April 30, 2005

It's Just A Fluke

But yes, another post on "Kingdom of Heaven".

I was just on FNC's website, and the movie is running a banner add that featured rave reviews from Christian publications and information services. Just thought that was an interesting bit of marketing.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:05 PM

Speaking of "Kingdom of Heaven"

Interesting review on it here.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:33 AM

April 29, 2005


If I'm still feeling motivated I'm going to make a thematic change to the look of the blog. I think I'm going back to Royo for inspiration, though I'll use a different piece of art than the one I'd used prior to the current blog theme -- then again, maybe not. Depends on how the mood strikes me. Right now, I have nearly a dozen I've chosen as potentials. I need to see if some of them can be cropped to keep this blog no more than a PG 13!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:55 PM | Comments (4)

Thank You!!

I'd like to thank whoever clicked through the Absinthe store link and bought such a large amount! First off, enjoy! And second, thank you! I've never made so much money from the blog before. Thanks to you, I'm about 1/2 way to being able to buy the newest version of MT!


Posted by Ithildin at 9:47 AM | Comments (8)


CTG is hosting the latest Recipe Extravaganza!

Posted by Ithildin at 9:40 AM | Comments (1)

Disappointing, But Not At All Surprising

Justin at Calblog has a teriffic post up on one of my favourite topics, the Crusades. This one deals with the upcoming movie, "Kingdom of Heaven". I've been leery of this movie since I first learned of it -- even though Orlando Bloom was in it and I really wanted to see it -- but held out a dim hope that it might not be the whitewash I was expecting. Looks like I probably should have quashed that hope from the get go:

The fact that a sue-happy, terror-apologist group like CAIR actually put its seal of approval on the film should be quite damning. (Do you suppose that the filmmakers bothered to show Christian/Catholic leaders an advance screening of the film to get their input and seal of approval? Not likely. That should speak volumes about the cynical nature of this film.)


And the interent exclusive trailer was just awesome too. Oh well.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:38 AM | Comments (1)


Akbar gets death in 2003 attack

A military jury has sentenced Sgt. Hasan Akbar to death for the 2003 murders of two officers in a grenade and rifle attack at a military camp in Kuwait. Akbar, who gave a brief, barely audible apology hours earlier, stood at attention yesterday between his lawyers as the verdict was delivered. He showed no emotion. He could have been sentenced to life in prison with or without parole for the attack, which also wounded 14 fellow members of the Army's 101st Airborne Division at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait. The 15-person military jury, which last week took just 21/2 hours to convict Akbar of premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder, deliberated for about seven hours in the sentencing phase. After jurors reached a verdict, they voted on whether to reconsider the decision after one juror asked that they do so.
Posted by Ithildin at 8:54 AM

Special Joss News On Serenity

Got this in email this morning.

Hey Browncoats-

Joss has some special news for you posted on the message boards.


It gets better.

As thus: The movie is very nearly finished. You've seen many pretty images in the trailer. But I've still got work to do and you've still got months before you can see it.


And, no, I'm not talking Australia (but Hi, Australia! anyway), I'm talking here in the more-or-less-United States, a one time multi-city Browncoat sneak event. Thursday, May 5th at 10:00 pm, the movie (Serenity! Pay attention! Jeez.) will be playing at exactly 10 theaters in 10 cities across the country. You (or possibly someone much like you) (or possibly a robot EXACTLY like you, but with better manners and sonic arm-lasers, sent to take your place) will be able to buy a ticket to see Serenity months in advance. Not just the bitty trailer with not enough Kaylee and Book, but the whole film, in its extremely almost completed state.

You probably have some questions. How is this possible? What cities exactly will it be in? What are these changes my body is going through? All valid. It's possible because some clown put a bunch of Universal execs in a theater full of Browncoats and dude, they came out SWEATING, they never seen energy like that. They loved it, and even though they were already wicked supportive of the movie (see: earlier posts re: we're making the movie) they simply weren't ready for you guys. When I whinged on about pushing the date and everyone here was posting about "what do we do till September", they agreed to let me sneak it out.

Maybe they thought it was a fluke. Maybe they wanna see if people really do care about the flick. Or maybe they're just treating us with respect and kindness, though that last option confuses and terrifies me as much as these changes my body is going through (I'm "perspiring" and becoming "interested in girls", which believe me is very unsettling when you're 40.) Does it matter? The plan works for me, and it can work for a select bunch of y'all. Here's what I know:

The cities to be hit are:

San Francisco
Las Vegas
The Portland of Oregon

If you're in or near one of those, you might wanna stop by. There's supposed to be a "Can't Stop the Signal" page on this website (I don't know where it is -- hey, I remembered my damn password, doesn't that buy me any cred?) There should be more info there soon about how to get in, bringing peeps into the fold, I think there's even competetions and stuff. (All I know is I have exactly 20 Brownie points. I answered ONE triv Q and got it wrong. Forget cred. I have no cred.) Now a couple of us might just creep into one of those major metropolitan multiplexes to see if anyone does show up, so remember: swearing in Chinese ONLY.

All right. This will please the fans and satisfy the employers of Joss Whedon, so I must stop as my arm-lasers are getting tired. I politely thank you for your attention.

Should be fun.


Posted by Ithildin at 8:22 AM | Comments (2)

Visual Wonders

I love wolves, and since Blake volunteers at a wolf center, he always has great posts and photos on the subject. Nwo, while all his photos are wonderful, these ones just blew me away. Go look!

Posted by Ithildin at 8:16 AM

April 28, 2005

Ward Churchill Invades CSUMB

Received via email from the Monterey County Republican Party

Ward Churchill Invades CSUMB

The Monterey County Republican Party will partner with California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) students, veterans and community leaders to remember the victims of 9/11 on Monday, May 2nd at 6:00 pm. The Associated Students of CSUMB have invited Ward Churchill, a man infamous for his comments suggesting those killed in the 9/11 attacks were "Little Eichmanns" and that 9/11 was retribution for U.S. aggression abroad.

Help us denounce the actions of Ward Churchill by joining us in a candlelit vigil honoring the memory of those who died on 9/11. More information on Ward Churchill is available in the Monterey Herald's article published today, available by clicking here. Ward Churchill's claims are outrageous, untrue and disrespectful to those who lost their lives on 9/11.


Event Information:

Date: Monday, May 2nd, 2005
Time: 6:00pm
Place: University Center, CSUMB

Please forward this email message to any friends, family or neighbors who may be interested in attending.

We Need Your Help! To help make this event happen or for more information please contact Amy at 759-8590 or amy@montereyrepublicans.org.

Please Join Us!! Bring a candle, a flag and a friend!

Posted by Ithildin at 9:04 PM | Comments (1)


If I have to deal with one more stupid question from one more stupid customer or coworker, I swear I'm going to scream out loud right here at my desk. I mean, what? Did everyone get together and decide today was the day for mass stupidity and generally infuriating behavior??!?!?!

This is a tequila when I get home sort of day. If I make it to the end of the day, that is.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:02 PM | Comments (4)

I Got Nothing

Honest to god, I can't seem to work up any enthusiasm for blogging. I think I should have left the guests to entertain you for another week.

I could do a post on illegal immigration, which has had me in full verbal rant over the last couple of weeks, but I don't feel like being angry today. I will mention I saw a show on CNN while on the road, and it was so slanted. Full of boo hoo sob stories about poor illegals. GAH! Okay, full stop, no anger today :)

Then there's Revenge of the Sith. I am so not getting sucked in this time. I swear, George has jumped the Jawa! If he manages a decent movie this time around, then I'll have a nice surprise. Otherwise, I won't be at all disappointed. So there!

It's raining here. It's like winter just won't give it up this year.

I have some pics from the trip and I'll try and get some of them up this weekend.

Did you know I had lunch with Rae when I was away? She's the nicest, most genuine lady. Getting to know her better will be one of the highlights of the move when it finally happens.

I can't believe Scott is still on AI!! Geez Louise!

More as it happens, but don't hold your breath!

Posted by Ithildin at 10:27 AM | Comments (3)

April 26, 2005


If you're a fan of "Firefly" then this new trailer from "Serenity" is going to make you as happy as I am right now!

This is so kewl!!!

Random quote:

'This is going to get interesting."

"Define "interesting"."

"Oh god, oh god, we're going to die!?"

Posted by Ithildin at 6:02 PM | Comments (7)

Back, But Not

Yes, I have returned, but not to the point of online activity it would seem. Post trip blues I suppose. It was hard leaving my family behind again. Not to mention my kitties and my dog.

So mostly this is to check in so y'all don't worry :) And to give a big shout out to my guest bloggers who did an amazing job while I was away! Too bad I lost the key to the brig. Hmmm.... now where could it be?

