Tuesday, December 09, 2008

[link] Louis vs. Rick

the saga of a man who taught his cat how to use instant messaging.

I ROFLMAO'd. Honestly and for true.


My copy of Fathom, Cherie Priest's latest release, shipped two days ago. I envy you folks who get to buy it in the store.

Read about it here: Let the waters beneath heaven be gathered in one place...
An ageless water witch schemes to bring old gods back to glory, but awakening the Leviathan is no small feat–and it’s none too compatible with the survival of humanity. Nevertheless, a handful of ambitious villains are open to recruitment and the ranks of darkness fill with surprising speed. Aided by an eighteenth-century Spanish pirate and his deranged young lover, the witch strives to bring about the end of the world.

But between the cracks hide forgotten old things. Ignored–but far from powerless–they claim a hero of their own. The soul they salvage was destined for a watery grave, but the timing is right and the lingering elementals have better ideas.

Now the End of Days is challenged by a strange and powerful new creature, distilled from stone by a servant of the earth who refuses to surrender his green fields and muddy plains. Not yet. Add to his arsenal a hapless insurance inspector and the irate priest of a fire god, and suddenly rural Florida doesn’t seem quite so sleepy anymore.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I just got done reading an article linked to me by trillsie yesterday. trillsie is a veteran of the USAF and yesterday, for that one day, I thanked her and all like her for their service. Truth is, I thank you everyday, because you and your predecessors have given me something I completely take for granted, something so precious, so deeply rooted in my being, it's like breathing. I can put pen to paper and speak my mind about politics and religion without fear of retribution. (There was a few months there, living under the Bush Administration, when I wasn't so sure, but we have HopeChange™ coming, and voters everywhere reminded me that we are Of The People, By The People, For The People.)

The article trillsie linked was was about Anthony Acevedo, a US Army medic who served in WWII, and who was among a small group of POWs who were taken to Buchenwald during the final days of the war. You can read it here. This story seems unequivocally knitted with today's headlines, as protesters of Prop 8 continue to spread their fight right to the steps of the churches that supported that heinous screed.
We hold these truths to be self-evident...
The government is not in the business of deciding who is desirable and who is undesirable. We do not separate citizens according to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, ability, sexual preference or political beliefs. We do not govern along lines of skull shape or skin color, hair color or eye color, For every new way in which our evolutionarily hard-wired brain can come up with to divide "Us" from "Them", we have a doctrine that wipes away that difference.
...that all l men are created equal...
The moment you give the government the right to sort us into buckets of "Acceptable" vs "Unacceptable", you begin handing out armbands. The moment you let one religion drive policy, and use its standards to decide our "morality", you begin laying the rail. The moment you let rage and pain and fear become your guiding influence, that's the day you start stoking the ovens.
...that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights...
I am one hundred percent serious folks. I do not dispute your right to your religious beliefs. I would protect you just as vehemently if your rights were threatened. But you need to remember, the moment you start labelling people as "Undesirable", you step on a path. And there may be a day when that path arrives at your door.
...that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Life. Liberty. The Pursuit of Happiness. There is nothing about being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered that makes a person sub-human. And if you do not believe these people should share the same rights and responsibilities that you have, the same rights and responsibilities that come with marriage and family, you are defining them as sub-human. If you do not fight for their right to stand beside you on the platform that is American Freedom, the platform that so many good men and women have died defending, you are defining them as sub-human.

And if you dare define them as sub-human, remember, you leave open the possibility that someone will define you or your children as sub-human, according to their own dictates.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Harvey Milk
Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan
Anthony Acevedo, may he live a long healthy life.

I invite you to add a name to the list of people we should never forget, for the struggle, for the sacrifice, for the lesson to our basic decent humanity they have given us.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Since I became aware of the senator from Illinois back in 2004, when he made headlines for his speech opening the Democratic National Convention, I have believed that he is the John F. Kennedy of my generation. There is a subtle poise, a grace and humility about the man that bespeaks the kind of character I have hungered to see in a national leader. I have also wondered if it's possible that America Herself would recognize that leader when he or she came along, having been force fed a diet of sound bites and petty schoolyard taunts and gibes.

I think I saw that leader in the debate last night. Obama treated his opponent with respect and gentility, even as his opponent refused to acknowledge him with even a glance. Even as his opponent spun lie after lie after lie about Obama's voting record and his position on the issues. He comported himself with dignity.

