… brains …

Archive for November, 2004

“Hemingway, you want to breed?”

Saturday, November 27th, 2004

The New York Times has an article on the increasing popularity of alpacas. The stunning thing is the prices these animals can fetch: $400,000 for a prize winning alpaca stud?

I’ll just wait for the bubble to burst and pick up a couple of alpacas on the cheap.

Fish Highway

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

I can’t think of anything to say that adds to the picture

How to Kill a Mockingbird

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

When you have a little time to kill, check out this unique book report on To Kill a Mockingbird. You won’t be sorry. (Yes, you’ll need a flash player and headphones).

Post IETF Poll: Who Else Got the Crud?

Friday, November 19th, 2004

So, I’ve got a headache, heat congestion, chest congestion, and a mild fever; this started late Wednesday, and has blossomed into a full “I can’t function” cold today. Ben reports similar symptoms in his household, which points to DC as a potential vector.

So, just for trend charting, who else went to DC and got the crud?

Passing Observation: for some reason, when I’m just on the cusp of hallucinating, I appear to feel compelled to send e-mail and/or blog.

Edit: Add “Intestinal Distress” to the list of symptoms. Ugh.

Money: The Freedom to Vote Your Conscience?

Friday, November 19th, 2004

So, according to an article in Slate, which cites a small study in Elite Traveler, millionaire voters exhibit an interesting voting trend. In particular, the $1M – $10M set appear to vote republican (or, at least, for Bush), while the $1oM+ set appear to vote democratic/Kerry. Slate has some interesting commentary on this trend.

Thanks to Ron for the Slate pointer.

I would have tried to find the relevant article on the Elite Traveler web site, but once I got to a page that had “calendar” misspelled three times, I was forced to leave in disgust. Elite, indeed.

Don’t mess with this beast…

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Alan, I’ve heard you had a life-changing experience with someone I’d rather not think about. Here’s a beast you might not want to take on unless you want another life-changing experience:
Neighborhood Hazard

Teeth and Your Heart

Saturday, November 13th, 2004

So, I was pointing out the link between oral hygeine and heart attacks earlier this evening, and wanted to verify that I wasn’t hallucinating. It turns out that there is clinical evidence that the link between poor oral hygeine and heart attacks is significantly stronger than the link between elevated cholesterol and heart attacks. There is apparently also nontrivial evidence suggesting that gum disease is a good predictor of incidence of stroke.

More practically, from my own experience, Colgate Total seems to do a much better-than-average job of keeping bacterial plaque off your teeth than most toothpastes for a much longer period of time (although I imagine that the presence of triclosan or triclocarban would bring any other product up to the same level), and that a fluroide rinse or gel adds a further bacteriostatic effect which, if used at night, can be used to effectively eliminate “morning breath.” Additionally, the Johnson & Johnson brand tartar-control “woven floss” does a superior job of inter-tooth cleaning than most other flosses I’ve used (including Glide and various waxed flosses), with far less incidence of being destroyed by composite fillings. Further, recent studies that have shown that a mouth rinse with active ingredients of specific essential plant oils (thymol, eucalyptol, menthol) such as Listerine or generic versions of Listerine are “at least as effective as flossing for plaque and gingivitus” — 20% reduction in plaque, and 11% reduction in gingivitus, versus 3.4% and 4.3% respectively for daily flossing — which is a substantial improvement over purely mechanical removal. Finally, combine this with a plaque-loosening pre-rinse, such as Plax, before you begin your flossing and brushing, and you’ll find that you can spend significantly less time scrubbing your teeth to acheive the same effect. So, it may be overkill, but my bedtime routine consists of Plax/floss with Reach/brush with Total/Listerine/fluoride rinse. Sure, it takes a bit of time, but I figure I get most of that back by not dying young. YMMV.

This post brought to you by generous gin donations from Cullen and David, and all the folks who make Bombay Saphire so very tasty. I suspect that Alan may have brought my drunken mind to bear on the topic of oral hygeine, so he probably deserves equal credit. Thank you to all, and good night. I’m going to go brush my teeth now.

Edit: Total is made by Colgate, not Crest

Another Image for Alan

Friday, November 12th, 2004

A True Life Changing Experience

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Larry King Says Hi

Ethiopian Food

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

I just tried Ethiopian food for the first time. Three of us got a plate of things with unrecognizable names. The only utensil on the table was bread.