Posted by Ithildin at 4:28 PM | Comments (3)

The dreaded R-word

Just a reminder that tonight's episode of House is a rerun

It's episode 6, The Socratic Method, which is about a 38 year old woman who appears to be schizophrenic and her son.

Sorry folks. New episodes of House begin again next Tuesday. Yay!!

Posted by Caltechgirl at 10:36 AM | Comments (1)

Ith Comes Back, Today

I am not trying to make up for lost time by posting like a mad-woman before Ith takes away my power. Nope! ;-)

TV News:

Tonight is a Fresh Episode of Gilmore Girls:

"But I'm a Gilmore!
The reaction of Logan's parents' to Rory and Logan's relationship shocks Rory; when Sookie is placed on bed rest, Lorelai calls on Luke to serve as the interim chef at the Dragonfly Inn."

Watch for Ith...she's the one playing the role of Lorelai's long-lost red-headed cousin.

In fact, Ith is quite the movie star, tonight. She'll be on The Amazing Race, standing thisclose to Phil at the mat.

All in all, it should be an interesting evening of TV.

Posted by Princess Jami at 8:50 AM | Comments (1)

A Man-Eating Plant


is a Human-Sized Man-Eating Plant that has Staring Red Eyes and Heavy Metal Armour, and is Covered in Bumps and Nodules, Poisonous and Highly Flammable.

Strength: 4 Agility: 1 Intelligence: 4

To see if your Giant Battle Monster can
defeat Absinthe&Cookies, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights Absinthe&Cookies using

From Llama Butcher Robert, a mighty Mecha-Moth.

Posted by Princess Jami at 8:01 AM

Carnival of the Recipes = Awesome

The "topsy-turvy" Carnival of the Recipes (hosted by bebere) is serving dessert, first, this week. /drool..

Posted by Princess Jami at 7:47 AM

Red Ensign Standard XX

Red Ensign Standard XX is up!

Posted by Princess Jami at 7:37 AM

April 25, 2005

Dereliction of Duty...

Well, Ith is about to return from her international criminal pursuitsvacation shortly, and I notice we've been a tad remiss over the weekend. Oops. Sorry.

Anyway, that stinkin' Pirate made a mess of his cage and I need to clean it up before Ith gets back and notices the smell...

I'm hoping she doesn't notice the broken furniture and the bloodstains....

Posted by Caltechgirl at 7:01 PM | Comments (1)

Any hope for Lucas?

George Lucas has apparently been busy planning for the future. While speaking at a conference he managed to share a few spoilers.

•Television series: Lucas said he is working to develop a live-action TV series based on Star Wars. The series likely wouldn't be produced for at least a year, and the main characters in the movies probably won't be the focus, he said.

The series would be set between the yet-to-be released "Revenge of the Sith" movie and the original "Star Wars" movie, the fourth episode in the sequence.

•More movies: Once again, Lucas said he did not plan to produce another Star Wars trilogy after the latest movie comes out. Many fans hope that he will make three more movies that start off where "Episode VI: Return of the Jedi" ends.

When he made the original "Star Wars," Lucas said, he had background stories for what would become the "Star Wars" prequels, but he never thought beyond "Return of the Jedi." The story was meant to begin with the birth of Darth Vader, also known as Anakin Skywalker, and end with his death, Lucas told fans at the convention.

Lucas didn't completely rule out a "Star Wars"-related movie that centered on a different storyline or topic, but he didn't elaborate about what that storyline might be.

•The man in the hat: Lucas told fans he planned to develop another film in his second-most popular series of movies -- the "Indiana Jones" trilogy. He didn't give a time frame for when another "Indiana Jones" film might hit theaters, but "It's definitely in the works," Lucas said.

After watching 2 out of the first 3 Star Wars movies I just don't know if I trust George any more. Although, I am tempted by the Indiana Jones possibility.

Posted by at 12:35 AM | Comments (5)

April 22, 2005

Taking it a LOT too far

Have you seen this story out of Florida? A 5 YEAR OLD KINDERGARTENER throwing a tantrum was handcuffed and subdued by 3 (count 'em, 3) policemen after her teacher couldn't get her to stop... and it was all captured on video.

The various videos are here, here, and here.

My husband gets kicked so hard his leg is still swollen 5 days later trying to break up a fight alone between two high school students and this little brat gets 3 policemen? You think the response was a little overblown?

Kevin at Wizbang and Baldilocks each weigh in...

Posted by Caltechgirl at 8:28 PM | Comments (19)

Ith's Vacation - IV

Today being Earth Day, and having enough free time to do some serious thinking, Ith has decided to celebrate in a somewhat unusual way. Since she has a perfectly natural Terran superiority complex, she's decided to blow up all the other planets.

In aid of which, it occurs to me that all her loyal readers could help her defray the costs of the program (tenatively named "Operation Blow Up All The Other Planets," pending further review) by hitting her tip jar or even by relieving her of the need to buy stuff out of her own Amazon wishlist.

So go there and lend a hand.

That'll show those other planets who's boss!

[If I may be allowed a moment of shameless self promotion, here's a link to my own Earth Day post.]

Posted by Russ at 2:27 PM | Comments (1)

A little treat

I thought since Ith invited me to help out while she was gone, the least I could do was bring something to eat. I missed the Carnival, so that means they're just for you.

Blackberry Jam Bars

1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
3/4 cup blackberry jam

Cream butter: gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Combine flour, soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats.

Press half of mixture into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan. Top mixture with jam, spreading to within 1/4-inch of edge. Press remaining crumb mixture firmly on top. Bake at 400 degree for 30 minutes (watch for dark edges). Cool and cut into bars. Yield: about 2 dozen.

Posted by at 12:44 AM | Comments (3)

April 21, 2005

Diary of a chained (un)broken man in Ith's basement - Who do you want to Kick out of LA?

(or your respective city)

1. The Lakers.
2. My Aquatic Chemistry Professor.
3. Angels fans who a) complain about letting Eckstein go & b) complain about the name change.

Feel free to add yours.

Posted by at 5:12 PM

What's Your Inner European?

Evidently mine is French...

Your Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.

You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

Who's Your Inner European?

Oh well...
Sorry, folks, there's no Scottish option....
(found here)

Posted by Caltechgirl at 10:13 AM | Comments (5)

Ith's Vacation - III

On her travels, Ith stopped by Niagara Falls yesterday.

She reports that the amusement park there is mostly unexciting... except that they have a killer Log Ride.

Posted by Russ at 10:10 AM

April 20, 2005

Moussaoui Pleading Guilty

I know Ith likes to keep up with the War on Terrorism. She'll appreciate the news that Zacarias Moussaoui plans to plead guilty on Friday.

Posted by Jen at 5:51 PM


Lintefugitive Jen has lovely news. :D

From her announcement on the website: "Remember when I mentioned that my mother got a phone call from a family friend who said she had a guy she wanted me to meet? Looking back at that post, I see it was from January 24. Wow, January.

Anyway, my mother gave our friend my blog address and she passed it on to him. He lurked for a bit (and somehow wasn’t scared away) and then emailed me and we’ve been corresponding ever since. Turns out he is not a pastor, but teaches college poli-sci. He is a devoted follower of Jesus and one of the sweetest men I’ve met in a long time."

Go read the rest and get all happy tingly and then go wish her congratulations! Of course, nothing's final, here, but I'm just pleased she's decided to court "The Beau" (who sounds swell) and see where it leads...

Posted by Princess Jami at 10:20 AM | Comments (1)


I'm not sure what "House" show that bloody blind pirate watches, but there aren't any chain saws in Princeton Plainsboro hospital!

First off, Yays to the Executive board who finally got their ethics and priorities straight and got rid of Vogler and his $$. I guess when he kept trying to fire people, they all realized they could be next..... Not to mention that stopping the initial C-section, which resulted in the mother's death later, opened him up to a huge lawsuit....

A pretty good episode, IMO, but I missed Cameron. Here's hoping she'll return now that Vogler is gone.....

On a medical note, small-cell cancers of the lung are among the least treatable. In these days where the "Big C" is no longer a death sentence for most, these cancers are the least treatable. They're usually beyond surgical hope by the time they're discovered (as was the case with House's patient), so radiation is the usual course of action. VEGF inhibitors, such as the experimental drug in last night's trial do show some promise, since they starve the tumors to death, but they don't work for everyone.

The other case last night, however was bogus. You don't usually diagnose DiGeorge syndrome from malnutrition and pneumonia. DiGeorge syndrome is a congential disorder that arises from cell signaling deficiencies in certain parts of the developing fetus. DiGeorge babies have small lungs and an undeveloped or underdeveloped thymus (the gland where T-cells are produced). There may also be heart defects and facial abnormalities, as well as brain damage. The severity depends on the extent of the genetic abnormality underlying the syndrome.

