to do some random shopping. We ended up doing a rather massive shopping expedition, buying clothes, food, wine, books, and random other goodies. In the end we were out for four hours! And now we're back, organizing, trying things on, and in general relaxing. Of course, both of us had planned to work this weekend, so tomorrow should be a busy day!
:: David (20:40 in Michigan, 3:40 in Paris) - Comment
:: Friday, March 24 2006 ::
This is shocking: the BBC is reporting that a social networking site has become very popular with teens, and now parents and educators are worried about some of the uses they are putting it to, fearing they may be putting too much personal information online, and worrying about some of the things they are saying about, for example, their teachers. Some schools have gone so far as to block access to the site from their networks.
For those who haven't glommed on yet, or didn't read my last post on this issue, this is a rerun of an issue taking place in the states. The UK, apparently, took a little longer in getting the proper fear-mongering apparati in place, and as such only now are these articles appearing over there. In their case the site is bebo.com (as opposed to the US, where MySpace is the big bad wolf). As it happens, I have a bebo account, because a friend of mine has one. In fact, I have these accounts floating all over. As yet, I haven't been molested. I'll keep you posted.
:: David (8:21 in Michigan, 14:21 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
The BBC is reporting that the French president left a meeting when he realized that a French businessman intended to make his address in English, rather than French. According to the article:
I have to say, on some level I support the president on this one - I think it's important to keep the EU a little bit honest, in that it is a multilingual society, and therefore doing business only in English is a bit disingenuous. Now, I'm sure on some level M Chirac's stunt was nationalistic, but I'm willing to overlook that for the bigger picture.
According to a French official, Mr Seilliere [the businessman] was interrupted by Mr Chirac, who asked him in French why on earth he was speaking English.
He replied that English was the working language of that particular session and the accepted business language of Europe today.
Mr Chirac, Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy and Finance Minister Thierry Breton left the room.
:: David (7:38 in Michigan, 13:38 in Paris) - Comment
Wow. We watched the last 'chef' episode of South Park this evening. Very entertaining. We also finally got around to seeing the new Doctor Who. I have to admit - I got more than a little thrill when the familiar music started playing! Now it's bedtime, as we both have to get up early tomorrow - Sasha earlier than I, as she has a working breakfast.
:: David (0:28 in Michigan, 6:28 in Paris) - Comment
:: Thursday, March 23 2006 ::
Just so you know, the delay of Windows Vista made me dance and sing. Another year of software that works just fine, without having to buy a new computer. How exciting!
:: David (8:30 in Michigan, 14:30 in Paris) - Comment
I think I may spend my entire work week as a web designer, trying to get the software we use to run our website working. It's complicated, to say the least. I think the software we use, ezPublish, is a perfect example of free software not really being free. It uses its own programming language, and proprietary objects, which are easy to understand ($node.node_id is probably the id number of the node), but hard to learn if there isn't a good reference manual. Which there doesn't seem to be, despite the fact that I have an actual book devoted to the software (proof that sometimes, just because you have something interesting to say in a book, doesn't mean you have the ability to do so - ghost writers may not be all bad). So I have done an awful lot of bumping my head against walls.
:: David (8:23 in Michigan, 14:23 in Paris) - Comment
Last weekend we went wandering in this fair city we call home, and somehow or other ended up in a yarn store. We were looking for something in particular, so it took me a few minutes to glom onto the fact that Ziggy Stardust was playing on the store music system. Of course, being the geek that I am, the first thing I thought was 'hey - they only have one channel playing', because the song was made in that period when each channel in a stereo recording was actually different, and the music -really- loses something when, effectively, only half of it is played. After I got past that, I realized that David Bowie was being played in a knitting store, and thought about what that says about the place where I live. It somehow seemed appropriate, especially when the next song came on ('Suffragette City') and I realized that not only had the store owner chosen her own music, she had chosen 'Changes' (aka David Bowie's Greatest Hits). Is this a sign of the end of the universe, or just a sign that I'm getting old, when the hard core rebel music of my youth (well, of my days as a zygote) has become muzak?
:: David (8:11 in Michigan, 14:11 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Tuesday, March 21 2006 ::
The headline on the BBC says "Bush denies Iraq is in civil war". I can just imagine the Onion running with this, quoting him as saying something along the lines of "Are you kidding?! They use IEDs and car bombs, they kill indiscriminately - the war in Iraq is anything but civil!" Follow this perhaps with the John Stewart impression of Bush laughing, just for effect. "Heh heh heh".
