Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I Fell Asleep

What did he say? I was really looking forward to updates on some of the things he's been worked up about before.

  • Did he talk about personal retirement accounts?
  • How about increasing domestic oil production by drilling in the ANWR?
  • Was there any news about No Child Left Behind?
  • Mostly I wanted to hear progress on the manned mission to mars, did it come up?
  • Any news on the national scourge of anabolic steroids?
Oh well, I am sure the details will be on the news. (Speaking of, did you see the comparison of interviews in news world vs. Oprah world the other day on The Daily Show? Someone find it and I'll post the link.)

I didn't fall asleep until just after people came in. Was I the only one who heard in their head as the cabinet came in: "Mr. Speaker, The Legion of Doom!"

Monday, January 30, 2006

I Wouldn't Have Thought it was Possible

Today, I decided I despised some entity more than the cable company. Now that's not saying the cable people are off my list. They called today to try to pitch us a DVR: "its only $.33/day!" They can bite me. I think for the 2 gazillion dollars a month they already get that they are getting quite enough. And that's for their Comcastic! service, the one where the audio drops out and the picture tiles up with regularity and they say they can't do anything about it. Yes, if I happen to call you Comcastic, its not a compliment.

So really, someone must have really scored in order to unseat the top spot. Any thoughts?

This is even better I guess because it is an entire industry instead of just one company, but seeing as how the camel's back broke today I guess we will say it is Exxon.

A little while back I actually wrote my senator to complain about the way gas prices at the pump were mounting, and how I couldn't think of anything else that had gone up at the rate of auto fuel. I actually got a response back in which it was explained in very small words that the price of gas is dependent on many many factors including commodities trading, refinery capacity, fuel additives, taxes, national and world supply and demand.


Are they really that dense?

Gas today is $.40/gallon more expensive than one year ago. Today Exxon reported the highest corporate profit in American history.

Is it really any more complicated than that? Something is broken, and I mean aside from my patience with the oil companies.

Nearly every report of oil corporate profits this year has been one kind of record or another. Some companies are actually up over 300% from the prior year. Do you realize that would mean that if they kept the price of gas the same as a year ago they would still have been up something like 250%.

How much money is enough? How much is enough in the face of a declining quality of life for every single person living in the states? How much is enough in the face of the fuel component contributing to the rise in prices of every single thing bought and sold in the US?

I know I am a libertarian at heart, but this is disgusting.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sunday Scanning

I am now up to 1975. Will it ever end? The latest album had over 300 images in it. Here's my sister and I on our hogs:

I am developing an appreciation for long term photo strategy. See, when I am looking at these photos, I am often looking not at the subject but at the background or at the other people. It seems that I am always looking for something that is just out of frame.

I think now that photography has gone digital and that resolution and storage are fairly cheap - and that since digital editing is fairly easy (as far as cropping a photo) that it might make sense to frame everything just a little too wide for the composition and to always shoot at the highest resolution available. Then you can compose the picture in photoshop for the presentation you were shooting, but you'll also have the master. So if 30 years later you are wondering where something was shot, or who that person off to the right is you can go to the source image and crop one for that.

So much of the story and the history are the context of the photo, not the subject.

"Perspective student"

Really, what on Earth do I do with this:

Hi, I am [inquiring nameless student], I am only a Juinor in High School, but i am looking into being a traveling theatre stage Manger. I am planing on going to tow years of colloage at a local collage and thinking of transfering to your school. I have herd good things about your collage and i am very inteseted, i alsi herd that it is very hard to get in to. If you could possible give me any tips that might get me a better chance of geting into your school in 4 years or so, it would be greatly appercitaed.
I think I count 11 spelling mistakes and at least 4 grammatical errors.

I am at a loss.

Friday, January 27, 2006

As Parents, Think Twice

Or 40 years later your child might just scan that photo and post it on the internet for all the world to see...

I swear, every little thing I find out about the past makes me a little bit clearer about just how I turned out to be the person I am.