Most DiGeorge cases are caught because of the facial abnormalities, but others are diagnosed after a series of abcesses and infections that a normal baby/child should be able to fight off easily. Hence, House prescribed Immunoglobulin for the baby.

DiGeorge results from a deletion in the long arm of chromosome 22, at a region known as 22q11. 22q11 deficiencies are also correlated with VCFS, which is similar to DiGeorge syndrome, but more severe, and Schizophrenia (which is why I know a little about it). VCFS/DiGeorge patients are 4-40 (depending on the study) times more likely to become psychotic than normal patients over their lifetimes, indicating that the development of the brain is important in understanding schizophrenia. A lot of work is being directed at this area of the genome in order to understand just how these disease come about.

Too much info, I know, but I find it fascinating that one little tiny part of the chromosome is responsible for building your forebrain, face, heart, and lungs. Pretty cool. It's a miracle that almost all of us come out perfect!

Next week is a rerun, so we will get to see Cameron again. Yay!

Posted by Caltechgirl at 9:43 AM | Comments (2)

Diary of a chained (un)broken man in Ith's basement - You Know I'm Right

Eddy Merckx was a better cyclist than Lance Armstrong is.

Go ahead try to prove me wrong, the Cannibal will win out.

Posted by at 8:17 AM

April 19, 2005

Diary of a chained (un)broken man in Ith's basement - House Blogging

First of, who untied Caltechgirl? I was trying to sleep and thats very hard to do when you are tied up and hung upside down, then all of the sudden I get kciked inthe head and hear "UNC UNC!!" Man if only Illinois would of won, this whole process would be less painfull.

But sicne Ith's travels take her away from the tv, apparently to England today where she was flinging sausage, frequenting many a pub and even assisting England's CalTrans in painting some roads. Maybe she whould of done that before the pub. But she left us a punishment task to perform, watch and blog house.

Well it was an interesting episode, well it was 2 episodes back to back. I really learned the value of a man lift and power tools in treating a diseased patient. This episode took place in a quaint little New England town where the team was tasked in the care of a very neglected and derepit subject, but they were well equiped to handle the situations. Most of the subjects problems were internal and structural but there was some external issues that affected the appearence of the subject. They decided the first thing to do was to handle the external problems, before it could infect other areas, so they cut off all of the subject's limbs, followed byt cutting its trunk in many pieces and feeding them into a wood chipper. Man Bob Villa can sure wield a chain-saw. They went on to the master bedroom where they ripped up the floor and tore out the walls, but I have to wait till next week for the hardwood floor installation. Man that was cool, I need to go to Sears and buy some more power tools. But I don't get why Ith bills this as a hot new show, it was a re-run from 1983......

Posted by at 5:20 PM | Comments (1)

Habemus Papam!

So that's what Ith was doing in Rome...

In case you haven't heard the news yet or seen it anywhere, the College of Cardinals has selected Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany as the new Pope. He has chosen the name Benedict XVI.

To see other possible names he was considering, go here.

To see what would have happened if they had chosen Jimi Hendrix, click here.

Posted by Caltechgirl at 11:34 AM

Ith's Vacation - II

Having wrought only very minor havoc in Rome, Ith has winged her way back stateside.

But not before a brief layover in the UK, where she could engage in a bit of sausage flinging.

Posted by Russ at 10:05 AM | Comments (1)

Wicked Ways the Siren

HTTP in tha House*
lyrics by: http://bittersweet.ondragonswing.com/

"and diana
othger poor souls a ariana
br pigeon
id varxyz style display none
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description i apos m getting myth
align right a href
http bittersweet ondragonswing deaf

entire cookie jar h a
javascript if openit true play
wicked ways the siren
d thedragosmuse evanescence fallen
script language javascript if
of bloggy goodness cliff
bittersweet ondragonswing com
rdf http www w


Just a portion of the funky rhymes Ithizzle threw down at a club in Rome, last night, after getting a brand-new "Scottish Thugz 'n' Pirates" tattoo on her...well, I really shouldn't tell you that...

*link courtesy of 21st Century Paladin

Posted by Princess Jami at 7:39 AM

April 18, 2005

Diary of a chained (un)broken man in Ith's basement

I haven't eaten in a few days and I'm kind of thirsty....but blogging must go on because if I don't it things will get worse, 'they' will bring Caltechgirl back in here then all we'll hear is "blah blah I'm Caltechgirl, blah blah blah UNC, blah blah blah." So even with the missing eye and the broken arm I blog on.

Apparently Ith is causing trouble in Vatican City, which is means she really is behaving herself more than her last trip to Canada where she started a riot with the comment "Canadian Beer Sucks." Nearly started a war that would of challeneged the standing recorded for a war the shortest war in history at 45 minutes< (when England defeated Zanzibar, quite easily as you may of guessed, I know you were think France ort maybe even Poland, but you'd be wrong). Although looking at a map San Marino better watch the heck out, she's devious, heck she's got 4 of us locked up here.

Watched Field of Dreams last night, best baseball movie ever, right up there with Hossiers in the best sports movie category. Speaking of baseball, the game is on...........be back later.

Posted by at 7:20 PM | Comments (2)

Ith's Vacation

Ith's travels so far have been fairly interesting. Last night and today she was visiting Vatican City.

Now, I'm not saying it was her, but word on the street is that someone rigged a fire suppression system to the Papal Selection Indicator Smokestack.

Posted by Russ at 4:20 PM

Shameless Self Promotion

Here are a couple of entries I posted today for your reading pleasure...

If you're interested in Brit politics, check out this post.

If you want to see some pictures from my recent trip to Savannah, check here.

Posted by Caltechgirl at 3:35 PM

Randomness from the Castle

Hello, fellow Ithians. Here is a post from my Castle for you! :-)

I bought myself a tea-for-one on Saturday, and was finally able to try my Adagio Teas herbal tea!! The tins have been sitting patiently in the cupboard, waiting for me for weeks! I tested the Fruit Medley flavor and enjoyed its fruity-light (with a teensy minty kick!) taste. I have no gripes with the Adagio tea or the instructions or the excellent tea bags they included with the set of tins. Adagio Teas fairly earned my endorsement, and I'd urge you to try their fine product. They even filled each tin to the brim, which I thought was great (no settling of contents! No cheating with weight opposed to volume!) but watch out when opening the lid so that you don't spill the rooibos bits on the floor.

One crucial piece of tea advice I would like to share with you is this:  Remember, remember, REMEMBER to buy a teapot (sometimes different from a teakettle, by the way) with a little hole in the lid, or the tea will not pour so well out of the little tea spout, but will instead merrily dribble down the bottom of the pot onto one's pages of Esther, rendering those pages sticky and then stuck together when one attends one's Esther Bible class later that evening. That was a surprise. Oops...

I can't say I didn't have warning, either. I read about it at "Tea for all Reasons" and thought, "Hey, that makes sense. I should remember such a nifty tip", but it got lost in all the shopping excitement that was my Saturday.  

Aw...you are ever-so-welcome, HC!

Unconscious Mutterings for week of April 17th, 2005:

  1. Great escape::Gloomy hopelessness. What a miserable movie. I also think of "Chicken Run", which is pretty much the opposite of miserable.
  2. Cluster::Peanut
  3. Wrong place, wrong time::Disaster
  4. Guided::Missile
  5. Forensics::Fibers
  6. Pros:Cons 
  7. Safety deposit box::Fireproof 
  8. Quadrant::Angle (blech! )
  9. Precisely::Correctly
  10. Who are you?::Me!

From sarahk, a meme about, well, me! Nine of the following are true, one is false. You get to guess...

  1. I have just discovered I h.a.t.e. hate! to have someone idly open and close a pair of shears/scissors behind me.
  2. I liked when we had to run in P.E. class.  
  3. Stormy's dog, Tucker, peed on my ankle.
  4. Chewable Tylenol (cherry-flavor!) was my favorite medicine when I was a kid.
  5. I can whistle with an acorn shell.
  6. I sat in a chewed gumwad at my 2nd grade Halloween party.
  7. I prefer steak medium-well.
  8. I earned a 29 and then a 30 on my ACT.
  9. My parents had me 10 months after they married. 
  10. My feet are not ticklish.

I'll post answers in a couple of days, so guess away!  

*Update*Oh, my...I had to fix some format issues...sorry about the unnecessary bolding!!

Posted by Princess Jami at 1:30 PM

Dining In

Yesterday, in an effort to harken back to my Army linguist days (I went to language school right there in Ith's home turf), I made an attempt to prepare the Korean dish called chap chae (잡채).

