July 31, 2004

A Plan Of Sorts

So Nin decided we needed margaritas to overcome the pain of cleaning/packing that we'd been doing all day. Well, after two of her very strong ones with a float of brandy, I now neither feel like cleaning or packing. (or spelling or typing either)

Posted by Ithildin at 3:30 PM | Comments (4)

Doggone!

Mickey has a new dog fest up at her place!

Posted by Ithildin at 11:05 AM

I Knew It!

Extended Extended Versions!

....But even when the final product hits the shelves in November, only New Line and EA will know which plot elements were created from scratch and which are based on actual footage Peter Jackson shot but still hasn't seen the light of day. "They're really protective of that footage," Gray says, "because obviously, they want to make the extended extended versions someday--in a trilogy box set or whatever. They want to keep the franchise alive for years to come."...........Thousands of movie production photos line the walls, and hours of footage from the films--some of it not even included in the special extended editions--fill artists' hard drives.
Posted by Ithildin at 10:51 AM | Comments (2)

3.5

Why yes, it is 345am. There were two earthquakes, first one woke me up, second one got me out of bed to go calm the dog down who was woofing at that point. It felt stronger than a 3.5, and I felt two, but only seeing a report of one. Usually the small ones don't wake me up or make the dog woof.

I'm going to try and go back to sleep now.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:51 AM

July 30, 2004

Evening Prayer

Evening Prayer from The Book of Common Prayer, Friday, 30 July 2004:

O Lord, open thou our lips
All and our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

O God, make speed to save us.
All O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
All as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.
All The Lord's name be praised.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:05 PM | Comments (2)

The Dwight Eisenhower Of The 19th Century?

A new take on a guy named Grant

Posted by Ithildin at 5:31 PM | Comments (1)

Harry Pottawa....

It's Harry Pottawa, as Muggles descend on capital

....Is Professor Severus Snape a Byronic romantic hero or an unredeemable "greasy git?" Can Harry Potter's moods in "Order of the Phoenix" be put down to teenage angst? Or are there Jewish overtones to J.K. Rowling's output?

All that and more will be revealed in academic and literary papers to be delivered at the Harry Potter fan convention this weekend in the capital.

But there's bad news for Harry's younger fans -- the adult Muggles (non wizards) -- want all the fun for themselves.

No one under the age of 16 will be permitted at what the convention's website is billing as an "adult oriented" event -- and those between 16 and 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Grown-up Potter devotees argue that while the series is primarily aimed at children, Rowling sprinkled clues and references throughout the books which only adults would pick up -- hence the academic parsing of all things Potter.

Three days of lectures, discussions and socialising for up to 500 Potter groupies expected to attend, will include a party Saturday night to honor the fictional wizard's birthday on July 31.

The convention, which is not endorsed by Rowling, or the publishers of the Potter series of books and films, is taking place at the University of Ottawa.

Whether devotees will ride the Hogwarts Express into town, or arrive by more conventional transport, remained unclear.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:28 PM

Subway Takes The Low Road

Another email I received this morning revealed the following pic from Subway Europe's tray liners:

supersize.jpg
It has come to our attention that SUBWAY, an American company, is using this tray liner (see below for English translation) in their restaurants in Germany and across Europe. In a shameless and anti-American effort to increase sales in Europe, SUBWAY restaurants are promoting the film, "Super Size Me," a documentary about a man who gains weight by gorging himself at McDonald's for 30 days straight without any exercise.

[....]

The most offensive part of this new advertising campaign is the display of an obese Statue of Liberty holding a burger and fries in her hands. The headline screams “Why are Americans so fat?” (The headline uses the German word “Amis” – a derogatory term for Americans.)

Posted by Ithildin at 1:29 PM

Bond, Dubya Bond

From one of the multitude of email lists I'm on:

bond.jpg

Posted by Ithildin at 11:42 AM

July 29, 2004

FotR 50 Year Later

How Tolkien triumphed over the critics

Posted by Ithildin at 4:27 PM

You Tell 'Em, Rudy!

From the Kerry Spot:

RUDY GIULIANI ON FAHRENHEIT 9/11

“I haven’t seen it. I don’t really need Michael Moore to tell me about September 11th.”

Posted by Ithildin at 3:13 PM | Comments (1)

July 28, 2004

Traprain Law

Iron Age 'nerve centre' uncovered on hill

EXCAVATIONS at a large hill fort in East Lothian have uncovered what archaeologists believe to be one of the nerve centres of Iron Age Scotland.

The new findings at Traprain Law, near Haddington, include the first coal jewellery workshop unearthed in Scotland as well as hundreds of artefacts giving new insight into life in the 700BC-AD43 era.

Experts who have been working on the site for several weeks are now able to paint a picture of a densely populated hilltop town which was home to leaders of local tribes, following the discovery of multiple ramparts, Roman pottery, gaming pieces, tools and beads.

At the centre of the archaeological site, which is one of the most important in Scotland, a medieval building, first uncovered by a fire in 1996, has now been fully excavated by the 20-strong team of archaeologists, also showing the area was occupied hundreds of years later.

The ten metre-long building is understood to have been built during the 14th century to supply pilgrims visiting the hill because of its traditional connections with St Mungo, whose mother was thought to have been banished from the hill by her father, the mythical King Loth, when she became pregnant.

St Mungo brought Christianity to the west of Scotland.

The whole article here.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:09 PM

Vanity

Carnival of the Vanities is up, and I actually contributed this time!

Posted by Ithildin at 10:45 AM

Nothing To Do With Iraq?

Interesting tidbit from The Corner:

"One of the most sobering pieces of information to come out of the investigation of the March 11th bombings [in Madrid] is that the planning for the attacks may have begun nearly a year before 9/11. ... It appears that some kind of attack would have happened even if Spain had not joined the Coalition -- or if the invasion of Iraq had never occurred." --- Lawrence Wright, "The Terror Web," in the 8/2/04 New Yorker.
Posted by Ithildin at 10:28 AM

Thank You

Thanks to everyone who has nominated A&C as an "Anyone But Andrew Sullivan" blog. (I feel like a PBS program: "Funding Provided by the Anyone But Andrew Sullivan Foundation and Viewers Like You"!). I really appreciate the love and concern, I really do. A friend suggested I set up a Target wedding registry thing for household goods, so I'm pondering the idea, though I think I'd feel kinda silly.

Anywho, thanks again! My stress level is going to be going through the roof these next weeks and months, so it's nice to know there are folks out there in the ether pulling for me.

Later: I'm reminded that you can but Target stuff via Amazon now, so I can just do an Amazon Wishlist.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:11 AM | Comments (5)

July 27, 2004

Strike A Pose

The Kerry people are saying that there were to be no photos taken at NASA and that they were leaked to smear him. But looking at the set, Kerry, and those with him, sure look like they're posing for a picture to me.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:21 PM | Comments (5)

Waaaaa! They Hate Us So

This has to be one of the stupidest things I've read in a while (and that's saying something.)

Discussing how much America is hated, Senator Graham had this nugget of wisdom to share:

Senator Graham said re-electing Mr Bush would be viewed by people abroad as a majority of Americans approving of Mr Bush's policies.

DUUUUUUH! Isn't that sort of the point of an election?

Posted by Ithildin at 4:17 PM | Comments (2)

RL Meltdown

What a difference a day makes. A few days ago, I was so pleased with myself for having a concrete short term and long term plan. I was feeling confident, even [gasp] happy. I should have known that practically guaranteed everything falling apart. Yep. The house we've rented for nearly ten years is being sold. Goodbye plans, hello mad scramble to house me, my parents, my brother and sister and our pets. Parents are going to have to move to UT ASAP instead of the year and half from now they'd planned, I have to try and come up with all the money I'm going to need to rent an apartment in this area, plus all the stuff I need to buy that I currently share (hey, maybe Andrew Sullivan can give me some of his pledge drive money! :) ). Just thinking about it is making me super queasy.

