Monday, February 28, 2005

Anger#2 Applied a graduated tint, while listening to a herpetologist explain how to handle snakes. "The Joy of Snakes." Posted by Hello

Anger#1 I drew this after learning that the dentist and the insurance had combined their actions to deceive my wife into thinking she had most of a $380.00 crown covered by the insurance policy. At the same time, my daughter called me stupid for inviting her to sit with us at the supper table. I sent her to her room for that and for insulting her mama's cooking. I started to take away her music box, but relented, and gave it back, saying never to call me stupid again.  Posted by Hello

Last day of a short month

I had been determined that I would not be caught short again, not be caught putting things off till the deadline. Alas, despite my good intentions the shortest month of the year has caught up and bit me in the arse. I'm going to have to program my month ahead of time, say no later than the 1st of the month. Probably earlier.

The school day is over, for me anyway. My last class has let out, and it's time for me to close out and go. And do those end of the month reports. Ay yay yaeey!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

I have eaten to excess of the flesh of the swine and the chicken. My gut is full. However, the music of soft samba and bossa nova is comforting. I miss Guila's voice. It was like catnip to me. This boy has chosen some good music, but I still miss her voice. Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Done while creating an aggregator account, playing backgammon, and listening to Latin, Brazilian, and Afro-Hispanic music on GPB. Restless. I gave up liquor for Lent. Relapsed Thurs. but am going to stay dry till Easter. Posted by Hello

Happy Birthday!

Today it's the birthday of Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody, in LeClair Iowa, 1846), Victor Hugo(Besancon, France, 1802), and Christopher Marlowe(Canterbury, England, 1564).

I don't think I have too much to say right about now, except I'm tired of mediaplex sticking cookies or spyware in my computer. Oh, my bad. It's not mediaplex this time. Here are the culprits. They were caught thanks to Ad-aware.

Vendor:Tracking Cookie
Category:Data Miner
Object Type:File
Size:106 Bytes
Last Activity:26-02-2005 05:00:00
Risk LevelLow
Comment: actually these may have been put here on account of my Picasa or Hello activity. We'll see.

Description:This cookie is known to collect information that may be used either for targeted advertising, or tracking users across a particular website, such as page views or ad click-thrus.

Vendor:Tracking Cookie
Category:Data Miner
Object Type:File
Size:84 Bytes
Location:c:\documents and settings\user\cookies\user@specificclick[1].txt
Last Activity:26-02-2005 05:00:00
Risk LevelLow
Description:This cookie is known to collect information that may be used either for targeted advertising, or tracking users across a particular website, such as page views or ad click-thrus.

Vendor:Tracking Cookie
Category:Data Miner
Object Type:File
Size:169 Bytes
Location:c:\documents and settings\user\cookies\user@tickle[1].txt
Last Activity:26-02-2005 05:00:00
Risk LevelLow
Description:This cookie is known to collect information that may be used either for targeted advertising, or tracking users across a particular website, such as page views or ad click-thrus.

This work Annie wanted to call "Bad" because she doesn't think it's good. "It's so scrabbly,"says Annie apologetically."And no men like pink." Annie is just recovering from a week of sickness. "I can't get dressed." she says, still in her angel pajamas."Altgeld is in our room taking a nap!" Meanwhile, I ponder what to write. Posted by Hello

Friday, February 25, 2005

In the pages of National Geographic

____From "beneath Irish isles," the photos of Brian Skerry and article by Jennifer Holland bring the arm-chair geographer into a marvellous undersea visit among green and blue-hued seaweed and pastel coloured anemones. The little maps beckons the aspiring traveller with the images and names of places such as Cork city, the bays Roaringwater, Dunmanus, Bantry, Ballinskelligs, St Finan's , Dingle, Liscannor, South Sound, Aran Islands, Valentia Island, Skellig Rocks, Tralee town, the river Kenmare.
____Quite a different story, while just as beautiful in its painful way, is the article "Medellin Stories from an Urban War" a photo travelogue revealing surprising beauty in the midst of the exposition of the sordid. Eliza Griswold and photographer Meredith Davenport explore the dichotomy of the city's 'yuppies' and poor. Still reading it as the stove beeps, telling us that the cheese pizza I bought in Donne is now re-heated.