For the record: apart from being an über-geek and a shameless self-promoter, I am apparently also an amazing cook (or just the beneficiary of a massive dose of beginner's luck.)

Look on my 잡채, ye hungry, and drool.

Posted by Russ at 1:04 PM | Comments (5)

Free Cone Day!

Just a reminder that the Ben & Jerry's "Free Cone Day" is tomorrow, April 19th. Take the day off work to go get you some free ice cream! Is there a Scoop Shop near you?*

*if not, I apologize. Go to work as usual, pay for your own darn ice cream, and we'll pretend I never said a thing... ;-)

Posted by Princess Jami at 7:47 AM | Comments (1)

April 17, 2005

Oh, Shenandoah

I hate to plug my own blog (of course, that doesn't stop me), but I have nothing else to share at the moment. I spent the day in the lovely Shenandoah Valley of Virginia yesterday - my thoughts can be found here.

Posted by Jen at 11:12 AM

April 16, 2005

Cookies but no Absinthe

The 35th weekly Carnival of the Recipes is up at Countertop Chronicles .

Drop by and check out all of the yumminess!

Posted by Caltechgirl at 1:35 PM

My turn, my turn!

I get to guest blog, too! I live over at Fresh as a Daisy and I thought why not add one more thing to my crazy life. So, I'll be in an out while Ith is enjoying her vacation. With all of us coming and going you'll never know what you might find.

Hmm, wonder what will happen tomorrow.

Posted by at 6:53 AM

April 15, 2005

Guest Blogger: the Pirate

So there I be, on thee dock celebratin me fine matey's recent electoral victory over yee mindless swabs an after many a cup of grog I thought it best to thus be attemptin to get back to me ship. So there I be on the dock and this wench be offerin me some absinthe & cookies, I being an honorable never turn do such a fine gesture from a lovely lass, well I be knowin better next time, for I awoke in the dingy gallows with some othger poor souls Caltechgirl, Tacjammer, and some Fujitive Jen who fell for the wench's wicked ways, the siren's final curse for yee pour souls came in one word:


Greetings from mystery guest blogger #4, the Pirate of the totally unrelated the Pirate's Blog. I too will be here while Ith is off to play, so sit back and enjoy the ride, or don't enjoy it.....its not like I'm going to cry or anything.....

Posted by at 11:28 PM | Comments (1)

Taking a Packing Break

It's kind of fun to open your blog and be surprised at what you see posted!

I am going to be doing something blog related while I'm away -- Wed. Nin and I are having lunch with Rae, who lives a few towns up from my parents.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:54 PM | Comments (1)


Guest Blogger #3 emerges from the shadows.....

Hi, I'm Caltechgirl of Not Exactly Rocket Science.

I'm so happy to be filling in for Ith this week. More to come in the next few days!

Posted by Caltechgirl at 6:12 PM


Just a test from me, guest blogger, fugitive jen.

I'm honored that Ith invited me to fill in while she's on vacation.

I'll be out and about this weekend, but I'm sure I'll be able to come up with something to ramble about.

See ya later!

Posted by Jen at 5:52 PM

Guest Blogger: Russ

Howdy, folks. Russ of TacJammer here, and while Ith is away — slacking on vacation while the rest of the nation carries her share of the load — I'll be one of the folks filling in here.

My goals are three-fold:

1. Posting of random items of interest (interesting to me, that is.)

2. Creation of insane lies about what Ith is doing while she's away.

3. Shameless self-promotion.

I expect to succeed only on #3. I think I've made a good start.

Posted by Russ at 2:14 PM | Comments (3)

Tartan Day Recap

Joining forces to lead the gene pull

THOUSANDS of people across America and Canada came together to celebrate Tartan Day - or Tartan Week as it has become - as Scotland was once again put firmly in the spotlight.

Tartan Day was first conceived in 1991 by the Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada. The USA followed suit in 1998 when the date was officially recognised by the US Senate as a celebration of the contribution that generations of Scots-Americans have made to the character and prosperity of the United States.

1998 was also the year of the passing of the Scotland Act which re-established a Scottish Parliament after an interval of almost three centuries.

Many have said the influence of Scots on America has been immense, almost out of proportion for a country with a population of just five million. The 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, drew attention to the influential role that Scots played in the development of their adopted home when he said: "Every line in America's history is a line coloured with Scottish blood."

It is not surprising then that Scotland has always proved a popular holiday destination for our North American cousins, especially considering that there are an estimated 20 million US citizens with Scottish ancestry.

The majority of visitors to the country cite family roots and ancestry as their main reason for visiting, and it's for this reason that interest in genealogy has soared.

Recognising that growing interest, Scotland Online - in partnership with the General Register Office for Scotland - launched what is now the official government source of genealogical data for Scotland: www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. Since its launch in 2002, the site has helped over 300,000 people trace Scottish ancestry.

With nearly 43 million records, ScotlandsPeople is one of the most comprehensive family history information websites in the world and it has become one of the largest single information resources on the web. Genealogy has become a sexier subject in recent years, and the BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are? certainly helped bring the subject to the masses.

The show gave viewers an insight into the ancestry of ten celebrities whose maternal ancestors were traced through ScotlandsPeople.

Very often people don't realise how straightforward it can be to trace their ancestry and can be put off by the thought of spending countless days and weeks sifting through reams of documents. This might have been the case prior to the launch of ScotlandsPeople when those interested in tracing their Scottish roots had to make the trip to Edinburgh to visit the offices at New Register House.

The rest can be found here.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:27 AM

Be My Guest

Well, I'm in almost vacation mode, so any of my wonderful guest bloggers out there who'd like to dip their toes in today,feel free! And make sure you shamelessly promote your own blogs while you're filling in for me!

Posted by Ithildin at 9:37 AM | Comments (1)

April 14, 2005

Fickle Fate

Ninja plays with dolls.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:09 PM

More Cool Stuff

At dinner with friends a few weeks back, I was talking about somthing similar to this. The project I was talking about was specific to Scotland, but this one is world wide. I'd love to be involved with this!

Via the Llama Dudes.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:57 AM

April 13, 2005

Lack of Bloggage

I'm getting ready to go away for a week, so have been falling down in the blogging department. Nothing exciting, just visitng my parents in UT. They only have a very bad dial up connection there, so I doubt I'll be around much. But I haven't forgotten you! A wonderful group of guest bloggers are waiting in the wings to keep you entertained and informed in grand style!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:15 PM | Comments (2)


three hundred and bloody six trackback spams. I'm still trying to delete them all, 25 at a time.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:46 AM | Comments (11)

April 12, 2005

"Role Model"

That's the title of tonight's episode of "House". If you're on the other coast, it starts in 5 minutes! If you're here, set those recording devices! And, as always, if you're looking for "House" discussion, check out my House M.D. email list.

Later: oh, hey, I'm 12th on the Technorati Hugh Laurie watch list. I'm taking over the internet!! Bwaahahah!

Posted by Ithildin at 5:57 PM | Comments (2)

More American Women Than Men Go Online

Interesting piece of information via The Corner.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:53 PM

Must Be The Hole In The Ozone Layer

I didn't start out the day like this, but for no one reason I can come up with, I'm really angry today. Not angry like I'm screaming at people and throwing things, more like clenching my jaw and simmering like a kettle on low. Cumulative stress maybe? I know I've been worrying about a lot of things, almost to the point of anxiety. The last 7 or 8 months have not been good ones, and I'm not sure that there's anything better in the offing any time soon. I also hurt. I suppose a lot of constant pain isn't good for the nerves either. So it could be anxiety or pain, or both. Or maybe it is the hole in the ozone layer :)

Well, they say venting is good. So there, I vented. I sit here impatiently waiting for bliss.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:16 AM | Comments (11)

April 11, 2005

Yes, We Watched It

Super Volcano!! It actually wasn't too bad all in all. Afterwards they talked to the real scientists with Tom Brokaw hosting. And I have to ask: does Tom not own another coat? I swear, every time I see him host some nature/science doc, he's always wearing the same bright yellow parka. He must be very fond of it indeed.