All the items were excellent, but one thing really struck me. The centerpiece was made up of chicken, and hard-boiled proto-chickens, in a chili based sauce. Except for the eggs, it was almost identical to a dish of Pollo Adobo I got in Santa Fe a couple of years ago. Interesting bit of cultural synchronicity.

I wish I could rememer the restaurant name. It is in Washington DC near 18th street and California.


Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

many tired people
the circus stages are set
web gets more attention


Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

So, I’m up here in Washington, DC — and by someone else’s scheduling, I end up in a Mexican restaurant (Lauriol Plaza, if you’re in the area). I would normally not choose to do this kind of thing so far away from, say, Mexico, owing largely to a horrific “Mexican” “food” experience I had in Baltimore one time. That’s a story for elsewhere.

They really got everything right. The tamale was freshly made; the chicken enchiladas were throughly coated with a dark brown chile sauce; and the chili relleno was expertly executed. (They seem to have used some sort of easily melted cheese instead of the traditional queso blanco, but this happens much in Texas as well, so I can’t complain). The crowning touch? They even presented it with the traditional Mexican food blessing:

“Watch out, sir; the plate is very hot.”


Things I’ve forgotten

Monday, November 8th, 2004

Some things I’ve forgotten in the past few days:

  • That I should deposit my paycheck
  • How to do long division
  • That blue folder that follows my mom around in the cancer center. It’s supposed to end up at the front desk when they’re done with her. I found it in the back of the Honda when I got home.
  • To get the oil changed in the Honda and the Suburban
  • That the front pocket of my purse is not the best place for Mason County topazes
  • To ask the nurse if the time she scribbled down on the pink piece of paper is for bloodwork and then the oncologist visit or if it’s just for the oncologist visit and I just have to remember to get my mom to the clinic a half-hour early for bloodwork.
  • To redeem that nifty coupon at Central Market for a set of Wuesthof-Trident utility knives
  • To buy hangers
  • What sort of garnet grandite is. I think it’s somewhere between grossular and andradite
  • Why I was keeping that tiny toy gun in my desk drawer
  • To turn in that stock option agreement
  • That I already own two serviceable rice bowls and a toaster
  • To call CHAMPUS to figure out who the hell that doctor was and why his diagnosis code provoked them to ask for a police report


Saturday, November 6th, 2004

Grew some of these. They turn from that eggplant purple to a flourescent red when they’re ripe. Found out that you don’t just eat-em – still healing from the chemical burn. But for careful cooking/garnish applications, the flavor is _amazing_. The place serving the picture also sells seeds for them (look near the bottom of the page).

Reporter Tactics

Friday, November 5th, 2004

I’m sorry I missed this when it first came out…

But what better way to lead off an article about post-debate vitriol than with a screen-filling picture of a llama’s face?

I think American reporters have a lot to learn from Chinese journalism. They know what really matters in politics.

TX Places

Thursday, November 4th, 2004

According to mapquest you can get from dawn to sundown in just under 3 hours.

More silly place names

Thursday, November 4th, 2004

Rural Quebec is definitely a source for quirky place names. As you’ve noticed, the french ones: Tete a Baleine (Whale’s head), La Tuque (famous Canadian hat), Ste-Emelie-de-l’Energie. The Inuit ones too: Kangiqsuajujjuaq and Kujjuaq, Puvirnituq, Inukjuak, Sanikiluak, Kuujjuarapik.

But for my money the Maritimes have the best place names around: Meat cove, Money Point, Dingwall, Roaches Line, Dildo and South Dildo, and from there Heart’s Content and Heart’s Desire are right up the coast.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the Little Feat songs listing Texas places… they could have sung “Ontario is a world all of it’s own” because it has London, Stratford, Cambridge, Paris, Moscow, Cairo, Delhi. It had Berlin (except it’s now called Kitchener after the British Lord during the Great War) which is twinned with Waterloo.

City Names

Thursday, November 4th, 2004

So, growing up in Texas, I’ve become somewhat accustomed to somewhat unconventional city names. “Cut and Shoot, TX” comes to mind — as do names like “Snook” and “North Zulch.”

But I’ve found one that really takes the cake. I want exclamation points in my city’s name!

Haiku: The Continuing Instant Messaging Crisis

Monday, November 1st, 2004

Gibberish barrage.
Broken GPG plug-in.
This encryption sucks.

SIMPLEt haikuary

Monday, November 1st, 2004

packets well-formed fly
into the void – no response
firewall at simplet

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