In betweenst wage labor, decay or ferment?

Am enjoying having slept late, woken slowly, lazed with my toddler son in my arms. This is not something fathers are known for expressing, cuddling with their babies. Soon enough, I suppose, we'll evolve to the exploring, fishing, and hunting that fathers and sons in these parts are known for.

I was able to read, while we were together, and Altgeld my son began to play with his toys, from the March edition of Harper's, the current edition. Kathy Dobie's "AWOL in America" and Steve Mumford's coloured drawings of Iraq are quite interesting. I couldn't help but ponder at my own experiences as I read Dobie's observations, which are spot-on, yet somehow incomplete. How does she think our nation can best respond to Islamic terrorist threats? Ah well, the question of USA's Realpolitik in SW Asia should come next. So this doesn't really detract from her observations about the brutality and unfairness found in military training and culture. Compelling reading.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Iraq War Objector May Face Court-Martial - Sgt. Kevin Benderman
Los Angeles Times ^ | February 24, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports

Posted on 02/24/2005 11:02:29 AM PST by Former Military Chick

An Army hearing officer has recommended a court-martial for a soldier charged with desertion after he refused to deploy to Iraq.

In a Feb. 16 report just released, Lt. Col. Linda Taylor recommended that Sgt. Kevin Benderman face a general court-martial, the most serious type. The procedure requires approval from Ft. Stewart's General Court-Martial Convening Authority.

Benderman, 40, an Army mechanic, refused to accompany his unit Jan. 7 for a second tour in Iraq, 10 days after he gave notice that he was seeking a discharge as a conscientious objector. He said he became opposed to war after serving in 2003. He is charged with desertion and missing movement.

Meeting Place has entered into contract with Google to try out a program called Ad Sense. We'll see how it goes. You will be able to use a search bar on my blog as another link to the web. This seems interesting, but I imagine that I'll still have much work to do to bring eyes to this our web log site.

It's been a long day. I subb'd for a vocational studies teacher. Many of these teens I had not met before. Will tell you about it tomorrow. Good night.

Off to read National Geographic. There's an article on what lies beneath the seas of Ireland's coasts.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

"Troy," --this latest version of the Iliad

I had ordered the DVD as part of a deal with some firm, and saw a chance to present it to some of my students, since one of them has been reading a simple English translation of the Iliad, albeit in comic book form. So far I've enjoyed it, though I can see how hard it would be to do a faithful version of the epic, wow the masses, and still please the critics. I didn't like that the director saw fit to alter the plot by leaving out the beginning of the plot, where Agamemnon insults Apollo, and has to later still surrender Chryseis.

Yet judging by the standard of Hollywood, if there is one standard, Troy is not a bad film. It just failed the expectations one might have had because this epic has such high ranking in the canon of Western literature.

Happy Birthday, Handel!

By Annie and Pa

Dog jumping, by Annie Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A new blog for our community

This blog I started for our little neck of the woods is coming along slowly but surely... It's called White Picket Fences, inspired by a show from back in the days, about a Southern rural community and its denizens.

Found a strange stinkhorn fungus

Our neighbor Jane and I found an orange and white stinkpot fungus, opened and with its resinous foul liquid mess in the middle, meant, I suppose, to attract insects which will then bear the spores elsewhere. It sure does stink. Never seen one before but in books. Where's a mycologist when you want one?

Garrison Keillor''s got an entry in his Almanack which interests me in that the writer is from my home state. Here's the opening of the entry. You can click the link to the Writers' Almanac to read more on today's date, and even listen to it via streaming audio.

It's the birthday of Edward Gorey, born in Chicago, Illinois (1925). He's known for writing and illustrating many morbidly funny books, including The Beastly Baby (1962), The Wuggly Ump (1963), and The Epiplectic Bicycle (1969). He said of his childhood., "I like to think of myself as a pale, pathetic, solitary child... But I wasn't at all. I was out there playing kick-the-can."