:: David (20:44 in Michigan, 2:44 in Paris) - Comment
:: Monday, March 20 2006 ::
So I downloaded Internet Explorer 7 this fine evening. It's a little buggy (it's a beta) but it seems to have gotten some things right. Page rendering seems -fast-, and although I don't really like the tabbed interface very much (unlike in Firefox it always has tabs), I can see that they might think it was a good idea. It has the built in search now (just like Firefox) and the RSS button is a nice touch. I don't know how it works yet, and I may not play with it until some later date. Anyway, fun new toys, hopefully to pump a little energy into the browser business. Now that I know that Firefox gets money from google for all those ads people see when they use Firefox to search, I feel more comfortable that Firefox can hold its own in a monetary sense. So let's see who wins the war of ideas!
:: David (23:16 in Michigan, 5:16 in Paris) - Comment
In the 'so crazy it just might work' department: apparently for the past 20 years or so, Libya has been building a network of pipes to draw water from aquifers under the desert in the south to the populous coastal region, whose aquifers have become contaminated with salt water. According to a BBC article,
After weighing up the relative costs of desalination or transporting water from Europe, Libyan economists decided that the cheapest option was to construct a network of pipelines to transport water from the desert to the coastal cities, where most Libyans live.The article goes on to point out that, as an oil nation, the country has the funds to pay for the project. In addition, it sounds as though they have gained a great deal of technical know-how from working on it. Of course, if they draw all the water from the south out, they'll have a totally useless network of pipes, but with any good luck that will take them a while.
:: David (8:20 in Michigan, 14:20 in Paris) - Comment
The weekend was actually much more productive than I had thought it would be, mid-Saturday. I worked late into the night on Saturday, and just finished doing some more today. I didn't get everything done that I wanted to, but overall I am pleased. It's also mentally stimulating work, which is nice, and because it is so different from my day job I find it doesn't really drain me to be working quite steadily. Which is good, because there's still a ways to go!
In other news, the house is now fully re-arranged, and thanks to careful planning appears to work in its new configuration. There are still some difficulties - we don't have enough shelf space, specifically for my movies. I had forgotten how much space VHS tapes and DVDs take up, and we simply don't have the room for them. Which is fine, as we never watch them (if we wanted to watch a film, we would rent it or download it, but rarely do we watch a film we've already seen). But it begs the question of what to do with all the stuff that has been collected up to this point.
An example - while living in Japan, it was cheaper to buy the DVD from the states than to go see it in the theater. So I have dozens of DVDs that I purchased while living there. They have a theoretical value, but they are to me only a nuisance. Obviously they should be sold, but arranging a garage sale will take time, and they are clogging up our living space now. I expect they will go to live in the storage closet until something better can be done with them.
I also threw out a rather extensive collection of tourist maps, tickets, etc. from our time in France. I took photos of most of them, in the hopes that someday a digital scrapbook can be produced, but we'll just have to wait and see whether that happens or not.
:: David (0:26 in Michigan, 6:26 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Saturday, March 18 2006 ::
I'm supposed to be working like a fiend today, trying to get some models done for the folks in Paris. Instead, we took a long walk, stopped for lunch and hot cocoa, and now Sasha is taking a nap. Hopefully the evening will be more productive than the morning (or yesterday evening, where we went to bed at like 10pm).
:: David (17:59 in Michigan, 23:59 in Paris) - Comment
:: Friday, March 17 2006 ::
A most eventful lunch break! Just after we had sat down to eat, there was a noise in front of the house. We looked to see that a cop car, an unmarked cop car, a cop SUV, and a big white van had all rolled to a stop in front of our house. They disgorged some five or so cops, who all ran to the house two doors down. A few minutes later the van driver came back and threw some tools in the van, presumably the tools used to break into the house, and drove off. A little while later the two biggest cops came back, got into the cruiser and drove off. We speculated they had been there to provide support in case things got physical, as they had both looked quite capable of handling the rough stuff. The unmarked car we presumed held someone of authority, perhaps a detective. We never saw anyone brought out in cuffs, but we had to leave the house before all the cars had left, so whether there were some people inside the house, cuffed and lying on the floor (or sitting on the couch) being questioned, remains something we can only speculate about. Regardless, it certainly made for an interesting lunch!