I was doing okay last night, but this morning I feel really overwhelmed and black hole being sucked into.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:38 AM | Comments (9)

July 26, 2004

Twice In A Weekend

I actually left the house on Saturday and Sunday! Yesterday, we took mum out to play pool for a few hours in the afternoon, and I had a Strongbow for me, and I had one for Paul. (I'm just caring and giving that way). When we got home. I grilled steaks on the BBQ, which were lovely if I do say so myself. I also opened the bottle of wine I bought at the Bonny Doon weekend, and it was yummy!

Posted by Ithildin at 5:40 PM | Comments (1)

Misery Loves Company?

French Prez Annoys Others, Too

Posted by Ithildin at 12:46 PM | Comments (1)

July 24, 2004

A Post For DG

We went to the mall this afternoon so my mum and I could spend our birthday money. First we had a few margaritas, then we went shopping! I got two Asian styled tops and a pair of black slacks from Chicos, and I got "Cold Mountain" and "Mystery, Alaska" on DVD. Now I'm waiting for my Cherry Bancha tea to steep!

Posted by Ithildin at 8:41 PM | Comments (3)

Yes

I took the post that was here down. I thought better of it, shouldn't have done it in the first place. Back to regular blogging tomorrow.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:19 PM | Comments (3)

The Perils Of Living With A Ninjababe

I guess she told me!

Posted by Ithildin at 12:15 PM | Comments (1)

July 23, 2004

Gems

Since Alaska is on "the list" (a potential relocation state), I decided to search out some Alaskan blogs. I found two wonderful ones that are in the personal journal vein, well written, evocative, all that good stuff.

Bad Behavior & Perspicacious. Well worth your time to check out.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:41 PM | Comments (7)

Short But Sweet

A letter to the editor in today's Monterey Herald:

Bush vs. Moore

When George W. Bush wakes up Wednesday, Nov. 3, he will still be president of the United States of America.

When Michael Moore wakes up Wednesday, Nov. 3, he will still be a fat, scruffy, unmade bed.

I have withheld the letter writer's name, but you can see it if you go here.

:)

Posted by CrankyBeach at 1:42 PM | Comments (2)

A Sad Plight

Got this on one mf my email lists....

To whoever it may concern:

During the Clinton Administration I had an extremely good and well paying
job. I took numerous vacations and had several vacation homes. Since
President Bush took office, I have watched my entire life change for the
worse. I lost my job. I lost my two sons in that terrible Iraqi War. I
lost my homes. I lost my health insurance. As a matter of fact, I lost
virtually everything and became homeless. Adding insult to injury, when
the authorities found me living like an animal, instead of helping me,
they arrested me. I will do anything to insure President Bush's defeat in
the next election.

I will do anything that Senator Kerry wants, to insure that a Democrat
is back in the White House come next year. Bush has to go. I just thought
you would like to know how this senior citizen views the Bush
Administration. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

Sincerely, Saddam Hussein, unanimously elected President of Iraq

Posted by Ithildin at 9:10 AM | Comments (2)

Lord Save Us...

from melodramatic Hollywood pantywaists! Could they be more overwrought and screechy?

Politics and presidential elections were on everyone's lips at Monday's Gotham preem of "The Manchurian Candidate."

"This is a movie about political brainwashing, and we're right back there again now," said director Jonathan Demme. "I hope it has the potential for stimulating people to start thinking about the process because Lord knows we could use some stimulation," he added.

I think most of Hollywood are poster children for, "This Is Your Brain On Drugs".

Posted by Ithildin at 8:55 AM | Comments (2)

'Saavik' is 'Fat Actress'

Kirstie Alley to Play a 'Fat Actress'

Kirstie Alley will take on tabloids, Hollywood and herself in Showtime's "Fat Actress," a reality-comedy series about the life of an overweight celebrity.

Alley proposed the series to the cable channel as a "send-up of her own image as well as Hollywood's obsession with weight and beauty," said Robert Greenblatt, entertainment president for Showtime Networks Inc.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:44 AM

July 22, 2004

I Knew It!

When I saw Rae's result, I just knew I'd get the same. Nice indeed! Piffle!

You Are
Tangerine

You are a beautiful person, in a wistful kind of way. If you could, you would spend all your time daydreaming and writing poetry. You are a tragic beauty.

You are sensitive and caring, and you don't take insults well. You don't smile much, but when you do, you really mean it.

People like to be around you because you are a calming influence. You have an appreciation for all things beautiful, and you probably have some potted plants. You also most likely own a cat.

You like Sundays and hot tea. You will spend your entire life yearning for quiet beauty, which is a rarity in this world, so you read a lot.

Everyone you know thinks you're "nice."

Take the Which Led Zeppelin Song Are You? Quiz

Posted by Ithildin at 5:45 PM | Comments (5)

Power To The People Indeed

Open Arms for Open-Source News

A small California newspaper has undertaken a first-of-its-kind experiment in participatory journalism in which nearly all the content published in a regularly updated online edition and a weekly print edition is submitted by community members. It's all free.

Following in the footsteps of past community journalism projects that sought to give individuals a voice in local news, as well as the growing trend in news-like blogs, The Northwest Voice is giving residents of Bakersfield's northwest neighborhoods near-total control of content. An editor is on hand largely to ensure that articles, letters and photographs submitted through the publication's Web-based content-management system adhere to a minimal set of standards, and to choose the best submissions for inclusion in the print edition.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:51 PM

Where's The Party?

I guess the protesters here at the FCC shindig were a mite disappointed at the lack of turnout:

Lorie Hanson came out and was disappointed with the lack of people who came to speak or listen to the crowd.

"Turnout for Monterey is really low," said Hanson, who was carrying a "Where's the Party?" sign.


Awwwww.... how sad.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:09 PM | Comments (1)

On The Astrophysics Front

Hawking Fills World In on Theory of Black Hole Blowouts

The world of astrophysics was sent spinning yesterday when Professor Stephen Hawking, the Cambridge University mathematician, backtracked on his 30-year-old theory about black holes.

Hawking, something of a modern-day Einstein, turned his original theory on its head when he revealed that black holes, the mysterious massive bodies formed from collapsed stars, do not destroy everything they consume but instead eventually fire out matter and energy "in a mangled form."
His radical theory was presented in a paper to the seventeenth International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation in Dublin.

The document capped a three-decade struggle to explain an elemental paradox in scientific thinking: how can black holes destroy all traces of consumed matter and energy, as Hawking long believed, when subatomic theory says such elements must survive in some form?

Posted by Ithildin at 11:55 AM

Bomb Threat Aboard Turkish Ship off U.S.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

WASHINGTON — A report of a bomb aboard a Turkish merchant ship Thursday forced the U.S. Coast Guard (search) to escort the vessel away from the port of Philadelphia and out into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Delaware, senior Defense officials told FOX News.

The ship's master notified authorities about the possible bomb, officials said. The information was revealed after the captain refused to have portions of the ship searched by the Coast Guard.

Upon reaching a safe distance off the coast, officials planned to inspect the ship.

This particular vessel is well known to authorities and its prior movements have been tracked, senior Defense officials said.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:47 AM | Comments (2)

Even Though...

I'm not a mom, I am a sister and a daughter, and this is how I feel too.

(So maybe I'm a "Security Spinster"?)

Later the next day: I just read this post of Katie's and I think being an "Eowyn Voter", is more pleasing than being a "Security Spinster" :)

(This Eowyn line, "Those without swords can still die upon them" has been a sig quote of mine for a few years now.)

Posted by Ithildin at 11:30 AM | Comments (3)

For Kicks?

According to this article at NRO, it appears the Syrians on Annie Jacobson's flight have been identified. I was thinking about it last night, and if these are the guys, and they did act in a purposely suspicious manner, you gotta wonder why? Now this is my cynical thought: because they got their kicks out of mentally terrorizing a bunch of infidels. I remembered that incident shortly after 9/11 when there was a group of Arab men in the Denny's who purposely made the woman sitting in the booth next to them think they might be terrorists. So the band members weren't terrorists, but there's a very good chance they have sympathy for terrorists and are in agreement with their cause and methods. Why not pass the time on the plane freaking out their fellow passengers?