We also caught Flight of the Phoenix on PPV -- had to get my Hugh Laurie fix. Pretty good flick. Definitely worth a rental.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:40 PM | Comments (2)

Happily Ever After -- Not

Bloody Marriage

.... While the popular fantasy of the fairy-tale royal wedding persists to this day, with its visions of horse-drawn carriages, sparkling tiaras, and handsome princes, the reality is that many such unions were far less romantic. "Traditionally, British monarchs were expected to marry not for love but to ensure the purity of the dynasty--to make sure the royal bloodline continued and to make suitable alliances with other royal families,"


One result of the custom of marrying for duty over love was a system replete with royal mistresses, from Charles II's plucky favorite, Nell Gwynn, to Edward VII's longtime lover, Alice Keppel, and her great-granddaughter Camilla Parker Bowles, as well as numerous illegitimate children. "It's the way it's always been, and until very recently indeed, nobody raised an eyebrow for even a minute," says Harry Gelber, a visiting scholar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. In fact, when Edward VII lay dying, his wife, Queen Alexandra, summoned Keppel to his bedside so she could see him one last time.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:24 PM | Comments (3)

Check It Out

The latest Red Ensign Standard, that is.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:04 AM

April 9, 2005

How Very Strange

MSNBC is airing the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana from the original NBC broadcast. It was 1981, I had just turned 19 and was spending the summer with a friend in CA. We were up in the wee hours to watch every second of what was aired. It doesn't seem that long ago, and watching it now, more than 20 years later and in retrospect, it's made me much more emotional than I would have thought.

I remember meeting the Princess of Wales during a walkabout in Victoria not long after, and she really was quite beautiful and had an amazing smile. As the years pass, I think that will always be my memory of her. Not the sad and tragic figure she became, but the happy young woman in the blue hat I saw in Victoria one afternoon long ago.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:16 PM | Comments (6)

Making Toast

This is one of those things that you probably had to be there for, but what the heck. Many years ago, late one night on IRC, we were all a little punchy, and somehow "toast" became a euphemism. So we got insanely silly with things like, "How would you like your toast?" You get the idea. A few weeks ago, when Brad Paisley's latest, "Get a Little Mud On the Tires" came on the radio, we were in the truck and going to work, and out of the blue, I turned to Nin and told her that I thought it was a euphemism. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more.) For those that haven't heard the song, it's about a guy who has just bought a new truck, and is asking his girlfriend to come out with that night to the end of the road to the lake, and "get a little mud on the tires". What brought all this on? The video was just on CMT and I'm sitting here mentally chortling. And I thought I'd share. and it's a post that has absolutely nothing to do with Scotland!

(argh. allergies are killing me!!)

Posted by Ithildin at 12:22 PM | Comments (2)

April 8, 2005

The Softer Side

This sort of thing fascinates me. In fact, at our Townhall Meetup earlier in the week, we talked about how DNA is being used this way.

A snippet:

FAR from their marauding, pillaging stereotypes, Viking warriors were homemakers who couldn't wait to ship their wives over to settle the lands they had conquered, new research reveals.

Scientists studying Scots of Viking ancestry in Shetland and Orkney have discovered that there must have been far more Viking women in the Dark Ages settlements than originally thought.

However, it appears that Viking wives refused to go deeper into Scotland, with little evidence they made it as far as the Western Isles.

Researchers from Oxford University took DNA samples from 500 residents of Shetland using a toothbrush to extract some of their saliva. The scientists were able to identify genetic traits in the Scots which they share with modern day Scandinavian populations.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:17 PM | Comments (2)

This & That

Since I'm getting so much traffic from MSNBC, let me take the opportunity to welcome you all to A & C. And if you're a fan of the show "House" on FOX, you might like to check out my House M.D. email list right here! And the Stargate SG-1 list isn't bad either.

And while you're here, go visit Lornkanaga's journal. She'd really like that!

There's lots of great stuff over on the sidebar, so enjoy!

Extra! CTG has finally dumped Blogsplat and has joined the ranks of the free! Check out her new digs here.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:08 AM | Comments (6)


Anyone ever heard of Clicked on MSNBC's website? I was getting a lot of referrers from the site and it turns out they linked to the Tartan Day post. So I may have never had an Instalanche, but I got a link from "the major media"! Go me!

A little later: this blog has been linked by Jonah Goldberg on The Corner before, but that was when I was on vacation and a guest blogger's post. So I can't take credit for that.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:03 AM | Comments (3)

April 7, 2005

He's Been Holding Out!

I've just come to discover that Thomas, long time commenter, has a blog! Go visit him!

Just to note: if anyone who comments here goes and gets themselves a blog, I expect to hear about it! :) How else can I shamelessly promote you if you don't tell me about it?

Posted by Ithildin at 3:00 PM | Comments (7)

Many Thanks

I wanted to thank everyone who participated in the Gathering of the Blogs 2005. Thanks to you, it was a lot of fun, and a rousing success!

Oh, yeah! If you'd like to get an advance reminder of the 2006 Gathering, then please sign up for the announcement list. I'm trying to a little more clever than last year when I didn't keep any of the contact info for the participants!

Posted by Ithildin at 8:32 AM | Comments (1)

The James Bond Stakes Continue

The latest rumour....

The hunt for the sixth James Bond is over: English actor Daniel Craig is the new 007, according to London's Guardian. Producer Brabara Broccoli reportedly offered Craig, 37, a three-film deal worth $28 million.

No offense to Mr. Craig, but who?

Posted by Ithildin at 8:30 AM | Comments (4)

April 6, 2005

Welcome To Tartan Day 2005!

(this post will remain at the top most of the day -- scroll down for newer stuff)

Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled, Scots, wham Bruce has aften led, Welcome to your gory bed, Or to victorie.

Now's the day, and now's the hour;
See the front o' battle lour;
See approach proud Edward's power,
Chains and slaverie.

Wha would be a traitor-knave?
Wha can fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a Slave?
Let him turn and flie:

Gathering of the Blogs 2005 the links below will lead you to a wide variety of Scottish themed posts for Tartan Day

Wha for Scotland's king and law, Freedom's sword will strongly draw, Free-man stand, or free-man fa', Let him follow me.

By Oppression's woes and pains!
By your Sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!

Lay the proud Usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty's in every blow!
Let us Do - or Die!!!

Posted by Ithildin at 8:01 PM | Comments (2)

A Tartan Day Photo

Posted by Ithildin at 4:43 PM

For All Things Scottish

You might want to check out my email list, "Celts in Space".

Posted by Ithildin at 1:29 PM

A Recipe for Freedom

From the start America may have been wrapped in the cloth of red, white and blue, but its inner lining was tartan.

I really liked this particular article, and am sharing the entire thing here.

America and Scotland: peoples linked from the start


IT’S TIME for Scotland to swagger like its American cousins. Many of us look up to the United States as the icon of democracy and everything cool and creative. But were it not for Scotland and the hundreds of thousands of its people who planted their feet on its soil, America would have been a much different place – a country craving character.

Scotland was more than a pinch of salt when America was being kneaded into a nation – many of the main ingredients were derived from the Saltire State. Young and old, man and woman, Scots came to the New World in search of greater freedom and opportunity. They brought with them not only hope and desire, but brains and leadership.

They were a philanthropist and a naturalist. They were leaders in military and political arenas. They put their name to the Declaration of Independence, they pursued religious freedoms, they shared cultural traditions and brought ideas and innovation to bear.

Woodrow Wilson, America’s 28th president and son of a Scottish Presbyterian minister, said it best of his native people: "Every line of strength in American history is a line coloured with Scottish blood." An exaggeration? Perhaps, but not by much.

Wilson is one of 23 US presidents with Scottish extraction. Nearly half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence – including Princeton University founder John Witherspoon and Supreme Court associate justice James Wilson - were of Scottish descent. The governors in nine of the original 13 colonies were of Scottish ancestry.

From the start America may have been wrapped in the cloth of red, white and blue, but its inner lining was tartan.

The first Scottish president in America was James Monroe, the great-grandson of a Scots Covenanter who had arrived in the US in chains. Monroe threw the Spanish out of Florida and established the Monroe Doctrine that excluded European powers from the Americas.

In 1927, the head of the American consulate to Scotland addressed members of the Rotary Club in Edinburgh. In his speech, Wilbert Bonney paid tribute to the untold number of Scots immigrants who made contributions to America’s development. Bonney’s list of heros and heroines went on and on.

Flora MacDonald, best known for protecting Bonnie Prince Charlie from bounty-hunters after the failed Jacobite Rising, lived in North Carolina for ten years with husband Alexander. She, like many of her fellow Scots, saw the opportunity “to begin the world again, anew, in a new corner of it.”

Among the many others to make significant contributions in the States were John Muir, creator of the National Parks Service; John Paul Jones, founder of the US Navy; and Alexander Hamilton, a trusted friend of George Washington and Treasury secretary.

The person with Scottish heritage who arguably made the greatest contribution to America was Andrew Carnegie. Making his fortune in steel, the Fife-born Carnegie retired as the world’s richest man before proceeding to become the world’s greatest philanthropist. Adopting the motto "the man who dies rich dies disgraced", he left an indelible mark on a young nation through his generous contributions to foundations, trusts and charities.

