Archive for April, 2007

My Husband has been invited to lunch by one of the Job Prospects tomorrow.   Do Job Prospects routinely invite you to lunch to turn you down for the job?

“We really liked you, but we can’t hire you.  Please, by all means, enjoy a salad on us.”

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I’m not a fan of the new Leslie Bennetts book, The Feminine Mistake. As a libertarian I think life works best when people make their own choices informed by their faith, family and friends. Live on a commune; work on Wall St.–whatever you and your support network think is best is your decision and the best way to live your life. So when books come out with premises like “all mothers should stay home” or “all women should have a career” I think that “some authors should mind their own business.”

I’m not the only one criticising Bennetts’ book. But, man, does this take the cake.

Several people are piling on to Leslie Bennetts, dismissing her work because she’s fat. In their minds, fat people are not qualified to give life advice because they can’t somehow manage to be not fat. Which is now, I suppose, a baseline for operating in society.

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For years we cycling fans have chuckled and rolled our eyes at Bobke’s pronounciation of the Toor Day Fraants.

I guess linguistic mangling of place names goes both ways.   I just heard Phil Liggett refer to  “Mackin”  Georgia.

At least everyone says “Pelaton” correctly.

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Ten Days. Seriously. TEN DAYS.

So I was reading an interview with a top-selling author today.   I’m a fiend for author interviews, perspectives and fetishes, because I keep hoping to stumble across a secret to writing a successful book that goes beyond “actually sitting down and typing the story out of your head.”    I’d love to hear someone offer a magic concoction that would pull all my words and nuances from the corners of my brain without making me sit at my desk.   Sitting at my desk distracts me, especially now that there’s Twitter.   (Author’s Note:  I kid you not.  Twitter is like crack for people looking to get distracted.  I actually abandon my work to read what all my Twitners are having for lunch.  And it enthralls me.)

Anyway, back to the published author.   In this interview she tells us all that she can write a complete novel in TEN BUSINESS DAYS.  For real.

Now, I’ve never read any of her books.   I may have to get one from the library, though, just so I can see what a ten-day written wonder looks like.   I’m betting she doesn’t rewrite each of her chapters twelve times.   She probably doesn’t spend  a lot of time sketching out the houses where her characters live or drawing timelines with their family trees.   Or reading about the history of Welsh pharmacology.  That’s all the stuff I do for my various unfinished books.

Ten days.    Wow.

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Why is Alec Baldwin apologising on The View?

I don’t know what he said; I’m only vaguely aware of him saying something that this time angered the whole country, instead of just half of it. But I thought what he said was something to his child. Certainly he owes the child an apology, if what he said was bad enough to get everyone else all riled up. But wouldn’t that apology be more genuine in its handling if it came directly from the father to the child and didn’t involve the cast of The View.

Is there a rehab for him to go to now?

I’m so sick and tired of these public ‘apologies’ from famous people. They seemed designed by some press-manipulating concern whose first goal is to keep the name of the client or the wronged collective in the spotlight as long as possible. I’d just love it if these famous people would act right in the first place so I didn’t have to hear for the next three weeks about how their consequences for stupidity are so much different than ours.

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Is Snape Evil?

I love how the various book promos are making this the “big” question of book 7.   We were at Borders a few days ago, and all their promo material is centered around this question.   They have little strips of paper with the “Good Snape” data points on one side and the “Bad Snape” data points on the other.  Most of this discussion centers around the ambiguity of Snape’s behaviour in Books 5 & 6.  For most of Order of the Phoenix, we see Snape fighting on the Side of The Good.   Then cracks appear during Occlumency lessons, leading to the big confusion in Half-Blood Prince.   Snape does something pretty much unforgivable at the conclusion of that book, but there are enough questions surrounding his motivation for that act to leave things up in the air.

As I was rereading the graveyard scene in Goblet of Fire last night, I was struck by something Voldemort said as he reviewed the Death Eaters.

There are six vacant spots for missing Death Eaters in the circle around Voldemort.   During his strutting monologuing, he recaps the whereabouts of those in an oblique way.