And here is an example, thanks to my dear friend Janice, of precisely why I want this man to take up the task of rebuilding America and restoring our good name in the global community:

Greenrose2 @ DailyKos wrote:
It came when Senator McCain was stumbling with Ahmadinejad's name. He was stumbling hard, almost unable to get the name or any semblance of it pronounced. Very quietly, but audibly Senator Obama can be heard saying something. In the first viewing, I knew he had said something there, but was unable to decipher exactly what he had said. In listening to the replay it's easy to hear his comment.

He quietly acknowledged to Senator McCain "That's a tough one." When I heard his remark, his gracious nod to the Senator's struggle to pronounce a very difficult name, his compassion for the man, I choked up. It humbled me. It made me briefly look inward, and feel lesser for originally maybe hoping that it was some cutting barb. And it showed him as a man greater than politics, greater for inspiring empathy and compassion for a fellow man.
When was the last time you had an intense, emotionally satisfying conversation with someone? When you felt as if someone was truly present and listening to your words, instead of merely waiting for you to stop talking so they can have their turn?

Can you imagine the power of making the leaders of Iran or from North Korea feel like they are truly being heard? Can you see now the true power of diplomacy and the absolutely vital necessity of meeting with these so-called "rogue" nations without pre-conditions? This isn't negotiating with terrorists. It's making the person across the table from you understand that you see them as a person. And that you have far more in common with them than the sum of all your differences.

Sen. Obama doesn't need to sneer at his opponent's missteps, as much as we might like to see him do what we might do. He understands that while Sen. McCain may not be qualified to be hold the Executive Office, he is a human being. He deserves to be treated with respect.

Imagine having a president who can not only lead, but who we can hold up to our children as a true role model.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Say No To Truncation

Do you know if your rss feed is truncated or not? I read all of my blogs in a feed aggregator, specifically Google Reader. This allows me to browse all my blogs in one window. I read blogs from all over the world. Tech blogs, art blogs, culture blogs, you name it. It's also great way to catch up on some of you most prolific people (wordpress, typepad, journalscape, blogger, etc). But every day I find new and interesting blogs that I just, well, I have to confess -- I don't get the most out of your blog.

Why you ask? Because your feed is truncated. I get the first 255 characters or so and then a link to click to read more.

Now, if you're getting ad revenue by me clicking through, by all means, truncate away. But please -- be riveting those first 255 characters. Or else I'm on to the next new shiny.

Also, another reason not to truncate your posts, and I only just learned this, if you're using Wordpress.com? The only way for anyone in China to read your post is via an rss aggregator. If your posts are truncated, your international readers may never get to read what happened to you when the BBQ exploded. And you don't want to leave them in suspense, now, do you?

Here's how to set your feed settings in Blogger.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Elevating the discourse

I am not a political animal. Especially for the past few years, any level of emotional investment seemed to be a waste of time. I won't hesitate to say that critical thinking was a rare beast that made unicorns look as common as Central Park pigeons. It's deeply disheartening.

But this morning, I can't get Obama's speech out of my head.

Vanmojo put it quite succinctly. It's like it came out of an episode of West Wing, it's that good. We're going to be talking about this speech for the next fifty years, regardless of whether Obama wins or not, because he has raised the level of political discourse. He has refused to reduce incredibly complex issues down to a sound bite. He respects our ability to know the difference between a thousand shades of gray. He asks us to believe that we are capable of changing the way things are.

One of the things I have learned over the passed year is that if you believe in someone, they will rise to the occasion. If you tell someone that you believe in them, if you give them your heart and your soul and show them that you have faith in them, and if that someone respects you and cares about your opinion of them, that person will go on to do amazing things. They will dig deep within themselves and find the person you believe them to be. They will exceed their own expectations, and sometimes the belief itself. Because we all want to do good. I firmly believe that of most people. We want to make the world a better place. We want to be gracious and kind and respectful. We want to be gentle and caring when it's called for, and we want to be fierce and courageous when we are called to. We want to work hard and have something to show for it at the end of the day. And yes, we have our weak moments, when we indulge our petty selves, because we are only human. But for the most part, we want tomorrow to be better than today.

It'd be so very nice to have someone in the White House who not only wants that, but asks it of us as well. Someone who inspires us to be the better person. At first I was sceptical -- no, that's wrong. I was extremely cynical. But now I'm starting to feel it. I'm starting to feel like Obama is the Kennedy of our generation. It's a frightening feeling, to have hope again.

If you haven't seen or read his speech from Philadelphia yet, please take a moment to do so.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Surkatri Updated