Hey, I said it was a cynical thought. But that's the kind of gal I am.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:03 AM | Comments (3)

July 21, 2004

The Loonies are Loose!

You haven't seen loonies until you watched a FCC open forum.

My goodness! There are people up there saying things that make Ith and I go "Huh?".

People are going on about how FCC should provide more money for PBS because they were the only fair and balanced place for people to get current news.

And, our local NBC affiliate was racist and classist because they wouldn't show Al Sharpton on Saturday Night Live, and something to do with Wal-Mart (We couldn't figure out the connection...).

[rolls eyes]

I'm going back to my drinking now and laughing at the broadcast.

(Hey, at least the closed captioning equipment Ith's company used for the event is working. The person typing it in can't spell, but it's working! That's a plus...)

Posted by Ninjababe at 11:11 PM

King Arthur -- The Review

Forgot to mention I saw it. Generally, I enjoyed it, and it proved once again that a lot of reviewers don't pay attention. I remember seeing/hearing more than one review that mentioned that Arthur was not a native of Britain. Except that wasn't the case -- his mother was a native and his father was a Roman. Anyway, back to the review... It was very much -- to me at least -- the beginning of the Arthur legend, as opposed to the end. I liked that. Meant I didn't have to cry when Arthur "died". The "no one expects the Spanish Inquisition" part was just plain odd though. Could have done without that. The head Saxon baddie and his vaguely Texan sounding accent was jarring, especially since his son had a very pronounced Germanic accent. I assumed the actor was an American, but it turns out he's Swedish. Wonder where the accent came from? The other oddity for me was making Arthur a follower of Pelagius. Now, I thought it was cool, Pelagius being an interest of mine, but I did think it was rather an odd thing to find in a summer action movie. What else? Beautiful horses, great looking movie over all, Kiera Knightly was enjoyable as usual, and Arthur and his Knights were not hard on the eyes at all. Ioan Gruffudd, who played Lancelot, I'd only ever seen in the Horatio Hornblower mini-series, and he's always had that puppy dog look --- no puppy in this movie!

No Arthur movie I've ever seen has been perfect, or met my mental vision (if only they'd turn Mary Stewart's books into movies!), but I'd have to say this one came closet.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:00 PM | Comments (1)

Good To Know...

but I prefer malt vinegar on my fries.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:29 PM | Comments (1)

Pardon Me While I Zone Out

linkd.gif

Like I needed yet more news beamed into my brain. But this is very cool, so go check it out!

(Seen at ASV & DaGoddess' place)

Posted by Ithildin at 4:00 PM

Bigotry

Paul has an illuminating post on discrimination against a young man of Scottish ancestry in Ottawa.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:20 AM | Comments (1)

On The Frontier

I really loved this article. My mum grew up a few hours from the towns in question, and I think it's a pretty good illustration of my American/Canadian spilt personality. I have this Californian/Far North Canadian thing going, so sometimes I confuse even myself!

Posted by Ithildin at 9:13 AM | Comments (1)

July 20, 2004

Lingerie In A Twist

The French apparently don't know quite what to make of Harry Potter:

A French literature professor at a teachers' training institute thinks Harry "glorifies individualism, excessive competition and a cult of violence," which he thinks is bad. A philosophy professor responds that Harry Potter is a socialist tract. The Star summarizes:

The five Harry Potter books -- enormously successful in French translation -- are stuffed with "neo-liberal stereotypes" which caricature approvingly the "excesses of the Anglo-Saxon social model," (Ilias) Yocaris wrote.

Thus all representatives of the state (the Ministry of Magic) are lampooned as ridiculous, or incompetent or sinister. Harry goes to a "private" school, whose "micro-society" is a "pitiless jungle" that glorifies "individualism, excessive competition and a cult of violence."

Public institutions are unable to protect individuals. Au contraire, Harry Potter and his friends find that they have to break the magical state-imposed rules to protect themselves from evil forces.

...Le Monde last week published an equally erudite reply to Yocaris. Far from being a capitalist lackey, Harry Potter is the first fictional hero of the anti-globalist, anti-free market, pro-Third World, "Seattle" generation, according to Isabelle Smadja.

...Harry and his friends show great concern for the "house elves," the unpaid servants of the magical world. The fact that the elves are mostly content with their lot is, says Smadja, a "pertinent" critique of globalization.

Even worse, many of the wicked characters have French names, such as Voldemort (flight of death) and Malfoy (bad faith).

The whole article here (scroll down)

Posted by Ithildin at 6:13 PM | Comments (3)

Excitement!

We're having more excitement this week than in a month of Sundays. Both the FCC and the 9th Circuit Court are meeting -- at the same time, but separately -- at the Monterey Conference Center. One of the guys just came back and said there's protesters, bomb sniffing dogs, and security up the wazoo.

Protesters, here in Monterey! Concept.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:12 PM | Comments (5)

Many Thanks

Thanks to everyone who left and sent birthday greetings! And thanks to Russ for the package I got from Amazon yesterday! Can't wait to start reading it, thank you!!!

Posted by Ithildin at 10:56 AM | Comments (2)

What's It Gots In His Pants, Precious?

I know everyone is talking about this, and I don't actually have anything to add, but I really wanted to use that subject header!

I'm easily amused.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:51 AM | Comments (3)

July 16, 2004

A Whole Day

Well, almost. All happy!

See?

Posted by Ithildin at 6:26 PM | Comments (5)

On Tap

Once I get out of here, I'm off to Whole Foods aka Whole Paycheck, to get a lovely assortment of cheeses, a couple of fresh baguettes, and some red wine. That's my requested birthday dinner. Then Stargate: Atlantis, and one hopes, pressies! Tomorrow, mum is taking me to my favourite Greek place for dinner, and Sunday we're going with Margaret to see Spiderman II. The only lowpoint is I feel like I'm coming down with a cold.

(see? another happy post!)

Posted by Ithildin at 5:30 PM | Comments (2)

Keeping Updated

I really am trying to stick to happy, birthday type, posts, but I am also keeping up on the "Terror in the Skies" story from yesterday. New updates are here.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:12 PM

SG: Atlantis

300x250_tonight2.jpg

This little blurb brought to you by "Happy Birthday Posting, Inc.)

Posted by Ithildin at 11:22 AM | Comments (2)

Happy Birthday Posting

Since it's my birthday, I was thinking of trying to stick to only happy, non "freak me out" type posts today. Think I can manage it?

Posted by Ithildin at 8:25 AM | Comments (17)

July 15, 2004

Still Freaked

I haven't been able to get my mind off the article in the post I did a few hours back. I saw a headline yesterday that said the airlines were expecting a record summer, and if you combine that with the concern in the government about potential attacks this summer, it all adds up to really, really bad.

If I wasn't in full "Nervous Nelly" mode before, I sure am now.

Later the next day: (technically this doesn't count as a post) Michelle Malkin has some updates.

Still later: A little background on the subject Willow talked about in the comments. (It's from a post I did in April, but it's relevant, I believe)

And yet later: Michelle Malkin has a followup.

A snippet:

.... the Washington Post has been sitting on the true story of Annie Jacobsen's "Terror in the Skies" account since last Friday.

Rod Dreher from The Corner adds to the information out there.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:10 PM | Comments (4)

I Think That Was The Other Cheek

Yesterday, we chatted about "...it's a slap in the face for every woman in America..." blah, blah, blah. Today, I think the other cheek just got it.

John Kerry has asked Hillary Rodham Clinton to introduce her husband, former President Clinton, on the first night of the Democratic National Convention....

I dunno, isn't that kind of like asking her to cook when the guys come over to watch football? I'm just asking!

Posted by Ithildin at 3:30 PM | Comments (1)

Chilling

I found this link over on Michelle Malkin's blog. Remember what happened to James Woods just before 9/11? Yeah. That.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:42 PM | Comments (3)

Rumours

Listening to Rush and he's talking about rumours and scuttlebut: Libyan nuke scientists were working in Iraq for Saddam.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:30 AM | Comments (5)

It's The Real Thing

Coke is, that's the way it should be... ooops, sorry, 70s FB there...

