Tag Archives: random

Buy Nothing Christmas

Don’t dismiss it as a gimmick. This is worth reading, and worth thinking about, even if you do nothing about it.


I’ve been progressively more disgusted with our national obsession for buying gifts at a drop of a hat – not that it’s bad to give gifts, but that we are *obliged* to do so, and that we teach our kids to expect it, rather than teaching them to be surprised by the blessings that every day offers.

Yes, these people are strange, but that’s sort of the point. This should *not* be strange. Learn to see the wonder in every-day life, OK? I know it is there, and I would like to start seeing it again. This may involve doing some unconventional things, since the conventional things are often just plain wrong-minded.

Apache Training

Past the half-way mark in the Apache training class. Things are going well. Having an intelligent student makes all the differentce between a frustrating week and an enjoyable week. Having a student with Unix experience makes things even better. This has been an enjoyable week so far.

Weird thing happened this week. Elections coming up in Kenya on the 27th, and there are two people that really have a chance of winning. Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the son of the first president, and hand-picked by the current president to be his succsssor, and Mwai Kibaki. Kibaki used to be the current president’s vice president, but was fired a few years back. Kibaki was involved in a pretty serious car accident yesterday. The official story is that he is not badly hurt, but he was flown to London for treatment, which seems more serious than the fractured arm and sprained ankle that they are reporting. It seems rather suspicious, in a country where politicians have been involved in “accidents” as they rose to power. But today Kibaki assured people that there was nothing underhanded about the accident – that it really was a normal accident.

And today we had the first real snow of the year. There’s quite a bit of accumulation, and the roads were kind of a mess on the way home. People were driving 35 about the whole way, which got annoying real fast, but was probably just as well.

Pres. Lincoln

I have been reading my great great grandfather’s diary (Isaac F Nace, Company F, 128th Pennsylvania, Union Army), and today I came across this:

Fri, April 10th, 1863

Weather very fine. Pres. Lincoln had a review of the 11th and 12th army Corps. We were taken out about 9 A.M. and had to wait till about 8 in P.M. when the President together with General Hooker made their apearance to review our corps. After the review was over we proceeded to our camp tired and hungry. Subscribed for a picture giving the names of our company & battles we were in. Have to pay $1.00 for the picture.

Scary movies?

I don’t see very many movies. Most of the stuff that comes out in the theatres looks sufficiently like dreck that it seems almost criminal to waste $6 on it. But, occasionally, I’ll go back and get something on DVD that I missed in the theater. I have a list, and usually stick to it.

Well, yesterday, I rented one of the movies that I missed, very intentionally, when it was in the theater. The critics raved. The masses flocked. I thought it looked like crap. Turns out I should have stuck with my first impressions.

The movie was “The Blair Witch Project.” Yes, that’s right, I had never seen it until yesterday. When it came out in theaters, my impression was that it was a badly done, low budget B-grade horror flick that was done by a buch of high school movie class dropouts. And, it turns out, I was a little too generous in my praise.

It was, I believe, the worse movie I have ever seen. It lacked plot. It lacked resolution. It lacked any hint of movie-making talent. Now, this latter was presumably the whole point of it – supposed to make it more raw, gritty, believable. Um. Yeah. Whatever. It was complete poo poo. I have nothing whatsoever good to say about it. It was at no point scary, believable, or remotely appealing.

By about halfway through, I found myself in that state that I tend to get into with really long Charlotte Bronte novels. I feel that I have a responsibility to finish the book, because I need to finish what I started, and because it is considered one of the classics and blah blah blah. People said that this was worth watching. That it used clever cinematic technique. That it has an interesting ending.

I can’t recal when I have so completely wasted an hour and 18 minutes since the last time I watched “The Brave Little Toaster.” Of course, at least when I watch the toaster, my daughter enjoys it, and that’s what life is all about. This was just wasted. I feel soiled. I need to do something useful for 3 or 4 hours for penance.

This was, by the way, last night. My video store has a 3 movies/$3/3 days deal on “older” movies, and, since I tend to rent movies that are not on the “new releases” shelf, that’s what I usually go for. The other movie I got was “Scream” which was very amusing, in a clichéd kind of way. Still a waste of time, but entertaining. I watched that today, since I sort of have the day off. I went in to work for a while, to do last-minute things for class on Monday.

Oh, I said 3 movies, didn’t I? Well, the other one was American Pie, which was not quite what I was expecting. I have to admit, at the risk of being branded a prude or an old fogie, I was somewhat shocked that this sort of thing would be shown in theaters. I guess it’s been a pretty long time since I’ve seen an R-rated movie. One tends not to see them very often when one has young kids. It wasn’t so much the sex that was alarming as the language, which seemed far harsher than I remember hearing in a theater before.

Moving from Advogato

I believe I have this working. And, once again, I am really impressed with how easy that was to get working.

So, this post is just to say that I’m moving here from Advogato, because I really prefer to run stuff on my own servers when I can, and because this just works better than the stuff at Advogato. So there. But I’m not going to go to all the trouble to move all that content from there to here, because that would just be silly, now wouldn’t it? So go there for all the back issues.

Is this thing on?

OK, first of all, let me just say, I *hate* the term “blog” and that’s the last time you’ll see me use it. Secondly, I am profoundly impressed with Movable Type and how easy it was to set up. If only I could make my software this easy to install.