Yes, the scanning has begun again. I have an unexpected trip home coming up and I want to finish the last albums I purloined so I can replace them - and take some more. This last theft, I picked up an album I had actually never seen before - and with pictures like these I think I know why.

Its fun going through photos like this though, knowing you know most if not all the people in them but not being quite sure who you are looking at (these two people aside). Makes an interesting family history game: I'll take early Seidens for $500, Alex.

The Canary Copy Goes To...

Sometimes I wonder if I make everyone else who works here feel like its April 14th all year long.


[12:44] Marisa: BrotherInLaw: i finally figured out who david looks exactly like
Marisa: uhoh
Marisa: the magician?
BrotherInLaw: YES!
BrotherInLaw: have u ever heard that before
Marisa: hmm...no
BrotherInLaw: http://www.gillismagic.com/graphics/celeb/aj-tahoe.jpg
[12:44] David: um
[12:45] David: no
[12:45] Marisa: he wanted me to share that with you
[12:45] David: i finally figured out who your brother looks exactly like
[12:45] David: MY BUTT
[12:45] Marisa: i don't think so
[12:45] David: YES!
[12:46] David: have you ever heard that before?
[12:46] Marisa: i've seen both and theres very little resemblence
[12:46] Marisa: np
[12:46] Marisa: no
[12:46] David: http://www.davidsbutt.com
[12:46] Marisa: that link is bad
[12:46] David: the worst
[12:46] Marisa: you should get that domain
[12:47] David: then I could put my lecture notes there
[12:47] David: and then when I am lecturing I can say I pulled it out of my butt
[12:47] Marisa: exactly
[12:48] Marisa: and it will be true
[12:48] Marisa: ok do the working now
[12:49] David: ok after I put this on the blog

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

End of the Affair

I'm not sure what did it, but I think for sure I can admit it. I can't go on doing this to myself any longer, its just no good for me. It has to stop.

Really I think its about numbers. They just kept getting higher and higher and no matter what I did they never got any better. For a long time now I've known it was wrong, I could see the evidence so many places. I just wanted it, so I didn't do anything about it. But it can't go on.

Which thing was it that finally made me reach the end of my rope? Its possible that it was the 240, or maybe the 8 one or the other or maybe both. It really doesn't matter which it was, the result is the same. Some things have got to change around here.

240 is just too many pounds to weigh.

And $8 is too much to pay.

Just for lunch at the "O"


Monday, January 23, 2006

Member's Rights?

I heard a story on Marketplace tonight that really got my wheels going.

They were talking about how as part of the all in vogue legislative lobbying reform that many people believe that it is necessary to eliminate the practice of having "legislative earmarks." For those that didn't hear the story an earmark is where a given legislator gets to write into the bill how particular funding will be spent and it then cannot be redirected by the agency that gets the money.

It is probably the highest volume vector for delivering pork, and in fairly clear terms very high motivation for lobbyists to try to buy congressmen. Very, very high return on investment.

Naturally, there are some congressmen taking one for the team so to speak in opposing the reform initiative. One of these people is the House Speaker Denny Hastert. When asked to fill out his position he said (something to the effect of):

We have to protect the right of members to represent their individual districts.
Rights of members? Isn't that a little bit upside down? Should he really have said something like:
We shouldn't do anything to infringe the rights of the constituents to fair representation within the legislature.
Now I know why they are always reserving the right to revise and extend their remarks. I believe that this off the cuff remark is fairly telling, and that on the whole representatives do look at their service as some sort of right for them. Really I think that it ought to be paramount for all of them to remember, even in this sort of informal remark that they serve at the pleasure of their constituencies- not the other way around.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

So Much for the Next Two Weeks

And here I thought it has been difficult to get anything done in the wake of last week's Steelers win. With what happened today, the entire city of Pittsburgh ought to just hang a "gone fishin" sign over the inbound bridges and tunnels.

Maybe an away message for the email of every single person in Southwestern PA:

We're sorry, but in case you didn't know, the STEELERS ARE GOING TO THE FUCKING SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We'll be back to productive work mid February. Way to go Steelers way to go! The Bus is going home for one more win!
Several times last week I was interested by the lack of productivity a successful football team can cause. The next few days should be even more intriguing.