  • Three are in Azkaban
  • One Faithful Servant is in place at Hogwarts.   We know by the end of the book that this is Bartemius Crouch, Jr.
  • One is a coward and will be killed.   We find out during subsequent books that this is Karkaroff.
  • One Voldemort believes “has left him forever”.  This must be, by power of deduction, Snape.   During the confrontation with Fudge in the Hospital wing at the end of Book 4, Snape shows the Dark Mark on his arm and explains the way it works.  So we know clearly that he is still a branded Death Eater.   He is not the coward, because he didn’t turn in fellow Death Eaters, as did Karkaroff.   He is not the “faithful servant” because he is not the one who made arrangements to deliver Harry to the graveyard in Little Hangleton.  Therefore, Snape MUST be the Death Eater whom Voldemort believes has “left him forever.”    When Snape returns to Voldemort it is clearly under Dumbledore’s orders.   We see the order given in the Hospital Wing.   Later, in Spinner’s End, Snape tells Bellatrix Lestrange that his three hour delay in returning to Voldemort bought Snape the right to act as an efficient double-agent.   That conversation is supposedly the “out” for Snape’s late return.
    • We know Snape is the source of Voldemort’s incomplete information about the Prophecy.
    • We know that Voldemort was angry about being vanquished by Harry in Godric’s Hollow.
    • Voldemort clearly believes that Snape has ‘left him forever’ .   This would indicate that Snape was defellowshipped prior to the events in the books.   So he is not acting as a double-agent prior to the end of Book Four.
    • When Snape does return to Voldemort it is under Dumbledore’s orders.  At that point he would be an agent of Dumbledore.   Part of that duty would be to convince Voldemort that Snape is acting as an agent on Voldemort’s behalf.

My conclusion?  That Snape is ‘good’ and still acting on behalf of the Order during Books 5 & 6.

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You might also suggest to your local representatives which of those groups of people should lose the services they rely on so that we can eliminate the $8 or $9 in tax we pay on every $100 of food we purchase.

–Tennessee Taxpayer And Vehicle Services Division in an email dated 26 April, 2007

$8 or $9 isn’t a lot of money to some of us. There are those of us who spend fifteen times that amount on cable.
To the poor and struggling, however, $8 or $9 is a great deal of money. It is several days’ worth of canned tuna and bread, or a couple luxuries like frozen peas and carrots.

The Sales Tax on Food is a Regressive tax which penalises most those who can least afford it. Everyone in Tennessee eats, and unless you are on food stamps you pay the sales tax on food. If you are a person of limited means, that will cost you a larger portion of your food budget income.

Right now the Tennessee State Government has taken in FAR more money that it needs. A bulk of this “found money” comes out of the hides of the working poor in the form of a food sales tax.

you can find some stupid things the state spends money on. … [I]f you give me your checkbook, I can find lots of stuff you spend money on that I might think are stupid.

–State Employee

The State of Tennessee’s money IS our money. It belongs to US. The citizens of the State of Tennessee. And we’d like to see a bit more of it in our hands where we can decide how it gets spent.

Please join me in the Nine Bucks Back crusade. Let the poor and struggling of Tennessee have their own nine bucks back.

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Yesterday a Mr. Harvey of the Tennessee Department of Revenue suggested to me that a reduction of the food tax would harm the children of the good people of Tennessee.

I emailed this to Mr. Harvey today. You’d think that Tennessee would realise that it has more money that it needs (ie. a surplus), and it has collected those monies out of the hide of its working poor.

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  • (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction The Rolling Stones Forty Licks [Disc 1]
  • Koka Kola The Clash London Calling
  • Chief O’Neill’s Hornpipe The Chieftains & Chet Atkins Further Down the Old Plank Road
  • Bandit of Love/The Cheating Waltz The Chieftains & Carlene Carter Further Down the Old Plank Road
  • I’m Not Down The Clash London Calling
  • Damhsa The Chieftains An Irish Evening [Live]
  • Paradise By The Dashboard Light Meat Loaf VH-1 Storytellers
  • Sixty Years On (Live) Elton John Live In Australia
  • Heaven Can Wait Meat Loaf VH-1 Storytellers
  • When The Tigers Broke Free Pink Floyd Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd (Disc 2)

I think it’s safe to say that “When The Tigers Broke Free” is probably my favourite Pink Floyd song. Either that or “Mother”.

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If our fine folks in government can do it, so can I.

I’m stumping for a pork barrell project of my own.

Mothership BBQ needs some help.

Do you know any investors? Give ’em a holler.

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