Anyway, turns out Francis has a "real blog" now. (as opposed to a faux one?) (heck if I know) (but there you go)

Posted by Ithildin at 10:20 AM

July 14, 2004

How Sweet!!

You guys are the best, you really are. I got my first birthday present today, and it was from a reader! Thank you, 'The Thomas'! How incredibly sweet of you!

I was so surprised when I read the card.

Pride & Prejudice DVDs! Something I've really been wanting for a while now. Perfect! Especially as I'm reading the book for the first time. Great timing.

[virtual hugs]

Posted by Ithildin at 7:36 PM | Comments (10)

Uhhh, Never Mind!

Democratic candidate John Kerry, whose campaign demanded to know on Wednesday whether President Bush read a key Iraq intelligence assessment, did not read the document himself before voting to give Bush the authority to go to war, aides acknowledged.

Oops!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:33 PM

This One Is For Scully

aka Justene.

NYT PAGE ONE THURS: BUSH TO DROP CHENEY GOSSIP

The latest theory about Vice President Dick Cheney's future on the Republican ticket, advanced privately by prominent Democrats, including members of Congress, holds that Cheney recently dropped his personal doctor because of drug addiction so that he could hire a new one, who will conveniently tell him in August that his heart problems have made him unfit to run with Bush!

So reports the NEW YORK TIMES, in a planned Front Page story on Thursday.

Reporter Elisabeth Bumiller is set to kick the gossip into high gear with a 1,600-word speculative, newsroom sources tell DRUDGE.

Developing...

Posted by Ithildin at 6:30 PM

When Hobbits Go Bad

Or something....

This is an odd saga of fandom gone wrong with a little criminal activity thrown in for good measure. Truly strange stuff.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:23 PM | Comments (2)

Bimbos & Lattes

I was reading a Q&A with a WA Post reporter, and I have to say, people are past stupid. There are actually people ragging on the Bush twins because the said in an interview for Vogue (Vogue, not an in depth policy interview with US News & World Report) that some of their favorite things are Mexican food, Starbucks lattes, and sushi. Apparently this makes them out of touch with mainstream Americans. Oh, and it makes them bimbos too -- go figure. Well I guess I'm out of touch with mainstream Americans, cus gosh darn, I like those things too. Not only that, but I like Greek food, imported cheese, and mochas! I'm such a BIMBO!!

Lord, these maroons have their father to whine about, not to mention an entire administration, but their burning bleat is the twins and the fact they like *$%^& Mexican food?

Give me a break and go get lives and a sense of proportion, for pity's sake!

Later: I forgot, I could have said it in Latin! Fac ut vivas!

Posted by Ithildin at 4:17 PM | Comments (3)

I Don't Care!

From an AP story on Hillary not speaking at the Dem festivities:

"It's a slap in the face, not personally for Hillary Clinton, but for every woman in the Democratic Party and every woman in America," said Judith Hope, a major party fund-raiser.

Oh, puhlease!! Spare me.

!!!pet peeve pet peeve pet peeve!!!!

I hate it when they say things like that! "Every woman"? ARGH!!!

No, Judith it is NOT!! Why the hell would I care?

Geeeez!

Get a frellin' grip.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:01 PM | Comments (1)

"It's the Hypocrisy, Stupid"

In Bush's War Room, the Gloves Are Always Off

Shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday, a handful of President Bush's campaign aides huddled around two small speakers in a room that, with its shades drawn, was lit by the glow of 15 television monitors. They were listening to the voice of Senator John Kerry.

None of the networks were carrying Mr. Kerry's entire speech to a group of financial donors, mostly women, in Boston that day. But Mr. Bush's operatives had somehow arranged for their own audio feed, they refused to say how, and were listening intently, ready to pounce on any opening for attack.

After sitting impatiently through what seemed to be a typical stump speech, they found one: Mr. Kerry said he was "proud" of votes by him and his running mate, Senator John Edwards, last fall against the president's requested $87 billion appropriation for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a vote that Republicans have used to make a case that Mr. Kerry has been failing to support the troops after voting to authorize the war.

[....]

Several journalists who cover Mr. Kerry later said they were too embarrassed to say publicly that it took the Bush operatives to spot what was notable in Mr. Kerry's remarks.

[....]

But Mr. Kerry's pronouncement that he was proud of the vote against the $87 billion appropriation gave the war room something to attack. He was actually referring to Mr. Edwards when he said: "I'm proud to say that John joined me in voting against that $87 billion when we knew the policy had to be changed."

Posted by Ithildin at 10:42 AM

Fish & Chips

Sorry for the lack of meaningful posting. I've been involved in a marathon email list discussion on abortion and gay marriage all at once. The posts I've been writing and reading seem to be running novella length, so my lil brain is as fried as a nice plate of fish and chips with little steam left for deep posts here.

My bad! I'll try and do better.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:26 AM

July 13, 2004

Avast!

If you're a "Pirates of the Caribbean" fan, I command you to go watch this. You will get serious amusment from this, me hearties!

(go to videos, click on "Girls Lie Too")

Posted by Ithildin at 7:07 PM | Comments (1)

Confession

I've been watching "North Shore" on FOX this summer. I'm so ashamed. And worse, I've been watching "Blow Out" on BRAVO.

It's sad, isn't it?

Posted by Ithildin at 6:25 PM | Comments (3)

You Don't Say?

Conservative black organizations are formed and funded by white Republicans, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume said yesterday in an address to a packed ballroom at the group's annual convention here.

I'll be sure to pass that on to my black conservative friends, Kweisi.

What a maroon! And he gets away with it!

The whole article here, and a hearty, "AVAST!", to Cam for the link.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:44 AM | Comments (2)

You Say Rodeo, I Say Rodeo

It's that time of year again, time for the annual fight over the Salinas Rodeo pronunciation. This is what we argue about just about when we get tired of the whole Paso Robles debate. See, it's pronounced Salinas Row Day Oh Grounds, not Row Dee Oh (though they're called Row Dee Oh events). Think Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Apparently, it's the regional/Spanish way to say it from back in the day. Anyway, every year at rodeo time, the argument erupts, and this morning it was the topic on KTOM. People get so irate over it! It's all rather entertaining, and we never seem to tire of it all. That's what happens when you live in the boonies, I guess.

Later: I should point out I don't really care either way, two, its been pronounced that way here for more than a century (at the minimum), and three I see it as a regional dialect thing, just the way some people in other states pronounce things funny.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:57 AM | Comments (3)

July 12, 2004

The Cutting Edge

Interesting article about the history of samurai swords and the stories behind some being displayed at a museum exhibit.

And related to the museum is the "Taste of Japan Summer Splash". You'll find a section on Charles Wirgman, and on the old Tokaido highway.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:36 PM

Scots Regiments III

Soldiers kicked out to 'soften up regiments'

THE military has been accused of using its own disciplinary code to expel soldiers from Scottish regiments so they can be ‘softened up’ for the axe.

Scotland on Sunday revealed last week that at least two historic regiments will be disbanded as a result of swingeing defence cuts, with the most likely targets those units with the biggest recruitment problems.

It has now emerged that the number of Scottish soldiers dismissed for indiscipline under archaic ‘Queen’s Regulations’ has soared over the past five years.

The toll of servicemen and women being kicked out of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers alone has soared by 300% in the past five years, from 10 in 1999/2000, to 40 in 2003/04.

Government critics suggest the MoD is deliberately increasing the number of troops dismissed to bolster its argument for axing regiments.

The number of Scots soldiers dismissed under Queen’s Regulations paragraph 9.414, which covers offences including indiscipline, failing drugs tests and engaging in "sexual aberration" has more than doubled to 245 since 2000.

"The number of people being kicked out under this code should be fairly consistent over the years," said John Thurso, the Lib Dems’ Scottish affairs spokesman.