Just in case any of you out in the blogosphere needed anything from anyone in Pittsburgh over the next two weeks (ok, probably next three weeks - win or lose) you might want to start to refigure your plans.

Just a suggestion.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Just what is it I have against sleeping at night?

It isn't the sleeping. During the day I do the sleeping just fine. I can sleep in my bed or on the couch or on the futon. Sleeping is not the problem. After years of practice I believe I have the sleeping part down.

Its not the bed, or the company. Any of the other times and places I do just fine. Out like a light for hours at a time.

I don't think its the dark, or the quiet, or the lack of quiet. Its not the kitten or the other kitten, or the cat.

It isn't the heat running down on the timed thermostat or the dishwasher kicking on after the delay elapses.

It does appear to be a book or the TV or the computer. But it isn't as if when I set those things aside I drop into deep sleep. Actually I lay awake, thinking.

Could it be the thinking? It wouldn't be a good idea to stop thinking would it? Yes, yes I know there are no bad ideas, I mean it wouldn't be a good thing to implement the idea of not thinking, would it?

How does a person stop thinking?

Often I see people do thing without thought. Does that mean they aren't thinking? And if the thinking is the problem, then when one acts without thinking, why doesn't one just drop to the floor asleep?

Well, I know what thought will be keeping me up tonight.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Do the Real People Know?

My mentor for Ultimate, and the guy who was my babysitter in grade school, used to say when real athletes started to play that the rest of us would have to hang it up. Makes sense sort of, that a fringe activity can be a place where anyone can be successful until the real practicioners weigh in. I don't think it really degrades either the activity or the participants to say so. It just means that somewhere out there there is the cold shower of reality waiting.

Another example? How about The Race Across America? This is a bike race from the west coast to the east coast. Or at least it was when it first caught my attention when I was in high school. Really it seems like it was just tailor made for Wide World of Sports. It made great TV. My recollection of it (although this is not bourne out by the website, so its possible I am remembering incorrectly) is that this was just a bunch of cycling enthusiasts until Greg LeMond got tired of the attention they were getting and ran the course in something like an entire day less than anyone had ever done it before.

Get the idea?

So today I am driving home and I hear a story on This American Life about guys that make their car stereos loud. Not like driving down the street loud, but burst your eardrums and make your eyesockets bleed loud. The story went on and on about replacing window glass with steel plating and filling the cavities on body panels with concrete and all I could think of was "I wonder if the guys that really do this know about it?"

I don't mean audiophiles, or car stereo installers - although I guess some of these guys might do that as a hobby. I mean people like the shop at Meyer Sound, people that make amps, speakers and enclosures.

The gist of the story is that these guys trick out their car audio to be upwards of 150db. They take their cars to meets and then play a test tone - they call it a "burp" - with an spl meter in the car to determine who wins each heat.

Like totally rad, man!

And I can't help but think the equivalent of an afternoon bike ride for the audio equivalent of LeMond. Well, I am sure these guys and their hobby are safe. It has the advantage of being fairly under the radar. Still, I wonder what professional audio engineers could come up with if they cared to apply themselves.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Each class at least once, so far so good... Thank you Al Gore for speaking up, let's hear more... If they don't fine Joey Porter does that mean they agree with him??? $75 per ticket, really, I don't think I can go... The shelves haven't collapsed yet - even after electrics go to them... Un-volunteering is much harder than volunteering... I think Civ IV is better than Civ III... I have almost finished eating all the Christmas cookies I couldn't deliver... I am not ready to go to Chicago for interviews... Keeping the thermostat down is a real drag... Its nice to see your IRA make money, especially if you never look at your IRA... This week's cool company is BMI, for sending me 20 catalogs for no money just cuz I asked - ok because my assistant asked... Another year I won't be able to go to Tomcat's truss rigging school... We bought new gutters, from a very nice Jewish boy... Are traffic signs on private property legally binding??? The kitten does not like having his matted fur cut off... It turns out aggressive credit card paying might not be a great strategy... I don't like the Subway Fresh Resolutions game, its a pain in the butt... I put a little homeland security color indicator on my web browser, why did they do all these colors if it is never going to change??? Politicians so rarely get what is coming to them... The photo scanning has taken an unexplainable hiatus... They recalled my truck... The anime South Park episode is hysterical... I need a financial consultant... Congrats to me, I am an official certified theatrical rigger... I've made some headway into the list of things I didn't do over break... I sure hope the Steelers can pull off another upset... Visits are up, but comments are down, I wonder what is up with that...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