:: David (15:59 in Michigan, 21:59 in Paris) - Comment
One of the people I work with pointed me to this really neat site, which allows you to plug in all the websites you read, and then creates a cloud (remember clouds?) from the sites. You can let other people see the cloud, effictively allowing someone to choose things that interest them from among the websites that interest you. It's a neat concept, and one I hope to play with more. The only downside is that it requires someone to tag the sites you read to work properly. Thus, only popular sites can be effectively incorporated. But it is still fun!
:: David (8:04 in Michigan, 14:04 in Paris) - Comment
:: Thursday, March 16 2006 ::
The state of Michigan had finally decided that paying sub-poverty wages was unacceptable, and were signing a Democratic ballot initiative to amend the state constitution in droves. The change would have raised the minimum wage to $6.85 per hour (from $5.15) and tied it to inflation. Which was unacceptable to state Republicans, who upped the ante by a dime (to $6.95) but took away the indexing. The change will take effect less than two months before the elections in November. So now, if the amendment makes it to the ballot, what people will see it doing in the short term is lowering the minimum wage, making it very likely to fail. Which is a shame, because an indexed minimum wage is the only way to prevent minimum wages from getting ridiculously out of line with reality (as they are now).
Of course, that assumes you think a minimum wage is a good thing. Lots of people claim that the market would take care of itself. I am not one of them....
:: David (8:47 in Michigan, 14:47 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Wednesday, March 15 2006 ::
So the BBC has an article on how smart tags, or RFID tags, could carry a computer virus. Interesting, but not the point of this post. The image they use for the article show a pallet of whiskas cat food, clearly marked 'with RABBIT'. I imagine that's a UK variation, as I think the pet owners of the US would rise up and smite any food producer that suggested feeding one type of pet with another type of pet. It's the little things, taken together, that make two cultures different.
:: David (13:28 in Michigan, 19:28 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Tuesday, March 14 2006 ::
We had the brilliant idea to rearrange the house this evening, getting halfway to the great master plan I showed you all earlier. We discovered we had living in the house with us some uninvited guests. No, not the ants - we knew about them - we found mold behind the bookshelves. Very unpleasant. But now it is gone, and the move is halfway completed, with the bed having moved to the little room and the loveseat having moved to the big room. It's still a little messy, but that is also good motivation to deal with some of the junk we (I) haven't touched since moving in. Old papers, VHS tapes, DVDs, etc., several boxes full. So we shall add some to the downstairs storage and give some to the trash man.
:: David (20:10 in Michigan, 2:10 in Paris) - Comment
Some big resignations in the news today!
Yes, both the Korean Prime Minister and
Chef from South Park
quit their jobs. It seems
that Isaac Hayes is to quit playing Chef on South Park "because he objects to its 'inappropriate ridicule' of religion".
Lee Hae-chan, simalarly, is to quit playing Korean Prime Minister because of his country's
'inappropriate ridicule' of his handling of a national railway strike.
:: David (8:40 in Michigan, 14:40 in Paris) - Comment
:: Sunday, March 12 2006 ::
Wow! We finally watched the season finale of Battlestar Galactica. Wow! Now I guess we have to wait until the summer for more episodes. Sad.
I did some emergency work on the Pension project for Paris, updating some tables for (I presume) some presentation or something this week. I also started looking at the tax/benefit system of Latvia. I know - my weekends are full of astounding delights. Actually, I also read several books over the weekend, all the product of a Ms. Paula Marshall
:: David (23:17 in Michigan, 5:17 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Saturday, March 11 2006 ::
There's a way web sites have of showing the relative imporatance of different things which is called a 'cloud'. In this model, more important things have a larger font size than smaller things. One of the sites I recently discovered which does this is mininova, a bittorrent site where people can go to download movies, television shows, music, whatever. So tonight, I went there to look at the cloud, for a laugh, and what do you think I saw? It seems one thing was more interesting to people than all the others....
:: David (20:43 in Michigan, 2:43 in Paris) - Comment
So in addition to making you more attractive while you drink it, red wine may also prevent gum disease, making you more attractive after you drink it (that is, long after you drink it, not shortly after, and certainly not the next morning, depending on the quantity imbibed). Add that to your long list of reasons to drink red wine.
