Does catnip really get cats "high"? I ask because I think Sophie's buzzing right now. Yes, she's usually a bit on the frantic side. But this time she's darting around (mostly prancing like a cartoon reindeer), ears back, stopping in mid stride to strike a weird pose, give a weird meow, then dash off again. Also, her pupils look much smaller, like little almost slivers.
What is tolerance?07.27.2005
I've been thinking lately about the concept of tolerance. What it is, how it's demonstrated, what it's worth. Stuff like that.Continue reading "What is tolerance?"
Discovery took off. American manned space flight is again a reality. Fantastic. Now I wanna see another space race. I wanna see us humans push ourselves across another frontier, to bring the number of planetoids we've walked on to three.
Does anyone doubt we can do it? Will it be easy? I certainly hope not. I want it to be tough, I want it to be a longshot that makes victory all that much sweater. And I want a race. Japan? China? Europe? Private investors conglomerate? Just someone please saddle up.
Being the greedy (but not wealthy) capitalist that I am, I decided to set up a Cafepress store. The first item is just a baseball jersey w/ this picture of London's Victoria Monument. If anyone's interested in other stuff, let me know. And, no, I've no pretension of getting rich.
I'm gonna dig through some of my travel snapshots to see if there's anything that strikes my fancy.
Posted by Miguel at 01:48 AM | Permalink
What if ...07.25.2005
My brain had a sudden itch today, so I want to scratch it. It's a historical "what if?"
Imagine if Carter (hands down the worst president of the twentieth century, I can't even think of a worse one) had reacted differently to the 1979 taking of the US embassy in Iran. Imagine if instead of doing
nothing little, and wondering how to appease the hostage-takers, we'd tried a straight forward military response. After all, an embassy is sovereign soil — an attack on an embassy is an act of war, an invasion of sovereign territory.
I've no idea how, when, or why. But I saw Sophie chasing something, excitedly, and w/ an intensity of concentration rarely seen. So I entered my bedroom to find my sporting black cat sitting, crouched, ready to pounce. Across from her? A tiny grey deer mouse. Yes, a real live mouse. It's currently cowering behind my desk. Sophie's patiently waiting her out.Continue reading "Mouse hunt"
Posted by Miguel at 01:07 AM | Permalink
I ♥ Cairo07.23.2005 Continue reading "I ♥ Cairo"
Takes a capitalist07.22.2005
Priceless. Donald Trump, in senate testimony, explains (in entertaining detail) how the United Nations bungled it's building renovation project to such an extent that Trump concludes the organization's either A) incompetent or B) "something else" (he later just comes out & says "corruption"). Read the transcript.
Noví in the afternoon07.21.2005
Sam came into town, briefly, w/ Novalí & we spent the afternoon together. She's a little shy w/ new people, and her notable OCD tendencies make her less-than-enthusiastic about new things/people/places. But I think she had a great time. And I think I'm on my way to becoming the "favorite uncle" (which, of course, is my number one life priority right about now).Continue reading "Noví in the afternoon"
A Krauthammer WSJ editorial assessing the neocons & their international policy.
A New York Times story on cholita wrestling in El Alto, Bolivia.
Posted by Miguel at 12:19 PM | Permalink
Another great weekend in Chicago (Amtrak has $14 Kalamazoo-Chicago tickets). Despite the nearly unbearable heat. But I'll be back in lovely Kalamazoo again in a few hours. I was gonna take all these great pictures of Chicago — but I forgot my camera.Continue reading "Clickity-clack"
Oh, those terrorism links?07.16.2005
Technorati tag: terrorism
No evidence of a bin Laden & Iraq connection? Oops. Think again. Several news reports back in 1999 not only made such claims, but several reported Hussein's 1999 public offer of asylum to bin Laden. Of course, it ran in such right-wing conspiracy ragas as The Guardian & CNN. As well as other news media (try a library archive search of 1990s Newsweek, Time, US News & World Report, etc).
No one's ever seriously argued that Saddam helped plan the 9/11 attacks. But Saddam's ties & support to terrorist organizations were well known in the 1990s (Clinton & his staff said so, repeatedly). How quickly we forget.
I leave for Chicago for a few days in two hours. I'll see if I can get a few moments to post.
Also, last night's second season premier of Battlestar Galactica was awesome. I'm so glad it's back. And it looks like Space: Above And Beyond is finally coming out on DVD. It's gonna be a great scifi summer.
Off to last minute packing.
Winning the hearts & minds?07.14.2005
Public support for bin Laden & al Qaeda is down. In Muslim countries. This, according to a recent poll. His numbers are so low, they're lower than Bush's.Continue reading "Winning the hearts & minds?"