First I Would Like to Thank the Lord

I am a George Carlin fan. Many, many years ago I got my introduction through some albums and tapes my dad had, and I have been a follower ever since. Yesterday I really wish I had had a way to get in touch with the man.

Here's why:

Carlin has this routine where he comments that he's really tired of hearing winning athletes at press conferences thanking Jesus for their win. The bit goes "you never hear someone say 'Jesus made me drop the ball'"

Until now...

Yesterday's USATODAY Sports section, Vanderjagt on the Colts/Steelers game:

"It's extreme disbelief," Vanderjagt said. "From the Polamalu interception reversal to Jerome's fumble, everything seemed to be lined up in our favor. I guess the Lord forgot about the football team."
It's not in so many words, but I definitely think there's a hint of "The Lord made me miss the kick" in there.

I wonder what George Carlin would say about that?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Introducing... TANBI Apparel!

Shannon models her one of a kind "There are no Bad Ideas" tee she won for being the overall fall '05 crits shoe champion.

You too can have your very own TAMBI gear. Do you have a post you feel you need to share? Just send the date of your post, color preference, shirt size, and $15 for a tee or $25 for a sweatshirt and we'll hook you up. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.


image close up...

Come on! Be all that you TANBI!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

21-18 Final

Try as they might, they refuse to die.

Indy is out. Oh, and New England is out too. There was a lot of money to be made at the sportsbook if you bet as a fan this weekend.

At least if they had lost you could be pretty sure Bettis wouldn't have retired with that having been his last play from scrimmage. Now he gets to write his exit again, and try to do it more positively.

21-3 Good Guys

Are you kidding me? 14 wouldn't be enough, but 21? Well, if any team can run off 21 points in a quarter it's Indy.

Too bad about that safety.

14-3 Good Guys


I just get the feeling that 14 points will not be enough to beat the Colts.

End First Quarter, 14-0 Good Guys

Are they for real? I don't think you would have found anyone that predicted the way this game has gone so far. Here's hoping they can keep it going.

Last Day of Vacation

It's ticked passed midnight on the last weekend of my Winter Break. That makes one day left. I sit here thinking about the list of things I didn't do...

I didn't get any farther on the Tech Direction book or begin to look at the Production Planning book.
I didn't clean my work office.
I didn't work on my RTP stuff.
I didn't clean my home office.
I didn't really make any money.
I didn't clean my garage.
I didn't remember to call my folks often.
I didn't do a rigging syllabus.
I didn't watch what I ate.
I didn't take it easy on spending.
I didn't hang out with friends.
I didn't scan more family photos.
I didn't do a Technical Design syllabus.
I didn't take the twins to the vet.
I didn't fix my sleeping pattern.
I didn't revise the crazy scheme (until like an hour ago).
I didn't get much exercise.
I didn't clear out my inbox.
I didn't read a book.
I didn't have my wisdom teeth out.
I didn't get the truck inspected.
I didn't get a jump on my taxes.
I didn't erase my credit card debt.
I didn't advance my panel project for Louisville.
I didn't go on a vacation.

Now, one can always make a long list of things they didn't do: "I didn't meet the president, I didn't defy gravity, I didn't go back in time..." But still, many of the things on my list were things I really could have gotten to, or at least I think so.

And yet, the break was quite full. I saw my family and the missus's family, and I built an opera. Really I'm not sure how much more time there was.

I wonder where it goes?