"I find it hard to believe that there has been such a dramatic rise of cases of indiscipline in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. The only plausible answer is they are using exit codes such as 9.414 to push people out.

"It is unacceptable that when Scottish regiments are suffering such overstretch that experienced soldiers are being forced out.

"It worries me that this practise is being used to run down the regiment ahead of defence spending cuts."

Other related stories here.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:23 PM

Scots Regiments II

First Minister McConnell breaks his promise on threat to Scots regiments & admits he didn't challenge ministers in London over the plans.

.... Mr McConnell signalled he would offer no resistance to Treasury plans that could mean £2 billion of savings forced on the armed forces, possibly leading to the abolition of two of Scotland’s remaining regiments.

Instead, he backed Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, who on Monday promised a "ruthless" focus on public services and ruled out any pre-election spending spree on other departments.

"My view is that education, health, transport and tackling crime are the top priorities," Mr McConnell told journalists at Westminster. "These are and should be the top priorities."

Meanwhile, figures obtained by The Scotsman reveal that the MoD now employs more civil servants than soldiers. With army recruitment frozen until October, the army has 102,000 soldiers on its books, while the MoD employs 102,600 civil servants.

The prospect of Scottish regiments, including the Black Watch, which is now serving a second tour in Iraq, being amalgamated or abolished has unleashed a wave of protest from senior officers and politicians of all parties.

Mr McConnell yesterday refused to comment on his meetings with Mr Blair and other ministers, saying he would stick by a policy of not discussing his conversations with ministers in London.

Suggesting some confusion in the Executive on the issue, Mr McConnell first insisted he would wait for the results of Mr Brown’s spending review next week before consulting regimental leaders and others affected. Minutes later he hinted that he had raised the issue of the regiments with London-based ministers some weeks ago, but again refused to go into detail.

The First Minister’s position was condemned as "shocking" by the Conservatives, who have tabled a Commons motion censuring him and calling on "all of Scotland’s representatives to unite behind Scotland’s historic regiments".

Posted by Ithildin at 5:18 PM | Comments (2)

They Lied

So Much For 'Bush Lied'

.... The basis for the war in Iraq was not that Saddam could kill us all in 2003. It was that he might be in a position to do us and the world incomparable harm in the coming decade, and that the lesson of 9/11 was that (as President Bush said in June 2002) "if we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long."
Posted by Ithildin at 11:19 AM

Countdown To The Next Strike

Very good piece here.

Publicly, most government officials do not believe or at least will not confirm they believe Al-Qaida or other terrorists groups have acquired atomic weapons. Privately, as one senior intelligence official told me, “there is growing concern the ultimate nightmare might be true.”
Posted by Ithildin at 11:07 AM | Comments (1)

30 Sec. Movie Review: Last Samurai

We watched it finally on PPV last night and quite enjoyed it, despite the cliches. I swear, can anyone make a movie set in that time period where the Army guy isn't guilt ridden, angsty, and alcoholic?? The one cliche they did avoid, which pleased me no end, was not having the seemingly obligatory, "hero has sex with female lead just before going to die in battle" scene. Their alternative, where she dresses him for battle was far more powerful.

What really made this a winner was Ken Watanbe's performance. I see why he got an Oscar nomination. How I wish the movie was done from his POV. I don't have anything against Tom Cruise, but Watanabe commanded every scene he was in. (Not to mention he has the most gorgeous eyes.) It's also a wonderful looking movie -- the camera lingers on the seasons as they change. And the attention to detail in the costumes and weapons was excellent as well.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:51 AM | Comments (2)

July 11, 2004

Follow Up

I've gotten two letters/comments on this post, "A Letter From Iraq", from those serving in the Middle East.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:17 PM

July 10, 2004

Books For Soldiers

Julie points out a great cause she's personally involved in.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:47 PM | Comments (1)

Joe Wilson: Monumental Liar?

Via The Corner this morning, Plame's Input Is Cited on Niger Mission. Report Disputes Wilson's Claims on Trip, Wife's Role.

Former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, dispatched by the CIA in February 2002 to investigate reports that Iraq sought to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program with uranium from Africa, was specifically recommended for the mission by his wife, a CIA employee, contrary to what he has said publicly.

Registration required, but well worth it for this one, IMHO

Posted by Ithildin at 2:46 PM | Comments (1)

In Theaters Again?

Mickey left this link in the "Lend Me Your Links" post, and it deserves its own post!

Block out October for LotR.... You may well need it. Rumours are circulating at The One Ring.net that, at least in the UK and, er, Denmark, the extended version of The Return of the King will be coming to cinemas this October... along with Fellowship and The Two Towers. Yes, that's the extended cut, pre-DVD release.

Would I do it again? You betcha, baby!!

Posted by Ithildin at 2:23 PM | Comments (6)

July 9, 2004

Programing Note

Stargate season eight starts tonight! It's two hours, so record accordingly :)

Posted by Ithildin at 6:38 PM | Comments (4)

Fever Dream

Instapundit has a post on slash.

I'm going to go lie down with a cool cloth on my forehead now.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:16 PM | Comments (2)

Things To Read

Two "must reads" today:

Steyn: Fantasy and "Fahrenheit 9/11"

Hanson: Civilization vs. Trivia

Posted by Ithildin at 11:29 AM

So, Pardon Me

I don't see Bill O'Reilly all that often, but happened to catch the tail end of this last night.

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.

Hating America. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." According to a new poll, 40 percent of Canadian teenagers think America is an evil country. Among French-Canadian teens, the number jumps to 64 percent. Those numbers can be laid right on the doorstep of the Canadian media and government

As you may know, the FOX News Channel is not allowed in Canada, but CNN is. Fair and balanced? You decide.

The USA takes a relentless pounding from many Canadian news organizations and from the liberal government. So, what can we expect from the kids? They're not getting a full picture. And neither is most of the world.
Increasingly, the bully America is being portrayed as the devil. And the far left in this country is gleefully piling on. Guys like Michael Moore [are] running around the world telling everybody what a bad place America is. Moore and his enablers should be very proud of themselves

For the benefit of the Canadian kids, let's take a look at the record:

The foreign and defense policies of Ronald Reagan (search) resulted in the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the freeing of approximately 122 million people in Eastern Europe.

The state of Israel would cease to exist if not for American protection, and about 5.5 million Jews would be in grave danger.

Nearly 23 million Taiwanese would be denied freedom if not for American protection. More than 48 million South Koreans would be living under a dictatorship if not for American protection. USA action led to the removal of the Serbian dictator Milosevic (search), who was responsible for the murders of hundreds of thousands of people in the Balkans.

The USA and Britain removed the Iraqi dictator Hussein, who was responsible for the murders of hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East. And we have also removed the terrorist Taliban government in Afghanistan.

America is sending $15 billion to Africa to help victims of AIDS. We were unable to find out how much France contributes, if anything. To be fair, Canada sends $270 million, which is substantial.

American action in Central America, Grenada, and Haiti has kept millions of people out of totalitarian regimes. Of course, all of this has cost every American taxpayer big. And thousands of American servicepeople have lost their lives protecting people overseas.

It is insulting and dishonest for Americans and Canadians and Europeans to condemn this country because they don't like certain policies. Dissent is good. Slander is unacceptable.

The truth is that the USA has freed more human beings in 230 years than the rest of the world combined. France has freed almost no one. Ditto Canada.

So, pardon me as I object to the Michael Moores of the world - and that man is too cowardly to come in here, all right? Pardon me as I object to the anti-American foreign press and bums like Chirac in France and Chretien in Canada.

America has a provable history of freeing oppressed people all over the world in fighting evil dictators. Canada should be ashamed that so many of its young people are flat out ignorant. And Americans should wise up and realize we are living in a changing world. Old friends are not necessarily true friends.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:23 AM | Comments (6)

A Screen Door, Not An Open Door

From Michelle Malkin today:

.... What is desperately needed in the United States is not an open door, but a sturdy screen door--a door that keeps out slave-traders, murderers, terrorists, and other undesirables, while letting in hard-working folks who yearn to live the American Dream.

