May 20, 2005
One thing in the movie did appeal to me, though: Natalie Portman. She was a pretty girl and has grown into quite a hottie. Her acting in the movie was pretty mediocre, but let's face it, it must have been hard to get geeked up for that script. Whatever. In any case, I've long since passed the point where I'll watch a movie just because it has a good looking woman in it.
I like to cook. I like beer. Homebrewing provides me with an opportunity to combine two of my passions into one rather entertaining enterprise.(Note: I've had a batch of homebrew sitting in a secondary fermenter for more than a year without bottling. My wife would have dumped it in a heartbeat if she could lift the carboy.) Add the malt extract(all you all grain snobbish types feel free to shut up now) and the hops to the water, bring it all to a boil, clean up the boil over, bring to a boil again, cool, pitch the yeast, wait, bottle and then drink the finished product. Ahhh. Good stuff.
I enjoy the smell of boiling wort. The aroma of hops and malt fills the house wonderfully. Unfortunately, the chief HATES the smell, and I mean despises it with a passion. She let me brew ONE batch in the house right after we were married and that's it. However, wonderful lady that she is, she gave me a propane cooker so I could brew in the garage, thereby allowing me to continue with my hobby without assaulting her sense of smell.
One side note for budding brewers: be careful with your hop disposal if you use leaf hops(ignore if using pellets). Back in the 1990's, a few cases of toxic hyperthermia in greyhounds were reported after the dogs ate the spent hops. I don't remember if any other dog owners reported similar problems. Cats might also be susceptible, but most don't eat their vegetables. Meat, meat and more meat is their meal of choice. In any event, take the trash out and put in a can with a lid.
The funny thing about beer you've brewed is that you will drink it even if it's not great. Okay, it stinks. A lot. The crappy taste is offset by the pride of having made it yourself. This does not include actual beer disasters. The first cream ale I tried to brew tasted like swamp water minus the mosquitoes, only not as potable. It's the only batch I've ever poured straight down the drain. Wasting 5 gallons of beer would normally be a crime punsihable by flogging, but that batch didn't qualify as beer. Probably could have used it as a chemical weapon.
Good beer is its own reward. That's why I've flown out to Denver 5 years in a row for the GABF, and I'm going there again after a brief hiatus due to the birth of my second child. I highly recommend this trip to others. Free beer(if you volunteer) and a chance to meet other beer lovers. Me too, but that's just a bonus.
Want variety? Check out Mr. Postman, too.
We know what's going on. What was the one moment that things looked darkest for the Bush presidency in the last three and a half years? During the endless all-Abu-Ghraib, all-the-time abuse coverage festival from last spring. When references to the prison abuse scandal were cropping up on the Washington Posts Sports, Arts, and Metro sections.
The Isikoff story and the inevitable coming deluge of in-depth investigative journalism of additional tales of abuse from those utterly trustworthy al-Qaeda prisoners are a return to the good old days of last spring. When Teddy Kennedy could compare the U.S. militarys handling of prisoners to Saddams torture chambers with a gleeful, hearty grin. When our guys on the front lines could be portrayed as sadistic, black-hearted villains. When the face of our guys wasnt the stoic loyalty of a Pat Tillman, the pride and dedication of a Jeffrey Adams, or any other one of our heroes but the nauseating sneer of Lynndie England.
Boy, did those days feel good to the media.
Call that whatever you like. But dont call it journalism.
Update: Don't even get me started on fiscal "responsibility" in Congress. Both parties are comprised of money-hungry whores. I guess that that makes me "the John", but not in the happy "at least I had an orgasm" way.
Update: Harvey makes the point in the comments that I probably owe an apology to prostitutes, and I think he's correct. At least with whores, you get exactly what you pay for, and you know in advance how much it's going to cost.
***Note: centrifugal force does NOT exist; it's not called a pseudo force for nothing. The word to remember is INERTIA.
And, to get really absurd, lets add that he had called for an end to single-sex prisons on the theory that if male prisoners are going to return to a community in which men and women function as equal partners, prison is just the place for them to get prepared to deal with women.
Lets further posit that this nominee had opined that a manifest imbalance in the racial composition of an employers work force justified court-ordered quotas even in the absence of any intentional discrimination on the part of the employer. But then, lo and behold, to make this nominee even more of a parody of an out-of-touch leftist, lets say it was discovered that while operating his own office for over a decade in a city that was majority-black, this nominee had never had a single black person among his more than 50 hires.
Imagine, in sum, a nominee whose record is indisputably extreme and who could be expected to use his judicial role to impose those views on mainstream America. Surely such a person would never be nominated to an appellate court. Surely no Senate Democrat would support someone with such extreme views. And surely Senate Republicans, rather than deferring to the nominating power of the Democrat President, would pull out all stopsfilibuster and everythingto stop such a nominee.
Well, not quite. The hypothetical nominee I have just described is, in every particular except his sex, Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the time she was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1993.
May 19, 2005
Seeing Janeane Garofolo in the flesh induces a sort of slack-jawed awe. One must go back all the way to Vanilla Ice to witness so much attitude in front of so little talent.
May 18, 2005
"A quick way to debunk the 'we need more money' claims from public schools: calculate how much they are spending per class.
"Lets suppose the district is spending $8,000 per student, which I believe is below the national average and well below what they spend in your region. If each class has 20 students, which again would be quite low, they are spending $160,000 per class. If there are 25 students then its $200,000. On what? Pay the teacher $80,000 and you still have $80,000 left for the building, administrators, buses, books, etc, $120,000 if you use the bigger class.
"Give me $100,000 to educate 20 kids for a year and I'll gladly quit my job as an attorney, rent the necessary facilities, and provide a much better education to them than the public schools do.
"As a homeowner who would under no circumstances allow any of my five children to attend any public school (which means I am giving up a $1/2 million government subsidy), I find the amounts the government spends on schools to be utterly outrageous."
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