Friday, January 13, 2006

More Shelves, Better Camera

So here's yesterdays project nearly fully assembled and with a little paint on it. They're 16 feet tall in case you can't pick out a scale reference.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I Know, I Know

Today I finished building these shelves:

Can you guess how many people coming through the shop let me know that the unit wasn't quite square? Were you about to do that yourself? Well, its supposed to look like Tim Burton's den.

I hate building things that are supposed to look poorly built. Once when I was TDing stock a designer did a little shanty unit and I wrote on the drawing "should look like you built it." I didn't think much of my carps that year. But normally you want to have a carpentry experience where you can be proud of the thing you build. It takes a whole other level of evaluation to feel good about something that's supposed to look crappy.

It isn't the same as building something pristine and then distressing it. When you do that you can still have the accomplished carpentry project moment. You can still look at the clean lines and precise joints and take pride in a job well done - and then beat it with chains or whatever. But setting out to build something that looks not right is just distasteful.

Actually, from a carpentry and tech direction standpoint this is a much more difficult project than a standard, square set of shelves would have been. For as awkward as it looks, there still is quite a bit of thought and precise work. It's just that the result of all the precise work is, well, a mess.

Now I just hope it doesn't fold up like an accordion when we stand it up.

I'm Famous

if being in the December Stage Directions can make one famous.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I am still trying to think of 15 things about books... All the hits here from "Tom Lycus" and "College Invasion" make me wish I had never mentioned them... How many times do you think they will ask Alito about Roe vs. Wade??? Today, while working in the shop, we determined that 100.7 has a less than 8 hour playlist... For everything that happens on Lost, nothing ever really happens on Lost... I am supposed to be working on my CV... If when they came out and said the miners didn't make it you weren't surprised, does that make you a bad person??? For a brief shining moment here there is a remote possibility of a Bears/Steelers Superbowl... If your current job interview hinged on a group you belonged to in undergrad, would you be nervous??? Like the giving homework/grading homework thing, asking about an article very well might mean you have to write an article... Subway should not need your name and address for you to play their scratch off game... I wonder if there will be any money in New Orleans home building... If the UN decides to take military action against Iran, just who are they going to get to do it??? I am really liking the idea of "Skating with the Stars" but I doubt I will watch... I got my fall FCEs, I can do better I think... The 1x12 we got from Paul could possibly be wood of the banana tree... SciFi Friday is back, life can continue... Should I care about rootkits??? I am learning how to post photos to my blog from my phone... I think before I go back to work I should read a book... King Kong was a very long movie, Jackson has a real eye for design and a flair for storytelling; his next challenge? Editing... We've had a new Mayor for more than a week now, can't say as I've noticed a difference... It was 60 today, in January, what's up with that??? Even with all my years of shop work, I have still not learned to squat rather than kneel... Once again I have squandered another perfectly good vacation... I wonder if W has the NSA reading blogs? If so, Hello...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Who Are You?

Stolen from Profgrrrrl:

So, in the words of Goodtheatre.org: "Who the heck are you?"

Writing is Re-Writing

So it turns out that the post from the other day is going to wind up an article somewhere. They've asked me to write 1200-1500 words. Right now it is something like 800.

So, if you're interested, if you could look back and let me know if anything was ambiguous or unclear, or if you had any questions you think I could have answered, I would appreciate hearing about it.

I am thinking about adding little thumbnail drawings of each solution in each position so they match the photos, and also about adding a schematic and parts list for the pneumatic approach. But that's not much in the word count.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, January 09, 2006

I Have a Question

Tonight on West Wing there was a repeat of the story where the NASA administrators lobby Josh about funding a trip to Mars. He, of course becomes enamored with all things space, and at the end of the episode talks about the Voyager probe.

In trying to make expenditure on space research feel closer to the heart he talks about the recordings that are traveling with the space probe as an effort to try to tell alien cultures about ourselves. The story is about how the one artist died crippled and destitute, but his music had just left the solar system.

My question is this: If aliens make copies of the included recordings for their friend aliens, will the RIAA try to sue them?

Friday, January 06, 2006

There's More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

I thought perhaps I had an article in the making here, so you - fair readers - will be subject to my outlining. Either that or it might just be my version of Friday Show & Tell...