Well put.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:22 AM

"Lend Me Your Links Friday"!

It's Friday and I've missed a few weeks, so let's play!

Quick recap: if there's a post you read on a blog (other than your own) this week that you'd like the rest of us to read, put a link to it in the comments. Later, I'll add the links to the body of this post. If you have a blog, I'll add your link along with your reccomended reading link, so you get something out of it too :)

And this week's bonus question: what book are you reading right now?

Posted by Ithildin at 9:00 AM | Comments (8)

Post Captain

As much of a slog the first "Master & Commander" book was for me with all the technical seafaring stuff in the first 2/3s, the second book is a real page turner. I started it last night and didn't want to put it down. Much more character driven this time around and less lingo to remember :)

I'm becoming quite fond of the good doctor, I have to say.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:47 AM | Comments (1)

July 8, 2004

Tag, You're It

This came as a surprise to me. Can you imagine if they tried to implement such a policy here? The ACLU would have kittens along with a cow or two.

ASYLUM seekers in Scotland will face electronic tagging within months as part of a major security crackdown by the Home Office, The Scotsman has learned.

Reliance Monitoring Services, part of the same group as the security firm criticised for releasing prisoners in error, will take on the controversial contract, operating a six-month pilot scheme from September.

Home Office sources say that about 70 asylum seekers in Scotland will be involved in the compulsory trials, which will run alongside similar projects in England and Wales before being rolled out across the UK.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:13 PM | Comments (2)

The Company You Keep

I found this interesting tidbit following the links in this article by Hugh Hewitt.

.... Not only was the leadership of the Democratic Party at the Michael Moore premiere, so was Richard Ben-Veniste, the supposedly non-partisan member of the 9/11 commission. It should also be noted that Daschle was the one that appointed Ben-Veniste and that Daschle had weekly strategy meetings with him as the commission's hearings unfolded.

Go read it all. And check out the rest of the blog while you're at it -- full of yummy bloggy goodness. And read the Hewitt article too. Yes, I'm being bossy. Deal!

Posted by Ithildin at 4:38 PM

You Know You've Been Watching Too Much Sci-Fi When....

It squats on my bottom shelf, looking for all the world like an alien spaceship hunkered on the tarmac, angling slightly skyward, ready to blast off at a moment's notice, firing death lasers from its forward cannons. The glowing red panels on the bow only add to the illusion.

What is it, you may ask?

Why, it's my brand-new boom-box!

Who designs these things, anyway? Darth Vader?

Actually... the thing sounds very good, and it has a wonderful "sleep" function, so I can put on my "River" CD, hit "sleep" and drop off to the sounds of the babbling brook. Those glowing red panels even turn off when "sleep" is invoked, and the machine turns itself off completely when the CD is done playing.

You can view this paragon of design virtue here. And be aware, it's actually a good bit larger than the "specifications" state. (See? You can't believe everything you read on the internet! They lied!)

Posted by CrankyBeach at 2:15 PM

Best Blog Post Title Ever

And the post is pretty dang good too.

Yellowcake, Yellowcake, Baker's Man

Posted by Ithildin at 1:41 PM

'Mini-Watergate'

Democrats could be participating in a "mini-Watergate" effort to get Ralph Nader out of the presidential picture, the consumer advocate charged Thursday.

"They're hiring lawyers to go up to technicalities in places like Arizona, they infiltrated our political convention," Nader, an independent candidate for president, told FOX News on Thursday. "I spoke to John Kerry and said 'you'd better look into it because it could be a mini-Watergate, possibly."

Whole thing here.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:41 PM

The Real Choice

Jonah Goldberg on the John John ticket:

.... The two Johns believe that America's problems lie in the White House, not overseas. They believe that there's a rich supply of "allies" who would take bullets intended for Americans, if only George Bush had better manners. They believe, despite the fact that George Bush has increased spending on education by 60 percent, and despite the fact that the environment is cleaner now than any time in more than 50 years, that what America really needs more than anything is an education president, an environmental president. Meanwhile, as our enemies lop the heads off our citizens and plan more 9/11s, George Bush says we need a war president. Sounds like the makings of a great debate.
Posted by Ithildin at 12:38 PM

I Know

I haven't posted anything today. I think part of it is my outrage gasket is plum worn out. Between here, commenting other places, and maintaining a political discussion email list, I think I'm spread too thin sometimes.

Brain tired.

Really tired.

Anyway, it's another dreary overcast summer day here on the CA coast, I have the heat blasting, my sweater on and am thinking about lunch soon (bananna pancakes and peanut butter). Tomorrow I'm having lunch out with Margaret from my Townhall Meetup group, so that's something to look forward to. And tomorrow's Friday!

So chat amongst yourselves and I'll try and do some real blogging real soon like.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:18 PM | Comments (3)

July 7, 2004

Was!

Saavik was half-Romulan, it's a fact!

End of story.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:44 PM | Comments (3)

It Was A Good Year

In 1963 (the year you were born)
Lyndon B. Johnson becomes president of the US

The atomic powered submarine, Thresher, sinks in the North Atlantic killing 129

A civil rights rally held by 200,000 blacks and whites, features Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech

President John F. Kennedy is assassinated as he rides in a motorcade through downtown Dallas

Betty Friedan publishes The Feminine Mystique, launching a middle-class feminist movement

Michael Jordan, Quentin Tarantino, Conan O'Brien, Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt are born

Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series

Chicago Bears win the NFL championship

Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup

The Beatles receive their first #1 hit single, when "Please Please Me" tops the charts in the UK

Astroboy (known as Mighty Atom in Japanese) Japan's first ever anime was launched

NBC expands its evening network news program to 30 minutes

The television remote control is authorized by the FCC

What Happened the Year You Were Born?
More cool things for your blog at Blogthings

Stolen shamelessly from the Jayster aka Day.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:32 PM | Comments (2)

Mickey Made Me Do It

Take the quiz: "Which Random Irish Gaelic Phrase Are You? "

Pog mo thoin
Pog mo thoin - 'Kiss my ass.'You're one tough bastard, and if anyone doesn't like it, they can kiss your ass. You enjoy fighting and causing grievous bodily harm. Hey! What are you lookin' at, punk?

Via: who do you think?

Posted by Ithildin at 12:09 PM | Comments (2)

Kid Rock, uhh, Rocks?

Truth can indeed be stranger than fiction.

It was a lazy afternoon at Russell Simmons' spread outside downtown East Hampton.

The hip-hop and fashion mogul, his younger brother Joe (aka Rev. Run, who's filming a pilot of his own reality show for the ABC Family Channel), movie director Brett Ratner and his girlfriend, Serena Williams (recovering from her defeat in the Wimbledon final), were getting a little antsy on a rainy Monday, wondering what to do with themselves.

Then Kid Rock arrived.

So they all decided to drive into town and take in a movie.

They jumped into various vehicles and headed for the United Artists East Hampton theater on Main St.

Standing in front of the box office and perusing the titles, Simmons suggested that everybody catch the 7:15 showing of "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Kid Rock balked.

"I don't want to see that, it's all propaganda," the rock star said - sparking a prolonged political debate right there on the sidewalk.

"Russell, don't you understand, everything we got in this country, we got from fighting," Kid Rock argued, according to Simmons' account. "It's just a movie. ... I'd rather go to the bar across the street."

Kid Rock refused to see the movie, and said goodbye. The others bought tickets and went into the theater.

A couple of hours later, Simmons returned to his parked car. On his windshield was a scribbled note:

"Vote Bush. Bush Rocks," apparently written by Kid Rock himself.

Only in the Hamptons, kids, only in the Hamptons.

But I still hate that duet he did with Sheryl Crow. What an idiotic song... [grumble]

Posted by Ithildin at 9:49 AM | Comments (3)

July 6, 2004

Back With The Bad Guys

Several detainees released by the U.S. military from the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have rejoined their former comrades-in-arms and taken part in fresh attacks on American troops, according to Defense Department officials and a senior Republican lawmaker.

