Thursday, November 27, 2003

How to tell you are having your Thanksgiving dinner in The South: You tell your three guests that you'd like to start eating at 2 pm, and at 2:05 none of them are there yet.
"I am under arrest. I have the right to remain silent or to talk to myself . . ."

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

One of the most exciting internet tennis games I've seen yet!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

If only y'all knew all the good stuff I think of that I forget to blog. Man am I profound when nobody is around lstening to me. I'm like the charcter in Mystery Men who could turn invisible when no one was looking.

I'll just throw out now that I'm still enjoying playing through Bach's WTC (or K dependin on your spelling habits), a little each day. I've really felt my reading skill picking up this time through. I guess this will be my third trip through the book. Mind you, this is a lot like learning to first read a grownup type book when you are a kid. There's a lot I stumble over, and a lot that flies right past me. But now I'm occasionally able to keep a tempo going long enough to actually get some sense of how the pieces might sound if played by a real performer. It's very satisfying, but always challenging.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Today was the first day of my life where a fast food employee (Subway, in this case) looked at the book I was carrying and said, "wow, I've gotta read that book." It was the Jeff Foxworthy book. Not a bad little book though.
Study from the good folks at UNC, via (of course) Midwest Conservative Journal, via someone called titusonenine.

85% - all U.S. teens definitely believe in God
72% - ECUSA teens definitely believe in God

68% - all U.S. teens believe God is a personal being
61% - ECUSA teens believe God is a personal being

51% - all U.S. teens feel very or extremely close to God
36% - ECUSA teens feel very or extremely close to God

51% - all U.S. teens faith is very or extremely important in daily life
40% - ECUSA teens faith is very or extremely important in daily life

56% - all U.S. teens have made commitment to live life for God
32% - ECUSA teens have made commitment to live life for God

47% - all U.S. teens saying morality is relative
61% - ECUSA teens saying morality is relative

73% - all U.S. teens believe in a Judgement Day of divine
60% - ECUSA teens believe in a Judgement Day of divine reward/punishment

28% - all U.S. teens say some, most or all adults in their church are
46% - ECUSA teens say some, most or all adults in their church are
I wonder how many consecutive posts I can put up without anyone commenting on any of them.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Any thoughts out there on this? Seems like it could relate to blogging, or to listening to music on headphones, or just travelling by car. You aren't really in DesMoines, you are in your car. Etc.
For those who don't yet, you need to read Midwest Conservative Journal to keep up on the doings in and around the ECUSA. This article I found due to Chris's good blogging work at the aforementioned site.
It turns out I was mislead regarding the sloth, however, M&C is one of the best movies I've seen in quite a while. If you are an O'Brian fan, like me, you will not be disappointed by the characterizations of Jack and Stephen. They took a number of liberties with the events they chose to include, but nothing really out of character for O'Brian. And unlike, say, Kill Bill, there is no feminization of violence (or of anything else frankly) in this movie. It's a film about men. It was a bold move, in my mind, for the producers not to add an extraneous romance element, as seems to have been done in a lot of the action/war movies of the last 10 years. It would have been quite out of place here.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Off to see Master and Commander tonight. Hope it's good. Since I'm going with someone who has read the whole series countless times (vs my once), I should find out precisely how close it is to the books. I'm specifically looking forward to seeing a debauched sloth.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

If you've seen Mulholland Drive, but would like some one to explain it to you, there's a great review of it here. Just click on the magazine image. It starts on page 17.
I think I agree with this guy.
We've had the good fortune recently to get to know a young russian couple who moved here to Mebane to work for some friends of ours. We've loaned them one of our cars so they could go out to look for a car of their own. Anyhow, apparently the wife spent a whole day walking around the libraries at UNC in a state of astonishment. Apparently libraries of such size and scope do not exist in Russia. I guess we do need a bit of perspective to help us recognize what assets we have sometimes.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Is There a Common Culture ?

Over at Duane's blog there is some discussion about the ffects of tv on us folks. Comments I couldn't agree with more. But one of the comments got me started thinking about what sort of commonality we have to communicate with in our culture. I tend to feel slightly uncomfortable in a prologed conversation if I know my partners won't get references to Seinfeld or The Simpsons.

This, however, goes beyond television as well. I've been noticing for quite some time that there is no longer any common musical culture. Just try to find a radio station which doesn not try to appeal to a musical niche. I'm sure there must be exceptions, but I think you know what I'm talking about. I think the last musical group that everyone listened to was The Beatles. That's been a little while. Now the only songs you can count on a diverse group of people knowing are little stadium ditties (Who Let the Dogs Out?), or, guess what, old tv theme songs. Even the latter is getting hard now, since most theme songs these days don't even have words.

Don't even get me started on books. I'm embarrased to even bring up books in conversation with most people, because I get tired of the response, "well, it must be nice to have time to read, but I don't." In addition, I'm somewhat hampered by the fact that I tend to avoid best sellers on the principle that if it's a best seller, it must have a lowest common denominator appeal. We went to a little get together last weekend with some seemingly smart people we were just meeting for the first time, and they got into a fairly long discussion of the virtues of the various Michael Crichton books. I was conflicted, beacuse it's so rare for me to see new people actually discussing books, but on the other hand, I really can't imagine ever getting on a Crichton kick.

Also, I had the joy of watching Monty Python with the low attention span crowd, skipping around the DVD picking out the "funny" sketches, missing out on the running gags and themes from the episodes. Oh well.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Married With Couch

We have a hand-me-down couch that some friends gave us shortly after we moved to Mebane 3+ years ago. Lenise has been dying to replace it for quite a while now, and finally too the plunge and bought another one from the antique store down the street. We though we had it all worked out. Our new friends in town from Russia have very little furniture and said they would be happy to have it. A crew was supposed to come pick it up yesterday, but didn't come. I got a call this morning saying, "sorry we didn't come, we had to help our neighbor who had car trouble. Can we get it tonight at 6:20?" "Sure," I said.

I just now got a call saying we need to put it off because it's raining. It only started raing about 10 minutes ago. The bad part is we had to rearrange the house to be able to get the couch out at all. Plus it would probably be a good idea to get it out before we ick up th enew one, or we might be faced with the "stacked couch" problem.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I've been enjoying PressThink for a couple of weeks now, but this entry just says it all.
This really isn't the story of a robbery, it's the story of the worlds greatest loan officer.
Good article on Richard Pipes here. I first ran into Pipes on a C-SPAN show where he was arguing, based on a recent book he had written, that freedom was intimately tied to notions of private property.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

So it seems I've agreed to lead a trip to Ukraine next summer. I'm really looking forward to going again, but taking on worrying about a whole team instead of just me and my wife will be a bit challenging. Plus I have to do fundraising again. Ugh.