Gorey drew his first pictures when he was one and a half years old but he said, "I hasten to add they showed no talent whatsoever. They looked like irregular sausages." He taught himself to read at age three, and by the time he was five, he had read Dracula and Alice In Wonderland, which remained two of his favorite books for the rest of his life.

After high school, he served in the U.S. Army, working a desk job at a testing ground for mortars and poison gas. He studied French literature at Harvard...(continue reading "It's the birthday...)

Monday, February 21, 2005

Inadvertently, I learned about the "invert colours' feature on Paint. Am hoping to do a little writing before I go gardening for hire. The Kinder are still recovering from their catarrhe. Wilma scrounged up some low-grade coffee. We had run out of the good stuff, and been drinking tea for a few days. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 17, 2005

History Channel poll

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? What would you think on this happening?

Will the new ceasefire lead to a breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
5704 votes
9598 votes
Total Votes: 15,302

Odd. No more run-time errors. Maybe I got by that line 958 by pasting the above in. Am working on a school computer. One of my students says the system has too many programs and some conflict. They don't know who the system manager is, and say they hardly ever see that person.

Thor's day, 17 February

am having continuous run-time errors on line 958.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

My Arabic word for the day. Can you guess from which languages are the other words? They all mean the same thing. Posted by Hello

My mother sent me this photo, which she got from correspondence with a lieutenant serving in Iraq. Region unknown, though I'm guessing the kids are Shi'a, children of immigrants to the Baghdad area from the South. Posted by Hello

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Anniversary, Pluto!

Associated Press helps to revive the debate on Pluto. Michelle Roberts reports from Flagstaff on the 75th anniversary of Pluto's discovery. Astronomers now tell us that Pluto's really part of the Kyiper Belt, an assortment of a thousand icy objects rotating around the sun beyond Neptune. Clyde Tombaugh found it, while looking though an eyepiece, switching back and forth between photo images from the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. We learn, too, that Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of New York's Hayden Planetarium, at the American Museum of Natural History, had removed Pluto from the exhibit of planets five years ago.
Apparently, he's been getting hate mail from students and amateur astronomers ever since. An eleven year old girl from England chose Pluto for the name of this body. This was even before that corporation famous for its children's films and amusement parks named a cartoon dog after the god of the underworld.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Who is Sasha Suldina?

Is there any way to find out if this girl's situation is real, or if this is just another internet fraud?

Watching Mr. Holland

After this, I've got to pick up an oil filter. Today's the day to change the oil.

An empty concept
by: hajgora7
02/13/05 10:01 am
Msg: 107 of 107

Today's White Supremacists are defending an illusion that lacks clear definition, a vacuousness based on hate of "the Other," more than any ideological or intellectual substance. Some one who styles his or her self as "White" is defining the race by what it is supposedly not, as opposed to knowing that they represent something positive. I.e. You're white because you're not black.
Now, Whites in Anglo-America for example, have lost their European heritage. Sure, you may refer to the glorious Greek and Roman culture (whose types were mixed with Mediterranean and Asian), but more and more these days, your average White person doesn't know much about their European heritage, whether it be their language, their literature, or even their science. But instead of trying to regain what they've lost, too many spend time and energy trying to defend a hollow unsubstantiated position more based on socioeconomic power, which is itself being under-mined from different directions.

Posted as a reply to: Msg 105 by megaloman0208

Thursday, February 10, 2005

A project for the new year: reading 2 Encyclopaedias

____I began this in the last days of the old Chinese year, or in the first days of the new Gregorian calendar. I've just read a biographical entry on Benedict XV(Giacomo della Chiesa, 1854-1922). who was Pope from 1914 till 1922. Since reading an encyclopedia has been done numerous times, I will attempt to read and compare at least three, including Webster's Family, Britannica, and Wikipedia.