In his 1889 book The Gospel of Wealth, Carnegie wrote of his belief in philanthropy and asserted that that all personal wealth beyond that required to supply the needs of one's family should be regarded as a trust fund to be administered for the benefit of the community. He enthusiastically set about his philanthropic endeavours, providing money for over 2,500 libraries throughout the English-speaking world and more than 7,600 pipe organs for churches. He established a variety of trust funds and foundations that still operate to this day. By the time of his death in 1919 he had given away $350 million to good causes.

And these are only some of the names and some of their accomplishments. It would require thousands of words more to convey the impact made by others of Scots descent, whose theories and theorems, decisions and designs helped mould America into what it is today.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:16 PM

Making It Official

Seems to me that April 6 in Scotland could be like July 4 here.

Drive to put Tartan holiday on calendar

SCOTTISH Nationalists want MSPs to debate calls for Tartan Day to be made a national holiday.

See the rest in the extended entry....

SNP frontbencher Christine Grahame has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament proposing that April 6 - the focus of Tartan Week celebrations in the United States to mark the contribution of Scots-Americans- should be formally established as Scotland Day to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath.

She said it was ironic so much effort went into promoting the occasion in the US while it was largely neglected in Scotland.

"We don’t make enough of April 6," she said. "The Declaration of Arbroath was a very radical document. It meant the end of the divine right of kings - the monarch could only remain with the consent of the people - and the American Declaration of Independence borrowed much of its thought."

There are events in Scotland next week to mark Tartan Day, centred on Arbroath, including a pipe band procession, a re-enactment of the signing of the Declaration and a gala dinner.

But most of the attention is focused on the other side of the Atlantic, where three ministers from the Scottish Executive will be involved in a series of events, starting today with the Tartan Day parade through New York.

SNP leader Alex Salmond said:

"Sometimes it takes the interest shown elsewhere to remind people how important that document was not just in terms of Scottish history, but its international impact has been very substantial.

"It contained two revolutionary concepts - one was the concept of nationhood, expressed in the phrase ‘community of the realm’ which made its first appearance in the Arbroath Declaration.

"It was also revolutionary in the context of the right of people, of popular sovereignty, to replace unpopular governments, an argument which resounded through history and was used in the American Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson. I would like to see April 6 as a public holiday in Scotland. I would like to see it as a national day, along with St Andrew’s Day and, hopefully in time, Scotland’s Independence Day."

Independent MSP Dennis Canavan, who is working on a Bill to make St Andrew’s Day a national holiday, agreed the Declaration of Arbroath was a "defining moment" in Scotland’s history and "worth celebrating". But he said St Andrew’s Day was more internationally recognised.

The STUC has supported calls for St Andrew’s Day to be made a holiday, but general secretary Bill Speirs said the unions had not taken a view on Tartan Day.

He said: "St Andrew’s Day has been raised across Scottish civic society and properly discussed. I’m not arguing against Tartan Day or Tartan Week in the US, but it has not emerged naturally in Scotland. I would say it was better to focus on St Andrew’s Day."

An Executive spokesman said there were no plans to declare April 6 a public holiday. "Tartan Day is about promoting Scotland in the US. That is the whole rationale behind Tartan Day and Tartan Week."

Posted by Ithildin at 11:44 AM


So busy have I been putting together all the Tartan Day stuff, I never got around to writing a post of my own. Here's my Tartan Day post from last year instead. I was rather fond of it at the time, so here's a repeat :)

A Memory I Never Had

I'm probably more English than I am Scottish, but I've always identified strongly with my Scots heritage. Maybe it's because of my maternal grandmother, Amy Marie. She was born in Scotland, and she and her parents left Aberdeen when she was a teenager, first settling in Diamondville Wyoming, before moving to Smithers, B.C. where my great-grandmother had family. According to my mum's older sister, I look enough like her to be her twin -- right down to the green eyes that no one else in the family has. Amy loved to dance, music, cats, & horses. Or so I'm told. You see, I only know my grandmother through vague descriptions and stories because she died when my mum was two, after a long illness, probably tuberculoses. I've now been alive more years than my grandmother was given, and still, I wonder what she was really like. I've never even seen a picture of her, but I think I can see her in my imagination sometimes. And when I think of Scotland, I remember my grandmother, Amy Marie Smith Heal.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:56 AM

Plaid It Again, Uncle Sam

This is the end of a much longer article.

.... Before home-based Scots leap in to tick off over-zealous American Scots, we need to ask ourselves whether we could actually learn something from their transparent devotion to all things Scottish.

See the extended entry for the rest....

It was a question I asked myself at the end of November last year when I was invited to speak at a St Andrew’s Night Dinner in Chicago which had been organised by the Illinois St Andrew’s Society. Every man there was dressed in a kilt, itself not without risk in the Windy City, and we all enjoyed a traditional Scottish meal followed by speeches. Then, without warning, two pipers appeared and led in a tea trolley, pushed by four burly men. On the back of the tea-trolley was a large tartan teacosy. When the trolley appeared at the front of the stage, the teacosy stirred and a tiny girl emerged. She was wearing a tartan pinafore, had plaid ribbons in her hair and waved at the applauding crowd with the aplomb of a movie star. "She’s this year’s Haggis Lassie," one of the ladies at my table explained. "It’s traditional."

The Haggis Lassie and the mobile Scottish castle are just two of the ways in which Americans are joyfully recreating Scottish traditions. But if the ways in which American Scots celebrate Scotland can seem a little unusual to Scottish eyes, the sincerity with which they do it isn’t in doubt. "I’ve seen hardened Vietnam veterans cry when they receive their clan tartan for the first time," says social anthropologist Celeste Ray who has studied American Scottish culture. And at Harvard University, sociologist Mary Waters has accumulated evidence which proves how popular Scottish identity has become in the US. Since the publication of Alex Hailey’s Roots in 1976, the hunger which Americans feel to find out about their backgrounds has grown and grown. At the end of the 1980s, a question was added to the American census which for the first time sought information about ethnic background.

When she first conducted her research 20 years ago, Waters found that Scottish identity was the least popular white ethnic identity in America. "Scots were thought to be mean, bad tempered and unfriendly," she says. "Now Scots are the most popular white ethnic identity of all." If one man is responsible for this turn-around in Scottish popularity, it is Randall Wallace, creator of Braveheart, the man who was announced this year as Grand Marshall of the Tartan Day parade in New York.

In the world of the American Scots, Randall Wallace is a demi-god and William Wallace a full-blown deity. Wallace recounts how everywhere he goes he is told how the film has boosted membership of Scottish American societies ten-fold.

To Randall Wallace, his illustrious ancestor is a fully fledged Scottish hero and, thanks to Wallace’s film, the blue-and-white-painted freedom fighter has become a hero to Tamil Nationalists and oppressed Peruvian peasants.

When I watched Wallace speak at a dinner for American Scots, it became all too clear how much Braveheart’s story meant to him. He told a story about taking his father to Stirling and listening to a piper play the bagpipes from the ramparts of Stirling Castle. In the middle of the story, Wallace began to cry. For a full two minutes, he struggled to regain his composure, as the American Scots sat on the edge of their seats. At my table a native-born Scot who had recently relocated to Chicago rolled his eyes: "You wouldn’t get away with this in Glasgow."

He was absolutely right. It’s hard to imagine a greater contrast than that between the colourful, innocent patriotism of Scottish Americans and the glum attitudes of modern, civic, devolutionary Scotland. But, as Tartan day rolls around again, and we all take a grim pleasure in sending up the attitudes of our North American cousins, its time to ask whether we could all be a bit more relaxed about our cultural traditions, and whether we should all put in a little homework in our garages. After all, there are plenty of castles out there crying out to be taken on the road.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:37 AM

I Found This Interesting

The majority of new immigrants to Scotland are from here in the States. Sort of reverse migrations or something!

American influx can't stem Scotland's population slide

MORE immigrants come to Scotland from the United States than any other overseas country, a new study revealed today.

Americans accounted for ten per cent of the overseas immigrants identified north of the Border.

About one-third of people who move to Scotland settle in Edinburgh and the Lothians, according to census figures.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:23 AM

In The Movies

SCOTLAND'S natural surroundings attract many thousands of tourists each year. Mountains, valleys and lochs abound. What gave popularity to many of these destinations is their place in film. From Rob Roy to Harry Potter, the Saltire State has played a leading role in many motion pictures. Here's a look at our top five movie locations in Scotland.
Posted by Ithildin at 9:19 AM

Tartan Day Question

So who's decked out in plaid today? I'm wearing a green plaid silk shirt and some of my Celtic jewelery. And anyone else going out tonight? I had a meeting scheduled, but it was scheduled in a pub, so guess what we're doing?!

