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73 entries from June 2005

How times change

I'm not a fan of boxing. I don't get excited by news of the next big bout, don't know who the heavyweight champion is right now, never paid to see a match on television or otherwise.

The names I do recognize from the boxing world are the newsmakers, and few of those anymore.

So I was surprised and amused to see: Iron deficiency
Tyson takes loss sitting down, says he's done fighting

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The end came for Mike Tyson while he was sitting on a stool. The fighter who was once the baddest man on the planet wanted no more.

Looking more like a pathetic, aging fighter than the man who once terrorized the heavyweight division, Tyson's career more than likely ended Saturday night when he quit after the sixth round after desperately trying to foul his way to a win against Kevin McBride.

Nineteen years after he became the youngest heavyweight champion ever, Tyson's stamina, speed and ring skills weren't even enough to beat an Irish journeyman who has never beaten a heavyweight of any note.

How the times have changed; I didn't even know he was in a match, and what came to mind immediately was what Big News! Tyson's fights used to be. And not just the fights themselves; the hype leading to the bouts was just as great.

Not that I'm the barometer by which sports newsworthiness is determined, certainly. But I find it telling that the man who once was a worldwide newsmaker is now even in news coverage such a complete afterthought.

Here's a question

Just saw a commercial for a children's hospital somewhere in the Puget Sound area. Over images of sick and injured children in hospital beds, wheelchairs, or therapy settings, a voice intoned about the doctors' ability to treat children's illnesses, injuries, and birth defects.

And I wondered:

Why in this age of stupefyingly annoying political correctness is birth defect considered an acceptable term?

We're supposed to say African American instead of Black, differently abled instead of handicapped, mentally challenged instead of retarded.

So why don't we say something like differently born?


This work week seemed to flash by insanely fast. I don't know if that was because we had an audit at the lab, where a government regulatory entity (or sometimes a client if they're fastidious enough) sends in its minions to wander the lab and apply hideously detailed scrutiny to your procedures and processes and to comment on the fact that your log books don't have serial numbers and your nose hairs aren't alphabetized.

Anyway, not sure if that's what it was because I ended up not being directly involved in the audit. The auditors wandered through the Quality Assurance and project managers' area, where my desk is, but didn't ask me any direct questions. Which is good because I don't know the rules and regulations behind proper temperature measurements of a data package, nor am I certified in correct methods of high-speed-scanner repair.

But no matter. The work week is over and I'm relaxing in my living room late on a Friday evening. I've a few beers in me—if you can get your grubby mitts on a bottle (preferably several draught pints or a case or two) of Pyramid's Curve Ball Kölsch, I highly recommend you do so. Smooth and eminently drinkable, quite tasty. I'm not enough of a beer weenie to sling around terms like "hoppiness" and "finish" and "head," so I won't mention those other than to say I won't mention them, but it's a damned fine beer.

The living room's sliding glass door is wide open and Flex (black cat) is in the act of climbing the screen as he chases the bats he can hear but not see. Or maybe he's just acting out his unwitting fantasy of summiting Mt. Donald, which he's done several times in the 9 months he's shared my living quarters. At any rate, I just spritzed a warning shot from my handy can of compressed air and Flex has now disappeared to the furthest corner of the house, but he'll be back. We've turned this into something of a game.

There were a few intense rain squalls earlier tonight. Right now it's just drying out from the last one which blew through an hour or 90 minutes ago. The frogs have struck up their Lay Me Symphony and there's quite a crisp breeze blowing through Chez Nunn, the beauty of a townhouse with a due-east/west orientation.

I wonder where Annie (tabby cat) is. She must me up to no good because when she's just lying around she does so in plain sight, but when she's being mischievous she's quiet and unseen.

I hate iChat's graphical smileys. I should find the Death to Graphical file and run it one of these days, but since I installed Tiger several weeks back I've just dealt with the smileys even though every time I see them, my ass puckers.

I think I need another beer.

Friday Forum: The salt-water life

Lisanne just got back from the beach, so this week's Friday Forum questions are all about the beach/ocean.

  1. What is your favorite type of beach? (Rocky? Sandy? Private? Lots of people around? East Coast? West Coast?)
    I like sandy beaches best. I also like quiet beaches but it's fun when a lot of people are around too; easier to start up a game of volleyball or football or whatever that way.

    What are the best beaches that you've ever been to, and when did you go there?
    The beaches of St. Maarten were spectacular in every way—pristine white sand, amazingly clear and warm waters, not too crowded when I was there in June 2002.

  2. What items do you like to take with you to the beach?
    Usually a cooler with drinks (alcoholic if they're allowed on whatever beach I'm visiting) and the typical array of beach items like chairs, towels, a ball, whatever. For the beaches in Washington state, binoculars are a must to spot orcas or seals or the like.

    Have you enjoyed any good summer beach reads this summer or in the past?
    None leap to mind. I don't usually read at the beach if it's sunny because the light's so bright off the pages.

  3. How many oceans have you seen and/or been swimming in?
    I've seen three (Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean Sea); swum in two (Pacific, Carribbean).