____Oh, I hadn't yet told you how I was on the staff of the Britannica in 1984, when I worked the night shift doing proof, using a desk top at Britannica's Chicago offices? I worked as part of a team. My work was in the R through Z volumes of the 1985 edition.

____Oh, and back to the B's in these encyclopedias. I'd come across Ahmed Ben Bella (1919- ) Algerian statesman, president from 1963 to 1965, one of the leading figures in the struggle for independence of Algeria. This will bring us to our trek across North Africa, which maybe one might have thought, had they been trying to follow this blog, that I'd got mired somewhere in Morocco. But no, we've arrived at last at the Algerian border, though by the look of things we may as well still be in Morocco.

_____You might get an idea of what this looks like from some photography by Kate Moxham, a photographer who shows her work in New York. We are at a small town called Foum Zguid, which is mentioned in a tour described in "Saharan Exploration," in Powerkite Magazine, out of U.K. I deduce from reports that this area is still recovering from the locust migrations of last year. Chris Scott of the S Files reports that this border was closed last year, so if you're travelling there, use your best judgement and do your homework ahead of time, though be prepared for surprises.

_____However, there is an unsubstantiated rumour that former Algerian president, is advocating the re-opening of the border. Apparently, this border has been closed since 1994. We are awaiting a contact from the Zawya Firm for information on economic and educational opportunities here.

_____Strange as it may seem, there seems to be a brisk trade in some sort of meteorites, whose origins may be dubious, and the proceeds of which may be going to terrorists. This all seems rather mysterious, but you can read it at Sahara Met. At any rate, be careful with whom you associate.

_____For now, then, enjoy your web surfing, or whatever else you happen to be doing as Muharram wanes into al-Jumaa. (Friday, the Moslem week's holy day). And now I bid you all good night. "Tosfih ala hair."

Thor's day, 2nd day Lent, 2nd day Year of Rooster

From Writer's Almanac: Happy Birthday, Boris Pasternak (1890),Charles Lamb (1775), and Berthold Brecht (1898).

From History Channel: tomorrow will be the anniversary of the death of Woodrow Wilson.

I'm still tired from being up all night on a mission to take a friend to the emergency room. Didn't accomplish much more than check my mail and start perusing my journals.

Oh, I did play a short game of backgammon, write in my Journal, and watch the rest of Gus Van Zant's 1997 film, Good Will Hunting. First time I've really noticed Matt Damon and Minnie Driver, though I've been familiar with their names. I wonder how Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were inspired to do this script. Un-Official may throw some light on the making of the film.

I did try out the HP online photo sharing. Needs some work.

Listening to the news on NPR and GPB. Jobless claims in the Peach state are up. Which is usual fro January.

Will have to prepare for the English class. I need to find the answer keys to the GED practice tests.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Playing backgammon & listening to Chinese

Am playing some self-ratled expert, who is actually pretty good. Have been at lunch at my house for almost an hour. My eyes shift right and up to the window. Looks like it's going to rain.

I won this match, 3-1. Time to walk back over to finish the pruning.

Another thought on the New Year. China Page tells us that this now is the year 4702. Since what event, I wonder?

"It was a Leap Year! Unlike the western calendar, where one extra day is added in February, one whole leap month is added in a Chinese Leap Year.

Just think. If you get paid by the month, instead of working an extra day for nothing, you would get an extra month's pay !!!

This time around, the Leap Month comes after the regular 2-nd Month. The "Leap Second Month" begins on March 21, 2004. Read more about this here And here."

I'll have to find out about that event later. Yaupon and crepe myrtle await me.

Another birthday

____From Writer's Almanac, Garrison Keillor advises us of another event and biography in Irish history:
"It's the birthday of the playwright and memoirist Brendan Behan, born in Dublin (1923). He grew up in a house fiercely opposed to British rule. His mother was fond of saying, 'Burn all things British&&151;except their coal.'He got involved with the IRA and as a result spent most of his early life in and out of prison. He later said of his prison experience, 'The Bible was a consolation to a fellow alone in the old cell. The lovely thin paper with a bit of mattress stuffing in it, if you could get a match, was as good a smoke as I ever tasted.' "

I'd better leave off and go start that gardening. Cheers!