A hearty "AVAST!" to QandO for the link.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:03 PM | Comments (1)

Threat To Scrap Some Of Scotland’s Historic Regiments.

McConnell wants answers on threat to Scots regiments

..... Some Scottish MPs had warned of a threat to Scots regiments as long ago as last year, and the Conservatives said yesterday that Mr McConnell’s last-minute intervention suggested that he and Alistair Darling, the Scottish Secretary, had failed properly to represent Scotland’s interests in the government’s debate over spending.

"There has been a case over the last number of months for strong personal interventions to make sure that decisions were made in Scotland’s best interests," said Peter Duncan, the Tories’ shadow Scottish secretary. "Jack McConnell needs to be quite explicit as to how he has worked with Alistair Darling on this issue - have they worked together at all?"

As well as anger that the Treasury is driving through defence cuts at a time of global turmoil, some MPs are expressing frustration with the MoD. Inspired by the US, the ministry’s military doctrine is increasingly moving away from traditional land and air forces towards so-called network-centric warfare, where hi-tech weapons platforms and vehicles, many of them unmanned, are co-ordinated by central command posts, not front-line commanders.

Anne Begg, the Labour MP for Aberdeen South, who raised the future of the Scots regiments with Mr Hoon last year, said that military planners have the wrong priorities. "The sort of peacekeeping operations that we are so good at and should be concentrating on don’t need the latest technology, they need well-trained British troops on the ground," she said.

Bruce George, the chairman of the House of Commons defence select committee and a leading critic of the MoD’s new thinking, described the idea of cutting or merging regiments as "unacceptable" yesterday.

Speaking at a security conference in Edinburgh, he said: "You lose that regimental spirit which makes the British Army almost unique, and that is something that will only be tampered with at the peril of the government."

(free registration required for the whole article)

Posted by Ithildin at 1:48 PM

Five Day Spread

My Ecosystem ranking is all over the place the last week. So I shall enjoy my lofty position while it lasts!

July 2: 272
July 3: 130
July 4: 236
July 5: 232
July 6: 114

Later the next day: July 7 -- 214! I dropped 100 places in one day.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:14 PM | Comments (3)

What A Way To Spend A Saturday

Take a look at what Smash and DaGoddess got up to this weekend.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:53 AM | Comments (2)

July 5, 2004

Oh, Canada, You Reap What You Sow

Poll: over 40% of Canadian teens think America is "evil"

Surprising? Not to me, not really. You have to remember I was a teeneager in Canada, subjected to daily torment by my fellow school students for the crime of being American. And that was more than twenty years ago. Those students are the parents of these kids in the poll. They learned their lessons well, no?

Posted by Ithildin at 10:32 PM | Comments (4)

Psychologically Reassuring

Another email list conversation I have going. This time on the election and the public's need for psychological reassurance. These two articles touch upon something I've believed for a while, that rather than face reality, many people would rather believe someone like Moore. Look at how Churchill was vilified in the years prior to WWII when he tried to warn of the danger. I think it's human nature, and a dangerous aspect of it at that. But no matter what fantasy Moore spins, the facts are that we live in very dangerous times, it's going to be a long war, and a lot more of us are going to be killed. And yes, I fervently hope I'm wrong time. But like 9/11, for me, the writing is on the wall.

The first was an article in the Telegraph:

.... Moore is the most powerful spokesman of the myth that gripped the Spanish people when they elected Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as their Prime Minister in the wake of the Madrid bombing: namely, that if we oust specific politicians from office - replace Bush with Kerry, Blair with Brown - the Islamic fundamentalists will leave us alone. It is, of course, psychologically reassuring for voters to be told that they have this power, that there is something quick and clean they can do about their collective predicament. But it is also a fantasy. The theocratic guerrillas of al-Qaeda and its associates who, it emerged last week, were planning to bomb a British primary school in Madrid and, on Friday, promised fresh attacks in Europe, will not be appeased by any number of political scalps. Their ambitions for the world are much greater and more terrifying.

And Peggy Noonan's latest:

.... But let me share a thought I've been having that is not so jolly. It has to do with Mr. Bush's re-election prospects and a worry I have. History has been too dramatic the past 3 1/2 years. It has been too exciting. Economic recession, 9/11, war, Afghanistan, Iraq, fighting with Europe. fighting with the U.N., boys going off to fight, Pat Tillman, beheadings. It has been so exciting. And my general sense of Americans is that we like things to be boring. Or rather we like history to be boring; we like our lives to be exciting. We like history to be like something Calvin Coolidge dreamed: dull, dull. dull. And then we complain about the dullness, and invent excitements that are the kind we really like: moon shots, spaceships, curing diseases. Big tax cuts that encourage big growth that creates lots of jobs for young people just out of school.

No, I am not suggesting all our recent excitement is Mr. Bush's fault. History handed him what it handed him. And no, I am not saying the decisions he took were wrong or right or some degree of either. I'm saying it's all for whatever reasons been more dramatic than Americans in general like history to be.

Here is my fear: that the American people, liking and respecting President Bush, and knowing he's a straight shooter with guts, will still feel a great temptation to turn to the boring and disingenuous John Kerry. He'll never do anything exciting. He doesn't have the guts to be exciting. And as he doesn't stand for anything, he won't have to take hard stands. He'll do things like go to France and talk French and they'll love it. He'll say he's the man who accompanied Teresa Heinz to Paris, only this time he'll say it in French and perfectly accented and they'll all go "ooh la la!"

The American people may come to feel that George W. Bush did the job history sent him to do. He handled 9/11, turned the economy around, went into Afghanistan, captured and removed Saddam Hussein. And now let's hire someone who'll just by his presence function as an emollient. A big greasy one but an emollient nonetheless.

I just have a feeling this sort of thing may have some impact this year. "A return to normalcy," with Mr. Kerry as the normal guy.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:55 PM | Comments (1)

July 5

Today is a holiday for me, so we actually went out of the house! I had coffee with emode guy #2, yes I did! See, I can be brave and stuff. He's a retired Navy submariner, grown kids, LotRs fan. It's a good start, no? Then nin and I headed over to Salinas to see Spiderman, but the first three shows were sold out and we didn't want to see it that bad, so we wandered the mall for a bit then came home.

Last night we did the BBQ thing. I created my very own chipotle sauce and it was very good -- if I do say so myself! The burgers were great, I grilled the mushrooms and the sliced them up, made bacon, melted blue cheese on the burgers, and then drizzled w/the chipotle sauce. The nearest I got to fireworks were the ones on TV, and then I watched Dead Zone and ate the margarita cheesecake my mum made.

Now I'm sitting here at the 'puter (obviously) having an email discussion with a certain person who is CRAZY! [amem] (I just had to say that) and trying to decide what to do with the rest of the day. I'm actually hungry, so maybe eating would be good! I'm pondering watching PotC again (hush!) or maybe RotK, or I could work on finishing off my season 3 SG1 DVDs.

Or I could just sit here and natter at you all.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:33 PM

July 4, 2004

Happy 228!

Wishing you and yours a happy Independence Day!

Even the moose are celebrating :)

And don't forget I'm still looking for your Fourth of July stories!

Posted by Ithildin at 12:20 PM | Comments (3)

July 3, 2004

Coincidence?

An Iraqi official killed this week in a car bombing was in charge of the Iraqi investigation into allegations that the ousted regime siphoned billions from the U.N. oil-for-food program, an official of an Iraqi political party said Saturday.

Ehsan Karim, head of the Finance Ministry's audit board, died Thursday of injuries suffered that day when a bomb exploded as he was heading for work. His driver and bodyguard also were killed.

As head of the ministry audit board, Karim was in charge of the Iraqi probe into the oil-for-food scandal, Entifadh Qanbar, spokesman of Iraqi National Congress, told The Associated Press.

"It's possible that he was killed because of the investigation, which is a serious issue," Qanbar said. However, Qanbar said it was too early to say whether he was targeted because of the investigation.

The rest here.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:46 PM

Care To Share?