With all the high tech apparatus currently being coveted by entertainment programs around the nation it is sometimes easy to forget that many problems can be solved by decidedly low tech approaches. In fact, there are several recurring challenges in theatre that cry out for easy, kind of "dare to be stupid" solutions. Things like a door in a drop, a low profile wagon, a tall rolling thing that doesn't fall over are all issues that never go away and are never once and for all solved.

I believe that the continued purpose built solution is one of the coolest things about theatrical technical direction.

Another frequent poser that could be added to the list above is: rolling thing that doesn't roll when its not supposed to. The band-aid solutions to this are usually wedges stuck under the edge, or door stops on the sides, maybe locking casters, or sometimes cane-bolts into holes in the floor. Most of these work with varying degrees of success. It is possible though to have a much more successful solution to the problem if the device is designed into the fabrication of the piece.

A recent project at CMU provided three opportunities to solve this problem in three different ways in one 24 hour period. The different approaches each have advantages and disadvantages, but are all viable, and on the whole are very simple.

The first solution came right off the designer's elevation. For this table piece we were instructed to caster one end of the unit. Wheels on one end, plus doctoring the legs on that end produce a unit that can be lifted like a wheel barrow and pushed on or off stage. The solution uses rigid casters, but since it is only wheeled on one end, the piece may be steered easily. When the unwheeled end is placed on the ground, the unit sits flat and doesn't move.

This was a good solution in this case as the unit travels only out of sight, and because actors will be crawling underneath as part of the stage action; so it was necessary to keep the area underneath as clear as possible.

The second approach uses a few moving parts, but is also fairly simple. This is a fairly classic lift-jack. The wheels for the unit are mounted on pivoting plates. Each plate is connected to a lever, and the levers are situated such that one also moves the other. Push the levers down, the plates rock to level pushing the wheels down, and the unit sits up on the wheels to roll away. This particular application utilizes an additional arm with a handle to facilitate operation and locking.

This was good for this application because there was a good deal of available real-estate within the piece for the mechanism. The shift wants to happen a-vista, so this should be reasonably magical. Also the piece only has to carry its own weight.

The third iteration is a little more complex. This approach utilizes moving parts, some actuators, and a stored power supply - compressed air. In this solution, the casters are mounted to a free floating plate contained within the base of the unit. Above the moving plate is a fixed plate, and on that plate there are multiple pneumatic cylinders. A valve is placed between the air supply and the actuators. Apply the air and open the valve, the cylinders extend pushing the unit against the wheels and raising the piece off the floor - free to roll. Remove the air supply and open the valve and the unit sits back on the floor.

In this case, the shift is happening behind an act curtain during an intermission, so the air supply will likely be a hose to the building compressor system. However, had this been a change in view of the audience it would not be complicated to add an onboard air tank.

This is a good solution for this piece because there is very limited space available. This also works well because this unit actually is a doorway arch, so there are two bases that must lift and there is no way to mechanically link them. Snaking a hose through the header frame to power a second set of cylinders is comparatively simple.

So, three solutions, no wedges, no holes in the deck, no electronics or programming. Just simple machines and a little forethought for three clean solutions.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pittsburgh Production Primer

The lesson for today:

"When referring to the procurment of building materials in metro Pittsburgh, it is insufficeint to use simply the word 'Allegheny'."

More simply, when you are talking on the phone and inquiring if a particular supplier does in fact carry 1/8" Bending Birch, it might be a good idea to double check who you are talking to. If you don't you might wind up going to Allegheny Lumber & Millwork instead of Allegheny Plywood.

Or, graphically...

Which, among other things, is a nice trip around the city of Pittsburgh (and if I am not mistaken is awfully close to the route for the Pittsburgh Marathon).

Of course, you could not heed this lesson, but then you - as did I - will find yourself staring blankly at the guy behind the counter at Allegeny Millwork when he says: "You didn't talk to a she here. Maybe you want Allegheny Plywood."

I bet that happens to him at least 5 times a day.

There endeth the lesson.