Posted by Ithildin at 8:37 AM | Comments (1)

April 5, 2005


Wow! This could be great -- or horrible.

Sorry, talking about American Idol's theme tonight.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:04 PM | Comments (1)

Last Call!

If you want to be included in the "Tartan Day - Gathering of the Blogs" blogroll, please tell me so in the comments of this post. I need an email address and URL so I can add you to the mailing list. That way, when I email out the final blogroll, you will receive a copy for your blog. I'll be adding people tonight, and I may add any real-late comers in the morning -- if I have time before work.

You can leave your email address and link here, mail it to me directly -- edithna AT yahoo DOT com, or add yourself to the mailing list here, following the directions.

It's going to be fun!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:47 PM | Comments (1)

Scots Stereotype

Found this excellent piece while searching for lyrics: The Scots: Stereotype and Reality

The whole website is full of interesting things, so go explore while you're at it!

A Gathering 2005 post

Posted by Ithildin at 5:40 PM

Nonsense Spam?

What's with the rash of what I call, "Nonsense Spam"? Basically, you get spammed with strings of unrelated letters and numbers as URLs. Blacklist doens't catch most of them because each one has a different string of garble.

I've been getting waves of it for about an hour and they're spamming me as fast as I can delete them.

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

The Miracles of St. Columba

I've always had a fondness for St. Columba, and hope one day to be able to visit Iona. You can find many stories of the miracles and prophecies of Columba here, but this has long been one of my favourites.

How an Aquatic Monster was driven off by virtue of the blessed man's prayer.

ON another occasion also, when the blessed man was living for some days in the province of the Picts, he was obliged to cross the river Nesa (the Ness); and when he reached the bank of the river, he saw some of the inhabitants burying an unfortunate man, who, according to the account of those who were burying him, was a short time before seized, as he was swimming, and bitten most severely by a monster that lived in the water; his wretched body was, though too late, taken out with a hook, by those who came to his assistance in a boat. The blessed man, on hearing this, was so far from being dismayed, that he directed one of his companions to swim over and row across the coble that was moored at the farther bank. And Lugne Mocumin hearing the command of the excellent man, obeyed without the least delay, taking off all his clothes, except his tunic, and leaping into the water. But the monster, which, so far from being satiated, was only roused for more prey, was lying at the bottom of the stream, and when it felt the water disturbed above by the man swimming, suddenly rushed out, and, giving an awful roar, darted after him, with its mouth wide open, as the man swam in the middle of the stream. Then the blessed man observing this, raised his holy hand, while all the rest, brethren as well as strangers, were stupefied with terror, and, invoking the name of God, formed the saving sign of the cross in the air, and commanded the ferocious monster, saying, "Thou shalt go no further, nor touch the man; go back with all speed." Then at the voice of the saint, the monster was terrified, and fled more quickly than if it had been pulled back with ropes, though it had just got so near to Lugne, as he swam, that there was not more than the length of a spear-staff between the man and the beast. Then the brethren seeing that the monster had gone back, and that their comrade Lugne returned to them in the boat safe and sound, were struck with admiration, and gave glory to God in the blessed man. And even the barbarous heathens, who were present, were forced by the greatness of this miracle, which they themselves had seen, to magnify the God of the Christians.

A Gathering 2005 post

Posted by Ithildin at 11:54 AM

St Cuthbert the Wonder-worker

The Life of St Cuthbert

Cuthbert was born in 635 near Melrose in Scotland of humble parentage. As a boy, he tended sheep on the hills in that area. In the year 651, while watching his sheep, he saw a vision. St Bede in his Life and Miracles of St Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne describes what Cuthbert observed thus:

"On a sudden he saw a long stream of light break through the darkness of the night, and in the midst of it a company of the heavenly host descended to the earth, and having received among them a spirit of surpassing brightness, returned without delay to their heavenly home."

Next morning, he found that St Aidan - founder of the Priory of Lindisfarne and a man of great holiness - had died at the very moment of his vision. At this point, so St Bede claims, Cuthbert gave up being a shepherd and decided to enter the Celtic monastery of Melrose in order to train as a monk. There he soon became known for his piety and learning. In due course, he went to Ripon to help found the monastery there. Expelled when he refused to accept the Roman monastic traditions urged upon him, Cuthbert returned to Melrose where he was appointed Prior in 661.

In 664, the Synod of Whitby decided in favour of the Roman monastic traditions. Cuthbert accepted that decision. He was then appointed Prior of the great monastery of Lindisfarne, in order that he might introduce the monastic changes to that house. The fact that he himself had been trained in the Celtic tradition and was now conforming to the new order helped him to persuade the monks at Lindisfarne to accept the change themselves. Cuthbert remained Prior a Lindisfarne until 676, when he retired to the nearby island of Inner Farne in order to live the life of a hermit.

Here Cuthbert spent his time in prayer and contemplation having only the seals and sea birds for company. However, he reluctantly agreed to accept appointment as Bishop of Lindisfarne in 685. Despite this reluctance, he threw himself energetically into his new role travelling widely and converting people to the Christian faith. Two years later, though, he retired from the post of Bishop and returned to his island hermitage where he died in 687. Cuthbert's body was carried back to Lindisfarne and buried there, in accordance with his wishes.

A Gathering 2005 post

Posted by Ithildin at 10:45 AM

A Myth?

Historian throws down gauntlet on 'Clearances myth'

THE AUTHOR of a controversial new book that promises to expose the Highland Clearances as a myth last night challenged his critics to a public debate to expose "lazy and emotional versions of Scottish history" that always blamed the landlords.

Michael Fry, author of Wild Scots, Four Hundred Years of Highland History, has angered politicians and historians by saying that claims of mass evictions from the Highlands in the 18th and 19th centuries were greatly exaggerated and ignored the desire of people to leave their poverty-stricken homeland to improve themselves.

Critics included the Labour MP Brian Wilson, who described Mr Fry as a buffoon the "David Irving of the Clearances", a reference to the historian who has played down the number of people killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Professor Tom Devine, of Aberdeen University and author of The Scottish Nation, said Mr Fry’s comments could provoke a war of words that could make discussions on sectarianism seem tame.

Excerpts from Mr Fry’s book, due to be published in July, focus on the most notorious episodes of the era. These include Mr Fry’s assertion that the Duke of Sutherland moved tenants from their inland homes to the coast to give them new livelihoods in new industries on a par with the post-war Labour government moving people to East Kilbride.

He argues that since the population of Sutherland rose between 1801 and 1831, the Clearances could "not have been all that ruthless".


James Hunter, professor of history at the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute, whose new book, Scottish Exodus, examines the Highland diaspora, said Mr Fry was "playing with words" and ignoring the responsibility of historians to honour those who had endured trauma and suffering.

Prof Hunter said: "The truth lies somewhere in between the two extremes that horrible, brutal landlords evicted the Highland population and Mr Fry’s views that no-one was evicted.

"The situation was complicated and people left or were put off the land for different reasons at various times."

A Gathering 2005 post

Posted by Ithildin at 9:45 AM

Guess It's Time To Renew My Passport

U.S. to Tighten Border Controls by 2008

Apr 5, 11:49 AM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans will need passports to re-enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, Panama and Bermuda by 2008, part of a tightening of U.S. border controls in an era of terrorist threat, three administration officials said Tuesday.

Similarly, Canadians will also have to present a passport to enter the United States, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Canadians have been the only foreigners allowed to enter the United States with just a driver's license.

An announcement, expected later Tuesday at the State Department, will specify that a passport or another valid travel document will have to be shown by U.S. citizens, the officials said.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:13 AM | Comments (3)

Ghost Fest

Now this would be nifty to attend! I've been on many ghost walks in the U.K., and one of them was in Edinburgh. Really creepy stuff! Especially the bit mentioned at the end of the article where they blocked up an area with plague victims. I think it's safe to assume Nin would be all over the whisky tasting!

A snippet:

A NEW ghoulish coach tour of the Capital is to be one of the highlights of the UK’s first ghost festival.

Organisers are promising a trip around "the killing fields" of the city during the Ghost Bus Tour of some of the Capital’s supernatural hotspots.

The Royal Mile, New Town, Princes Street, Lothian Road, Tollcross, the Grassmarket, Abbeyhill and the Canongate will all feature.

The Mercat Tour Company will be joining forces with coach firm Rabbie’s for the 90-minute tours, part of an extensive programme of events organised by the Real Mary King’s Close visitor attraction.