Time out for daughter and gardening

I had intended to start no later than 0900 with gardening at old Mr. Fenwick's garden a block away. His daughter got us together on this work, since he needed a gardener, and I needed more work while I'm getting my writing and teaching studies together.

Annie-Franck, however, missed her bus today, while I was sitting with Altgeld in my lap, watching Arthur and Clifford. I decided we needed to reduce this dependence on motor transport. After all, we live only a little over a half a mile to the school! Annie Franck has gotten used to riding her beloved yellow school bus. Although we used to enjoy many walks together, what with her time in pre-K and my transitioning schedule into teaching and writing and municipal work, we've fallen out of the habit of walking. She broke into tears and declarations that she would rather stay home then, where it's "more fun" than, presumably, going to school cranky from missing your bus and maybe going to bed the night before a half hour or so late.

Finally, we all walked, with me pushing Altgeld in the stroller, while Wilma walked with Annie. And it turns out today a vet and a violinist come to the school to help the children learn the letter "V!" Fine. I like the science and art aspect of all this. As for the letters, Annie came to pre-K already reading and printing by hand. The last two weeks she's begun learning cursive script. And her Spanish is coming along nicely. Thank G-d.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Last day of the old year in Chinese calendar

What was it? Year of the Rat? Tomorrow, 9th February, will usher to us the Year of the Rooster. It's happening even as I type. Already, in some places, I imagine, people have welcomed in the new Year.

On this day in history, McCarthy began his anti-Red crusade in the United States. Do you enjoy contests of triva questions and answers? Do you like history? Then visit freequizzes, and while you're surfing the web, go to the History Channel's site too. I found a rather intriguing though very short-lived web log, a sort of history almanac, running from April to December 2000. Too bad the author didn't continue and develop the theme, which he played with under the title Twisted History. Perhaps he will pass the torch on to some other enterprising blogger or web page developer.

It's time for a backgammon match. Cheers!

Who is this woman? I called her Lola. She is a doer, a lover, a saint in working woman's guise.  Posted by Hello

What are the characters in the middle? Does anyone know? I'm not sure if this came with Palm software or not. Any clues would be appreciated. (smlfnt.jpg) Posted by Hello

This is my first sketch of Lugh the Long-armed, father of Kian. The sons of Turenn slew his father Kian, as the Fomorians were invading Erin. Posted by Hello

Yes, after a whole year of "the old Live Oak," the author is revealed in this photograph. Sitting at one of his favourite workspaces. Photo taken soon after his return from the Balkans. In the background is a kitchenette. Wilma painted this exterior while I was away on training exercises, with Alpha Co., and engineering outfit. Posted by Hello

Monday, February 07, 2005

Kicking off the morning with a little picture project

Ah hmm.. Good morning! Day before yesterday, I was starting out learning how to send an illustration by Picasa and Hello to this blog. I chose a picture of a train and a giraffe, standing behind the tracks and to the left as the train is approaching on the tracks. As far as I've read, it's supposed to appear when I publish next.

Altgeld was trying to get me to leave the computer and play with him. But Altgeld, I have to work Oh dear. Well, that's another motivation to hurry up and get it done.

He's singing now, back in his room, a song he's made up with the name of one of the train engines he likes so very much, "Percy."


Finally, after three tries, I got it to work, as you can see. Am pleased.

Now, what is Julie McCarthy on NPR saying about the renewed dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israelis? A gathering in Sharm al Sheik.

Now, HERE's the picture I made for Annie Franck, using the computer program Paint. This is my pilot BloggerBot/Picasa/Hello project. Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 05, 2005

This Saturday morning learning Picasa & Hello

Have sorted out some forgotten username and password problems, and am trying to learn this technology to put photos and illustrations in the "old Live Oak' blog.

But a pause to listen to a memorial about Max Schmelling, the German boxer. Yes, it's NPR, broadcast through our local station on an island on the coast.