Beside Myself

Is it possible that things could be so overwhelming that we just don't know what to do? Is it possible that we clung wholeheartedly to the presents and vacation and family and football and weather and everything else at the end of the year just so that we didn't have to think about what was going on in the world?

More than possible I think.

Seems like we've all got a severe case of SEP syndrome. Like if we don't look at things they will just go away and we won't have to think about them anymore. Its just too much.

Should we recap, just a little, in case you've been watching the mine rescue?

Everyone remembers earlier this year we had enemy combatants, and that we were moving them from country to country, to prisons set up outside the law of the US and not really covered by the Geneva Convention by presidential edict. Slowly but sure ly this comes out little by little and the denials and stories keep pace with each other, and every time someone opens their mouth all you can be sure of is that you aren't hearing the whole story.

The next chapter of this lovely story was that potentially US contractor or foreign allies were possibly involved with torturing prisoners to facilitate interrogation.

Haven't they seen the "Chain of Command" Next Gen episode?

Whether they did or not, whether they are or not, the reluctance of the administration to rule it out is sad. And I don't think sad in a "You can't handle the truth!" kind of way, more in a "if we're up to that then they've already won" kind of way. The fine print, that they finally gave in and allowed the legislation, but only after they redefine the words torture and cruel and inhumane is sad. I gather now if you look those items up in the official government glossary it says that torture involves rewarding answers with ice cream - certainly they don't do that, well then, its ok to say we don't torture.


Then, almost as if to keep one from thinking of the first instance, we have the next revelation. The NSA has been doing warrantless wiretaps. Of course, more fine print, they are all calls involving overseas parties.

Besides, warrantless searches only jam you up if you plan to use them in court.

What did Sam's call girl friend Laurie say? "You're the good guys, you don't do this."

Yes we do.

The other shoe? This past week, while driving from one end of the country to the other, searching for NPR in the comprehensive radio coverage of Rush that is Ohio, I happened to hear a story that discussed how the administration was fighting language that would make it more difficult for the United States to employ foreign contractors that participate in human trafficking.

Come again?

We are suddenly having difficulty specifying that slavery is bad?

Just how embarrassing does this shit have to get before we take some collective action against the leaders of this administration? We're well beyond even the original very real charges of the Starr Investigation. This is no blue dress. I don't want to be partisan here because I think this is "the Dark Side" here, not politics - but COME ON ALREADY!

Torture? Warrantless Searches? Slavery?

Changing the dictionary doesn't make the behavior formerly known as torture ok.
Just cuz you're not going to charge someone doesn't make privacy invasion ok.
The only thing I think that could darken the national historical shame over slavery would be to not stand up and state clearly for the rest of history that all slavery in any context is wrong.

Who are we?

Listen. I am SURE, positive, I don't have all the facts here. And I am SURE, positive, that there are mitigating circumstances that make all of these things seem like good ideas to those people calling the shots. But if even an inkling of this stuff is for real, we are off the reservation.

There ought to be a law. Crap, that might not be enough.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Picture Culling

So we finally took the bull by the horns and got down to the business of selecting wedding photos. As you may recall, our family friend the photog did us the favor of shooting over 2000 images over the two days. Me and the missus managed to cut that to about 400 in our first pass using his photo website.

It turns out that to make 400 pictures into one two volume album and an identical copy would cost just about what the wedding cost in the first place. So, back to the drawing board.

Still, Anne says designing is editing, right?

This time he culled out the photos we didn't like and so we were able to make little, low res proofs to work with...

Then we cut the Sunday album to 84

plus 13 hard to cut photos we've taken to calling "gone but not forgotten."

and then we cut Saturday to 84 images

it too had 13 leftovers.

Still, even with the 26 leftovers, cutting from 2000 to 400 to 194 is good work I think. Plus, I do think the album got stronger with each cut.

Now its up to the folks to see what we finally get in the end.

Old Business

Ok, voting is closed. The fall '05 semester review shoe winner is:

Congrats to Shannon. Teach me to think out of the box will you.

Happy New Year!!!

What did you resolve?