Oven roasted tomatoes07.13.2005
Technorati tag: recipe
I've really gotten into roasting my own tomatoes for tomato pesto. Took some home to my parents a while back, and my mom wanted the recipe. It's quite simple, actually. And you can probably find a better recipe most anywhere. Basically, the roasted tomatoes will taste like whatever spices they're baked w/. So the taste can vary dramatically depending on spices. I like to play around w/ it.Continue reading "Oven roasted tomatoes"
A friend & former student posted about an Iranian girl she met at a recent blogging conference in Seoul. It's an interesting look at how different life can be inside an unfree society, and how powerful blogs can be.Continue reading "Dissent"
Dennis the Menace07.13.2005
You know a hurricane's tough when it drops hail & thunder storms on Kalamazoo, Michigan. It just slammed us; must've been rough for the people on the actual southern coasts.
Not in Allah's name07.11.2005
A Bahraini blogger posted pictures of a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the London blasts, and to oppose terrorism. A few days ago, Global Voices had a roundup reactions from the Muslim blogosphere. It's good to see free speech emerging in the region; and it's great to see it condemn a form of political violence they're too aware of. One of them, Beirut Spring, has made a series of banners for Arab bloggers. Pass it around. We're not alone in this fight; bin Laden doesn't speak for all Muslims.
Many of us blog (or livejournal or whatever) about anything & everything, w/o fear of reprisal (beyond a snub or small-time drama). We're lucky. In many parts of the world, people can go to jail for asking why girls can't wear makeup in public. We should never forget that.
Posted by Miguel at 10:11 PM | Permalink
I love you, but …07.11.2005
Thinking about the question of whether liberals love America or not, and why so many seem to think liberals don't. I think it's a problem of grammar.Continue reading "I love you, but …"
Life w/ an air conditioner07.11.2005
I pretty much disappeared into hermitage this weekend. Nothing but back to back West Wing episodes (w/ brief breaks for food) throughout. I'm caught up to the end of Season 2. The phone didn't ring, and I didn't feel like fighting comment spam. Plus, The West Wing is just that good, and that addictive. Wow. Why have I not been watching this the last few years?Continue reading "Life w/ an air conditioner"
I ♥ London07.07.2005 Continue reading "I ♥ London"
I've been sucked in by The West Wing episodes on DVD. Hurray for Netflix. That and problems w/ a slippery chapter have occupied much of my time lately. Sure, Bartlett's a great would-be president, even if his staff sometimes can't see past the huge chips on their shoulders to notice their arrogance could offend many constituents. But what's politics w/o egos, right?
That said, back to it. The internet can wait, right?
Oh, but Bolivia's constitution has been amended, again. And much for the better. More later.
Not as well-revered as Jefferson or Franklin or Washington, but he's my guy nonetheless. Don't get me wrong, the other guys are good too, but there's a few things about Hamilton that put him over the top, in my book.Continue reading "Alexander Hamilton"
Happy birthday, America!07.04.2005
Took full advantage of my right to pursue happiness today. Slept in, long hot shower, will eat chocolate chip cookies for breakfast (I baked them), then head out to Rocket Star Café to find (hopefully) a game of chess. If not, a moped ride through Kalamazoo. More thoughts (and my favorite Founding Father) tomorrow.
Fireworks. Tonight. East Hall.
Favorite Founding Father?07.02.2005
This year marks my 20th Fourth of July in America. Thankyouvermuch. So I wanted to make a little quiz, just to be all patriotic or reflective or whatever. So. In the comment section:Continue reading "Favorite Founding Father?"
Summer I, where did you go?07.01.2005
Suddenly realized I'd inadvertently missed a major deadline. Well, not life-or-death major, but major nonetheless. Why didn't my Summer II stipend pay out? In part, because I never filed my Summer I progress report. Ouch.
In part, I misunderstood (I do that sometimes w/ small print) and thought my dissertation writing progress report was due at the end of both summer sessions (each is about 6 weeks), rather than at the end of each session. So my status report is overdue (since they're actually due two weeks before the end of each session). I jeopardized my continued funding & never even noticed. It's always those little things that get me.
Nevertheless, I got hold of 3 of 4 of my committee members w/in 12 hours, despite the fact that none of them are in Michigan (well, one is right now, but on her way back out of the country). Quick mea culpas all around, and requests for letters stating that I have, in fact, made "substantive" progress these last few weeks.
Since I don't like asking for such things w/o offering something, I had to quickly try to polish up some chapter drafts into something "presentable" (rather than an assortment of composition notebooks, bits of text here & there, or notecards on my bulletin board). Ouch, ouch.
A few hours later, and Chapter 2 looks like, well, a decently looking chapter, weighing in at just 22 pages (double spaced), w/ room to edit in a few more (actually, I yanked out about 10 pages to make it "presentable"). What I currently have of Chapter 3 weighs in at 9 pages (double spaced). Slim, but still about 10% of the total expected length of the dissertation.
If everything works out tomorrow, I should have $100 disposable to last through the 4-day holiday weekend. Yeehaw!
UPDATE: Things didn't entirely work out, but thanks to Cara, I'll have a balance of
$1.01 $1.43 in my checking account. Time to count change.