:: David (18:50 in Michigan, 0:50 in Paris) - Comment
I assume you've all seen this by now, but if not:
In some respects, it's the best thing that could have happened for all involved (the former Yugoslav leader possibly excepted). Those sorts of show trials tend not to convince anyone of anything, although they do tend to make people feel better. From the quotes the BBC managed to dig up (and I'm sure they were indicative to some degree) the leader's death has also accomplished that goal.
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has died in the detention centre at The Hague tribunal.
The tribunal said he was found dead in his cell on Saturday morning and that although the cause was not yet clear, there was no indication of suicide.
:: David (12:35 in Michigan, 18:35 in Paris) - Comment
The weekend! Hoorah! We had pancakes for breakfast, and now it looks as though there will be some generic nearly-Spring cleaning done, specifically involving the 2.6 million items of clothing I have that don't fit anymore (did I mention my visit to the doctor was a revalation? I have hit 100 kilos! Yikes! Good thing I'm walking to work every day now - hopefully that'll take some of the winter fat off). We're going to try to get the closets down to a place we can actually put things, as opposed to a place where we cram as much as we can, which then falls out on the floor.
:: David (12:27 in Michigan, 18:27 in Paris) - Comment
:: Thursday, March 9 2006 ::
It's tough to describe how much I loathe the standardized test industry in the US. I disagree with those who argue it a necessary evil for colleges too overwhelmed with applicants to make a more nuanced evaluation. So it was with some amusement that I read yesterday that their systems had failed this year's batch of college seniors. Now, the story gets thicker:
With college counselors and admissions officials scrambling to take a second look at student scores in the final weeks before they mail out acceptances and rejections, Chiara Coletti, the College Board's vice president for public affairs, said that 16 students out of the 495,000 who took the October exam had scores that should have been more than 200 points higher.Apparently the fact that an error had occurred was reported to colleges earlier in the week, specifically "that nearly 1 percent of the students who took the SAT reasoning test in October, or about 4,000, had received erroneous scores". Obviously this presents some serious difficulties for all involved. Now let's wait for the lawsuits to really start flying.
My one hope is that this will result in a reduction (or elimination) of the standardized tests as a evaluation tool - having had a conversation with someone on one selection commitee of an unnamed university who told me they 'lined they up by their score', I would not be displeased to see a little reality enter the picture.
:: David (9:12 in Michigan, 15:12 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
I'm not sure about the author's use of the term 'anarchist', but I am sure that this article describes an entertaining place to live - for someone who is not me!
:: David (8:57 in Michigan, 14:57 in Paris) - Comment
:: Wednesday, March 8 2006 ::
Holy lazy day, Batman! Doctor gave me a pill and I grew a new Kidney! No, actually the doctor gave me Codeine, and I became incapable of leaving my comfy chair. As you can tell from this post, my brain is also everywhere. I expect I'll be turning into a pumpkin before too much longer, but I've been having trouble summoning enough energy to even sit up, so the move to the bed may take hours, if not days. On the other hand, outside the complete lack of energy I'm feeling better - although that may be the Codeine....
:: David (15:03 in Michigan, 21:03 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Tuesday, March 7 2006 ::
A fairly entertaining reminder of life in France today. Each morning I download the most recent French world news to my mp3 player, both to keep myself apprised of current events and to practice my French. This morning I was greeted with the message that, due to a strike, the news was being replaced by a musical selection. And then random French music started playing. Just 'sorry - no news today' and away they went. It was amusing.
:: David (22:08 in Michigan, 4:08 in Paris) - Comment
Could American health care get any more convoluted? I just went through the process of getting registered for my care here in the States, and while it was relatively smooth, the number of systems I had to deal with was astonishing. and of course, because coverage is not guaranteed, if any one of those systems thinks I don't exist it is a huge problem (no health care for you!)
:: David (11:54 in Michigan, 17:54 in Paris) - Comment
:: Monday, March 6 2006 ::
My friend Tex pointed out the EU's recommendations to prevent the spread of H5N1 (the bird flu, or grippe aviaire as RFI likes to call it). It's a pretty grim document. We'll have to wait and see whether the infected cat was a one-off or the start of a nasty new direction for the disease (though if this story is any indication, it could be the latter).