Now, back to this little project. Annie Franck is eager to get on-line so she can send a letter to one of her favorite horses, Pokey, who lives on a ranch in New Jersey.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Chinese New Year 2005 -- 4702, Year of the Rooster

The first day of the Chinese New Year will be 9th February, 2005. You can get a down-loadable Chinese calender at China Page.

3 February, this day in history/herstory

Jacques-Yves Cousteau published his The Silent World. Monsieur Cousteau is well known for his explorations of the sea world, especially under water, using oxygen tanks and SCUBA. Cousteau was born in 1910, in St. Andry' de Cubzac He served in the French Navy, where he learned to be a diver.

In 1953, Ymile Gagnan and he developed the Aqua-Lung, the world's first known "self-contained underwater breathing apparatus," which soon became known by the acronym SCUBA.

It's the birthday of the novelist Paul Auster, born in Newark, New Jersey in 1947. He is well known to some listeners of the NPR literary programme which Georgia listeners in the Savannah area hear on Sunday late evenings.

In 1820, John Keats, the lyric English poet, fell deathly ill. He attended school at Enfield, where he began his translation of the Aeneid. Read more about him at the Literature Network.

In 1913, the Income Tax Amendment took offense--I mean, took effect.

Egypt hosts summit, invites Israel, Jordan, and Palestinians

Egypt plans a summit for next week. All parties have agreed to attend. It is to be held Tuesday at the resort of Sharm al-Sheik on the Red Sea. It is expected that the focus will be on some sort of prisoner release and West Bank troop deployment. The word of the summit came as representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad met with Egyptian intelligence officials in Cairo. This summit is seen as a key step to an accord between the Palestinian factions.

China and Russian announce new security plan

Again, from news wire (actually, the Savannah Morning News does not say it's AP, but they've used AP in the past):

President Vladimir Putin and a visiting Chinese official (who?) announced Wednesday that there will be a series of talks , or security consultations,thus approaching closer military cooperation between the former Cold War rivals. It is to be remembered that early in the Communist revolutions, they had also shared common cause.

China's State Counsellor Tang Jiaxuan told Putin that Beijing does not have such a consultation mechanism with any other country. He referred to Russia as "the main partner for strategic cooperation" with China.

Thor's day morning, breaking news

The AP reports from Dublin that the Irish Republican Army yesterday, Wednesday, withdrew its offer to disarm. The interpretation by the news press association is that this action "deepens the deadlock." (Hmmmm... strange mix of metaphors. Wouldn't 'strengthen' the deadlock be better?

______There is a belief that the peace process was hampered by the bank heist, and the alleged involvement by the IRA. Accusations had been released to the press by law enforcement authorities in Northern Ireland and England.

______The IRA sternly rejected the criticisms from the law and the governments of England and Ireland that it was committing major crimes. The IRA equally rejects blame for the worsening 'impasse.'

______However, the IRA says that it will abide by the cease-fire.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Second month, first day,tenth hour

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, isn't it? And Ground Hog's Day. And I'm not ready for either. Today's the birthday of Langston Hughes. The following is from Writers' Almanac:

"Born in Joplin, Missouri (1902). He was a prominent figure
in the Harlem Renaissance and he wrote over 50 books
in his lifetime. He was also a journalist.
His first assignment came in 1937, when he worked
as the Madrid correspondent for the
Baltimore Afro-American during the Spanish Civil War.

Hughes went on to write a witty column for
the black weekly Chicago Defender from 1942 until 1965,
which took what he called a 'laugh to
keep from crying' approach to looking at racial intolerance.
Hughes said, 'Humor is laughing at what
you haven't got when you ought to
have it.' "
I've got to do some more research and sketch out my writing for today. My daughter's still sick with her ear infection. Our savings are dwindling. I need to find more work. The floor in the kitchen needs replacing. The windows and doors need insulating. My ESL curriculum needs restoring. My wife's wrists seem to be afflicted by arthritis or carpo-tunnel. We're still waiting to hear from our insurance company about some treatment for her voice.