An overnight vigil in Edinburgh’s underground vaults, parapsychology experiments, film screenings and a psychic fair are all being planned for Ghost Fest.

Other events in the festival include a spooky procession down the Royal Mile, nights of whisky tastings from Scotland’s haunted distilleries, a horror film quiz and tarot readings.

A Gathering 2005 post

Posted by Ithildin at 8:28 AM

April 4, 2005

Yes, Quiet

quite result
Quiet Girl

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Via Sue

Posted by Ithildin at 8:21 PM | Comments (2)

Lost To Two

Lost Finale Expands

The season finale of ABC's hit SF series Lost has been expanded to two hours, from the originally planned 90 minutes, for creative reasons, Variety reported. The May 25 finale is also being scheduled directly opposite Fox's American Idol climax, the trade paper said.

Series creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof had planned for a 90-minute Lost wrap-up, but once the final script came in longer than expected, the decision was made to expand the finale to two hours, the trade paper reported. Alias will air its season finale at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:13 PM

Canada, The Ban, & Me

By now, most of you have heard about the Canadian Gomery publication ban and the U.S. blogs that are reporting on it.

I got to thinking: where in the heck do I stand? I belong to the Red Ensign group, most of whose members live in Canada. Can they be prosecuted for having a group blogroll that may have individual members who are reporting on this -- some of them from outside Canada's borders, like me? And what about people like Paul? He lives in Canada, but I let his blog live here on my domain that is hosted in the States.

I think the Canadian government has a can of worms on its hands, and that's putting it mildly!

A bit later: here's a Canadian Press report on Yahoo about the banned testimony.

(and it's Yahoo Canada, so does that mean the Canadian press is ignoring the ban now?) (though the article mentions the ban -- it's like they're just skirting around the edges)

Posted by Ithildin at 3:52 PM | Comments (4)

Hadn't Thought Of It That Way

I like McGehee's take on the late Pope and the Iraq war. Food for thought.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:36 PM

The Kick Off

.... The launch of the Scottish village on Saturday was followed by the annual parade up Sixth Avenue, where marchers were led by "grand marshal" Randall Wallace, an American of Scots descent who wrote the screenplay for the blockbuster film Braveheart.

Mr Wallace said he was exhilarated to be "walking through one of the greatest cities in the world" and paid tribute to Scots in North America. "Through their intelligence, innovation, passion and enthusiasm they have helped make America what it is today," he said.

Speaking at Saturday's launch, VisitScotland chairman Peter Lederer said: "Scotland is small, but it has a global reach and a global brand.

"It has cultural icons most countries can only dream of, wonderful food and drink and modern dynamic cities. It has one of the best education systems in the world and is a great place to do business."

The entire article here.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:16 PM | Comments (2)

On The "House" Subject

My post earlier about Sela Ward reminded me of the spoilers I posted last week. Further thoughts and spoilers in the extended post.

Stacy is now married to someone else, but when she first shows up, House doesn't know this. Stacy shows him a medical file that she wants his opinion on, and when he asks whose it is, she tells him it's her husband's -- very much to his surprise.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:55 AM

Two Days

The Gathering 2005 is fast approaching and there's still time for you to join us! We have 24 blogs participating so far. I'd love to make it at least as many as last year. Now, last year, people said there wasn't enough notice given. That can't be said this year! So come on, what are you waiting for?

Posted by Ithildin at 10:37 AM

Ward To "House"

Sela Ward will be joining the cast of House, for an indeterminate number of episodes, as the mysterious Stacey, House's ex.

UNDER HOUSE ARREST: Somebody page Dr. Grumpy — Sela Ward is in the House. Well, she will be come May when the Once and Again beauty begins a potentially long-term arc as a former flame of Hugh Laurie's irascible doc. "This is somebody he lived with, somebody he loved and somebody he still has feelings for," series creator David Shore tells TVGuide.com, adding that Ward's arrival will shed some light on why Dr. House is such a pill. "We get to know his backstory, [including] what happened to his leg." Let me guess: He's got that pesky Kerry Weaver gene.

I love Sela Ward!

House email list

Posted by Ithildin at 8:45 AM | Comments (2)

April 3, 2005

Full Tummy

Dinner was black bean and goat cheese enhchiladas with tomatillo sauce. Good news, they were yummy. Bad news, Turns out I'm horribly allergic to the fumes from peppers/chiles. I had a terrible no breathing/asthma incident while de-seeding the Serranos. Bleah! Dessert was plum crisp, all hot and bubbly with vanilla ice cream.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:28 PM | Comments (3)

April 2, 2005

In Sympathy

My sympathies to all my Roman Catholic readers on your loss today.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:28 PM | Comments (3)

Battlestar Galactica Open Thread

Well, the last episode has aired. Thoughts?

I'm going to put mine in the comments, so Rue won't be accidently spoiled -- she doesn't get it till next week.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:18 PM | Comments (7)

April 1, 2005


Aaron is back blogging at totally new digs. Go welcome him back!

Posted by Ithildin at 7:15 PM | Comments (1)

The "Toast of Tartan Week"

Scotland's village people aim to be the toast of Tartan Week

A NEW £1million weapon in the fight to boost Scotland's tourism income was due to be unveiled by ministers today at the start of the annual Tartan Week celebrations in New York.

The Scottish Village - a purpose-built travelling pavilion featuring exhibitions and displays on holiday ideas and visitor attractions - will make its debut in Grand Central Station in a bid to persuade some of the half a million commuters who pass through the concourse every week that Scotland is "the best small country in the world".

The "village", to be launched by tourism minister Patricia Ferguson ahead of today's annual Tartan Week parade up the city's Sixth Avenue, will also be taken to events such as the G8 summit in Gleneagles.

It includes live Scottish cooking demonstrations, fashion shows and an onsite genealogist, accompanied by music from ceilidh bands the Peatbog Faeries and Shooglenifty.

This week's celebrations in New York are set to be more muted than last year, when Jack McConnell attracted curiosity in the United States and ridicule at home when he attended the Dressed to Kilt fashion show in a modern pin-striped kilt.

Neither the First Minister nor any of the main party leaders are attending, blaming the proximity of a general election. Ms Ferguson is instead accompanied by finance minister Tom McCabe and health minister Andy Kerr who will take part in a Central Park fun run tomorrow morning to promote Scotland as a healthy, smoke-free visitor destination.

Tuesday's Icons of Scotland dinner is rarely attended by celebrity award winners, but designers such as cashmere queen Belinda Robertson and kilt promoter Howie Nicholsby are among likely guests at Wednesday's Dressed to Kilt event at the Copacabana Club.

The event will also be attended by rugby legend Scott Hastings, actor Brian Cox, singer Darius and chef Nick Nairn and will feature pieces by a range of Scottish designers including Edinburgh milliner Yvette Jelfs. Sir Sean Connery is expected at the celebrations, but his attendance had still to be confirmed last night.

Peter Lederer, chairman of VisitScotland, said: "The Scottish village is a fantastic showcase, the first of its kind in the world. It will give New Yorkers a taste of Scottish life and culture, and encourage them to see Scotland for themselves."

Ms Ferguson said: "This year's Tartan Week programme is our most ambitious ever."

For the blog side of Tartan Day, there's Gathering of the Blogs 2005.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:47 PM

I Want Them Now!

I read a passel of juicy House spoilers for the next four episodes yesterday, and it makes me want to see them all right now!

If you think the show's been great so far, you just wait!

Update: click in the extended entry if you'd like a brief summary.

House M.D. Email List

* I know how Volger goes. No bus. The board gets a backbone

* I think Cameron and House actually go out, but Wilson warns her not to
break his heart

* We meet Stacy both now and through flashbacks

* We find out all about House's leg through flashbacks when he's teaching a
class in diagnostics. Cuddy is his doctor at the time of the injury.

There's some very powerful stuff ahead.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:56 PM | Comments (8)

Check It Out

The latest Carnival of the Recipes.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:59 PM


Tina sent me the link to this photo of William Wallace's sword (there's also a small article with the photo).


It's going on tour in the U.S.A. as part of Tartan Day celebrations.

And, of course, you can celebrate Tartan Day yourself by joining the 2005 Gathering of the Blogs!

Posted by Ithildin at 8:37 AM

Fashion Of The Scots

It's April 1st and that means -- no, not April Fool's Day -- it's Scottish Fashion Show Day! So trackback, or leave your links in the comments, to your post with Scottish fashion from you, your family, friends, or pets!

The only pic I have on my computer is of me heading off to a wake, about 12 years ago in my Modern Dress Fraser Kilt.


So there's mine, let's see yours!

And if you want to join us for the Gathering of the Blogs 2005, everything you need to know is right here.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:11 AM | Comments (6)