Current temp: 55. Last time I saw sunshine: about three days ago. No, wait, the sun peeked through for about 10 minutes yesterday! But despite the fact we'll be shivering around the BBQ (and fireworks will consist of coloured fog) we will be doing all that 4o'J stuff tomorrow.

So, anyone have a kick ass BBQ burger recipe they'd like to share? My usual is toss stuff into hamburger, coat in bottled sauce, cook till really dead. Oh, and lots of fried onions! and maybe a few mushrooms. Last time I put on some blue cheese and chipotle sauce. That was good. I'm culinarily adventurous, so bring it on! Most of the family works tomorrow, so I'm the one putting this altogether for when they get home. I'd like to try something new.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:32 PM | Comments (5)

Elderhostel?!?!

Geez louise! I'm two weeks from my 41st birthday, and I'm getting brouchures from Elderhostel -- an "adult" travel tour company. I'm not that old!

Posted by Ithildin at 3:57 PM | Comments (10)

Fourth Of July Stories

I'm still looking for your Fourth of July stories!

And over at Girls! we want to know about your summer plans, amongst other things :)

Posted by Ithildin at 3:34 PM

Fireworks

Put on your own display.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:31 PM

UN Election Monitors II

Yesterday morning, I posted this. Just now, they did a report on FNC about it. Seems most of the elected officials that requested the UN to monitor our election are members of the Black Cacaus. For the UN's part, they say they only monitor elections at the request of the Executive branch.

One other tidbit from the report: the Dems have already hired teams of lawyers to monitor election sites across the country. To me that means they'll do their best to intimidate people, disenfranchise those that aren't voting for Kerry, and make sure military votes aren't counted like last time.

I sure hope the Republicans have their own teams to counter these.

Later: they are all Dems, according to the news I'm hearing now. Gee, what a surprise!!

Also, it would take about 20,000 foreigners to monitor our elections.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:41 PM | Comments (2)

July 2, 2004

Riddick

We just got back from seeing "Riddick". Hey, it has Vin Diesel -- what's not to like? I actually enjoyed it, we all did. I though it "looked" wonderful, and Karl Urban was great!

Now to bed and try to sleep this cold away once and for all!

Posted by Ithildin at 11:37 PM | Comments (2)

This Is Rich

Apparently, the Bush/Cheney campaign is organizing its support in churches and the left is just appalled!!

"I think it is sinful of them to encourage pastors and churches to engage in partisan political activity and run the risk of losing their tax-exempt status," said Steve Rosenthal, chief executive officer of America Coming Together, a group working to defeat Bush.

Imagine that! Using churches for partisan political activity! Who would have imagined? Oh, yeah, that's right -- all those Dems that give campaign speeches from church pulpits every time you turn around.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:40 PM | Comments (3)

Scotty Battling Alzheimer's

I saw this rumoured two days ago, and sadly, it has been confirmed.

James Doohan is battling his latest opponent with typical Scotty tenacity.

The 84-year-old Star Trek veteran, who held together the Enterprise against repeated Klingon attack through his tenure on the original TV series and in several big-screen movies, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, his son, Chris Doohan, confirmed Friday.

[....]

"If you ask him about D-Day, he'll go on about an hour about D-Day," Chris Doohan said.

A native of Canada, James Doohan fought, and was wounded, in that historic World War II battle as a captain in the Royal Canadian Artillery.

To the world, Doohan is best known as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, the fiery chief engineer of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

[....]

In August, he'll bid farewell to the still thriving Trek convention circuit, with "Beam Me Up Scotty...One Last Time," a three-day fest that's billed as his last-ever con appearance.

"He wants to say thank you to [the fans]," Chris Doohan said.

I met him once about twelve years ago. He was quite charming and very gentlemanly.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:33 PM | Comments (4)

Is It 5 Yet?

Still have this icky cold and really want to go home. It's been a long, unhealthy week -- sunburn, tummy ailment, then the cold. Nin works this weekend, so we aren't going to be going anywhere for the holiday like we'd originally planned. We are both off Monday though, so we might try and see a movie. And I'm supposed to have coffee with "Emode Guy #2" on Monday as well. No pressure, right?

Did you see the no Daleks thing? And the girl whose cell phone caught fire in her pants?

Heck if I know....

Posted by Ithildin at 4:21 PM

The Dogs Are coming, The Dogs Are Coming!

One if by land, two if by blog.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:10 PM | Comments (1)

Just When You Think You've Heard Everything

Rush mentioned this a few minutes ago, and a quick search produced the article:

Call for UN observers in US election

SEVERAL members of the US House of Representatives have requested the United Nations to send observers to monitor the November 2 US presidential election to avoid a contentious vote as in 2000, when the outcome was decided by Florida.

Recalling the long, drawn-out process in the southern state, nine lawmakers, including four blacks and one Hispanic, sent a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan asking that the international body "ensure free and fair elections in America", according to a statement issued by Florida representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, who spearheaded the effort.

"As lawmakers, we must assure the people of America that our nation will not experience the nightmare of the 2000 presidential election," she said in the letter.

"This is the first step in making sure that history does not repeat itself," she added after requesting that the UN "deploy election observers across the US" to monitor the November, 2004 election.

Do I even need to comment on this? I know you know what I'm thinking! (and it's quite colourful)

Posted by Ithildin at 9:17 AM | Comments (3)

Holiday Happenings

Since we're heading into a long holiday weekend, I don't know how many of you are out and about in BlogLand. But if you are around, how about sharing a special Fourth of July moment? It can be something from your childhood, something more recent, or maybe it's a family tradition or story that means something to you.

Use the comments or trackback to this post on your own blog.

Looking forward to reading your stories!

Posted by Ithildin at 8:57 AM | Comments (4)

July 1, 2004

More Bill

Bill Cosby is at it again.

Bill Cosby went off on another tirade against the black community Thursday, telling a room full of activists that black children are running around not knowing how to read or write and "going nowhere."

He also had harsh words for struggling black men, telling them: "Stop beating up your women because you can't find a job."

Cosby made headlines in May when he upbraided some poor blacks for their grammar and accused them of squandering opportunities the civil rights movement gave them. He shot back Thursday, saying his detractors were trying in vain to hide the black community's "dirty laundry."

"Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, it's cursing and calling each other n------ as they're walking up and down the street," Cosby said during an appearance at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund's annual conference.

"They think they're hip," the entertainer said. "They can't read; they can't write. They're laughing and giggling, and they're going nowhere."

Posted by Ithildin at 8:08 PM

Iron Chef Steve

Have you seen that cookbook yet? Since a stint on Iron Chef can only be in Steve's future, and a series of his own on Food Network, you should get a copy soon since it's sure to become a treasured family heirloom and valuable collecters item!

Posted by Ithildin at 5:00 PM | Comments (1)

Strategy

Mickey has developed a rather unique strategy to get submissions for Carnival of the Dogs.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:05 PM

Disney Unleashes Star-spangled Riposte

Walt Disney, which refused to distribute Michael Moore's controversial Fahrenheit 9/11, is using the Fourth of July holiday to launch a feelgood feature film about the American people.

Borrowing a tactic from the grassroots campaign that made Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ a surprise hit, the media giant has used early screenings for select groups and is encouraging people to "spread the word" about the patriotic film, with invitations, posters, and guidelines for group outings on its website.

America's Heart & Soul, which opens today on 100 screens across the US, offers a flag-draped look at the country. The 88- minute film, directed by Louis Schwartzberg, is told through the voices of "ordinary Americans with extraordinary stories": an Olympic boxer, a blind mountain climber, a dairy farmer and an aerobatic pilot.

The rest here.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:56 PM | Comments (3)

Whose Line

Looks like new eps of "Whose Line Is It Anyway" start tonight on ABC.

Nifty!

Posted by Ithildin at 11:17 AM | Comments (4)

Baby Day

It's baby bird day here. All the Chinese House Sparrows, and the Blackbirds, have brought down their babies for a stroll. There's nothing like the noise of a dozen or so halfgrown chicks peeping their little hearts out. And they're very cute!

Posted by Ithildin at 10:48 AM