:: David (21:45 in Michigan, 3:45 in Paris) - Comment
Wired has an article on the MySpace phenomenon - the latest in a long line of things which 'corrupt our youth, and lead to all sorts of anti-social behavior like smoking, drinking, and bed-wetting'. I have been aware of it for some time, though the statistic that they had over 700% membership growth and sport more than 50,000,000 accounts was somewhat shocking. It amazes me the things schools find to ban, now that we've taken (some of) their book-banning rights away.
:: David (21:11 in Michigan, 3:11 in Paris) - Comment
Yuck. I feel like yuck. And not in that good way, assuming there is a good way to feel yuck. No. I feel it in that 'if you force me to be coherent I'll try, but it still won't suffice' kind of way.
My mom warned me dad was sick. I thought 'no problem!' Heck - I wasn't there but fifteen minutes! But the germs, they are quick. And so I crawl through my Monday, hoping to make it to bed nice and early.
:: David (20:38 in Michigan, 2:38 in Paris) - Comment
:: Sunday, March 5 2006 ::
Believe it or not, some new photos: we went to Chicago this weekend, and visited the aquarium there, and in general did mid-west-y things.
:: David (16:38 in Michigan, 22:38 in Paris) - Comment
:: Saturday, March 4 2006 ::
We did not win the next-door-neighbour awards this evening. It sounds like a drunken football team has taken the room next to ours, with their 'ho's taking a room opposite theirs (so they yell across the parking lot). Outside of that, Chicago is good. The meeting did not kill me, so it must have made me stronger. And believe me, if that meeting didn't kill me, no meeting ever will - at least from boredom. And dinner made up for a lot. Although there was a moment when I realized that the price cap my company set on meals barely covered the tip....
:: David (0:10 in Michigan, 6:10 in Paris) - Comment
:: Friday, March 3 2006 ::
Bush is giving a speech in New Delhi, praising free trade and pushing for even more access. Interestingly, he said he wants to finish Doha by the end of the year. He doesn't mention that would only be if the world agrees to allow us to protect our ag industry, but he's thinking it.
It may just be that he's a bad speaker, but I feel like he has to check the prime minister's name each time before he says it. I can't believe we let this guy out. He has moved on to talk about terrorism now - I was worried he would forget to talk about it....
:: David (8:30 in Michigan, 14:30 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Thursday, March 2 2006 ::
Made it to Chicago almost without incident (there was the bit where the state trooper wanted to pass me when I was doing near eighty, but he seemed content with passing, rather than pulling over). The HoJo we are in lacks, ah, taste, but it's well located. We missed a dinner rendezvous, because I thought it was tomorrow, so the planning could have gone better on my part, but overall things seem to be going smoothly. Tomorrow bright and early I'm off to... somewhere. There's some confusion about that detail also....
:: David (23:57 in Michigan, 5:57 in Paris) - Comment
Just about to head off to Chicago. I'll have the internet with me, but the phone isn't the most comfortable place to type a blog entry, so things may be a bit sparse. It's looking to be a wonderful drive on icy, snow-covered roads, but I'm sure chicago will be quite pleasant. We'll be swinging briefly through Kalamazoo on Saturday night, and then taking the car back on Sunday. Hope everyone has a nice weekend!
:: David (15:52 in Michigan, 21:52 in Paris) - Comment- View Comments
:: Wednesday, March 1 2006 ::
The Onion nails US politics:
The most incapable party ever, given all the opportunities in the world, will still manage to lose the 2006 elections. You have my prediction for November.
In a press conference on the steps of the Capitol Monday, Congressional Democrats announced that, despite the scandals plaguing the Republican Party and widespread calls for change in Washington, their party will remain true to its hopeless direction.
"We are entirely capable of bungling this opportunity to regain control of the House and Senate and the trust of the American people," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said to scattered applause. "It will take some doing, but we're in this for the long and pointless haul."
:: David (8:13 in Michigan, 14:13 in Paris) - Comment
I kind of feel like Angela Merkel has been leading Germany since forever, but according to the BBC, in fact it has only been 100 days.
Although the general impression in Germany appears to be positive, what I have read elsewhere has been much more mixed, primarily due to the 'grand coalition' she came to power with, which makes real reform somewhat difficult. But being popular probably won't hurt her in the long run.
:: David (8:03 in Michigan, 14:03 in Paris) - Comment