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Showing posts from June, 2006

Things Heard on the Radio

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to NPR and I heard reporter Libby Lewis giving a report in which she mentioned Lewis Libby. Not especially interesting, but I thought it was mildly amusing.

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Yesterday, I listened live to G.W. Bush's press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi. I believe this was within a couple of hours of the U.S. Supreme Court essentially saying that Bush's plan for his captives (or are we supposed to say "detainees"?) in Guantanamo Bay is unwarranted and illegal. Before he started taking questions, he did some speechifying. During this segment, he said the following (in regards to having spoken with a Japanese woman whose daughter was apparently (from what I gather) abducted from Japan and brought to North Korea in what was surely an illegal act):

It also reminded me about the nature of the regime -- what kind of regime would kidnap people, just take them off offshore, you know[?]
Note: I've copied this quotation directly from t…

A Family of Loons

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Yesterday, Beth was working and I was not. After I joined her for her lunch break, I swiped her car, loaded it up with my kayak and gear, and went out to Grafton Pond. I spent about an hour and a quarter on the water. As I was heading back to shore, I came across a family of two adult loons and one baby:



My photographic skills are not quite brilliant, but I'm happy enough with these shots that I'm willing to share them.I believe these are the first loons I've ever seen in the wild. Awfully pretty birds, they are.

T-Shirt Designs

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Last weekend, we went to MINIs On Top 2006. We went up on Friday and I was wearing a t-shirt of my own design. I got several compliments on it, so I'm taking that as an encouragement to mention my t-shirt designs here. These are available through cafepress, in case you're interested. The two designs I'm offering at the moment couldn't possibly hold much interest for anyone outside of New Hampshire. Perhaps future designs will appeal to a wider audience. I'll be sure to post new designs here as I produce them. As with everything I post, I welcome your feedback.

Obscure Music (to answer your question)

On Tuesday or Wednesday of last week, I stopped in to the local supermarket. Beth had asked me to pick up some deli meat and as it was being sliced, I found myself in conversation with a couple of the guys who worked there. The younger-looking one (who I'm guessing is somewhere between 14 and 18 years my junior) asked what kind of music I listen to and all I came up with was "a wide variety of stuff".

Then he asked whether I listened to any really obscure bands. I was still kind of in a daze from Monday and I don't think all of my synapses were really firing at full strength, so I just kind of fell into letting him know that my favorite band is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and that I also really dig Morphine and Pixies.

I think all three are fairly obscure. He was unfamiliar with Nick Cave, but something in his appearance led me to believe that I shouldn't steer him away from investigating. (I did get the impression that he was actually seeking recommendations for w…

On Burying My Uncle

Last week started very badly, with the news that my much beloved uncle, Elie, had succumbed to the cancer he had been fighting since late last year. The burial was on Monday, and so Beth and I drove down to Long Island to be there for that. It was nice seeing family (some of whom I hadn't seen in a couple of decades), although the circumstances for bringing us together were the saddest imaginable.

I am very thankful that we now have a GPS device that gives us on-the-fly directions to where we're going. The trip was estimated at 4 1/2 hours. With the NYC-area traffic thrown in, it took us just 5 hours, which gave us plenty of time to get there early and have some lunch before heading to the cemetery. (This in contrast to a few years ago when we missed my grandfather's funeral because the mapquest directions we had printed were wholly inadequate and got us so very lost that we never did find the cemetery. On that occasion, we ended up heading home thoroughly disheartened just…

Going to Town Meeting or, Rediscovering Direct Democracy

On May 9, Beth and I attended our first town meeting. This seems to be a peculiarity of life in New England. Once a year, the town has a meeting in which residents are welcome to speak their minds on various issues and to vote. It was an interesting process.

I was disappointed by the low turnout. In a town of over 6,000 people, I don't think any of the Articles received more than 325 votes. That's pretty sad, especially to someone who cherishes the idea of democracy and who thinks that direct democracy should be considered a nobler system than representative democracy.

The way things worked is that there were five uncontested elections and two or three other Articles that were voted on by paper ballot without public discussion. The balloting for these issues was open all day, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. At 6 p.m., the town meeting began.

I don't believe that the room had more than 250 people in it at any time during the meeting. For each of the remaining Articles, there was public …