  4. If you could design your own dream beach house, what would it be like? Where would you build it?
    It'd be open and airy with glass everywhere that was safe to afford the best views. A lot of doors too to let the breezes move through freely. I'd probably pick the Caribbean or maybe South Pacific, somewhere mostly unspoiled.

  5. Do you have any plans to visit a beach/ocean this summer? If so, where are you going and when?
    Nothing specific but we already visited Lime Kiln State Park on San Juan Island once. Katharine and I usually visit there a couple of times at different parts of the year to spot whales and enjoy the Friday Harbor experience.

Grocery list, at some point

Stuff I need, whenever I bother to go to the store.


First off, I really like Central Market in Mill Creek. It’s just down the road from me, for one thing, and it has absolutely kick-ass! wine, meat, and produce sections. And a cheese and deli section that’s simply insane

I don’t shop there very often because with such wonderful tastes in such abundance, it’s more like a treat than an every-day experience. I think I will go there whenever I want good meat, however, because not only do their selections look amazingly good, their meat and deli and seafood workers actually know what they’re selling, which is rare for supermarkets nowadays.

OK, end shill, and on to the list. As usual, in no particular order:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce (probably a salad max, actually)
  • Grapes, if they’re less than $2/lb
  • Inside skirt steak
  • Bell pepper
  • Tortillas
  • Sharp and medium cheddars
  • Tamales (fresh if they got ’em, Hormel canned otherwise)
  • Creamed corn
  • Corn on the cob—we cooked it on the grill on Memorial Day weekend, SO good that way
  • Wine-department trolling; always a good selection of new stuff to try (though my wine rack’s full already)
  • Egg noodles
  • Other stuff I’m sure I’ll remember the moment I arrive home from the store

Today's Starbucks Barista Idiocy

I came to work early today against the possibility that I might have to participate in the kick-off meeting for a certification audit this week. Figured on my way in I'd stop for coffee because I left my travel mug at the lab last week and have yet to remember it on my way home each night, so I can't make coffee at home and take it with me to work.

So I stopped at the Starbucks at Mill Creek Town Center, my usual coffee-on-the-way-to-work location. Been long enough since I was there that the baristas didn't recognize me right away, but I wasn't ordering my usual anyway.

I'm pretty sure I was speaking English and enunciating clearlyI walked up to the counter and said: "I'd like a venti drip with room and two slices of the raspberry/lemon loaf in separate bags." (Coffee and a slice for me, a slice for Katharine.)

The barista looked at me blankly for a few seconds and then said, "OK, you want a latté? And a slice of banana loaf? Or?"

Now, I'm pretty sure I was speaking English, and enunciating clearly. But I hadn't had any coffee yet and who knows, perhaps I rattled off my order in mumbly Russian. That'd be a neat trick since I don't speak Russian, but it wouldn't be the first time.

So I repeated my order and she gave me the "Ooooh!" reaction, The Light Dawning, and then handed me the large cuppa with absolutely no room for the half'n'half I'd planned to add—the only thing keeping the coffee in that cup was the surface tension, it was so overfull—and she initially put both slices in one bag.


Republicans won't appeal decision in Washington state governor's election lawsuit

A bit surprising that Dino Rossi would back down from an appeal so quickly. Only last week, both sides were claiming they'd appeal instantly if they lost yesterday's decision; perhaps the judge's thoroughness in knocking down the Republicans' claims convinced Rossi that an appeal had little chance of success. It must have been particularly discouraging since the Republicans had chosen the court venue, the claims, and the method of determining correct votes.

Two stories below the cut. First is The Seattle Times' story about the case and Rossi's announcement that he won't appeal the decision; second is the entirety of the Times' story highlighting parts of Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges' ruling.

Continue reading "Republicans won't appeal decision in Washington state governor's election lawsuit" »

Mark Hacking sentenced for murdering his wife

He was sentenced to 6 years to life in prison for shooting Lori Soares to death while she slept and then dumping her body in a trash bin.

Stories and links below the cut from, The Salt Lake Tribune, and Deseret Morning News; also the Soares family statement from the Trib.

Continue reading "Mark Hacking sentenced for murdering his wife" »

Weird Sunday

Randomly, because it's been that type of day.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

I spent much of today shaking off the effects of the roughly 3 bottles of wine (!) I consumed before, with, and after last night's salmon-with-rice-pilaf-and-asparagus dinner. Even this late in the day I'm still experiencing gastrointestinal flip-flops and Fun Churning Sensations the likes of which I'd not encountered before.

No puking, though, which is a tremendous relief. I don't much care for explosive reverse peristalsis.

Saltines work wonders for settling the old stomach when it's actively trying to claw its way out of your person.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

I felt pretty chilled around 13:00 today so I turned on the fireplace. Note the phrasing—"turned on," I flipped the little light switch that controls the gas supply and seconds later FWOOMP, fire.

I don't like the sound of sizzling fleshAh, modern technology.

Anyway, about 20 minutes later my two cats noticed the fire was burning and edged their way across the living room to flop on the floor just in front of the fireplace. Annie, my female tabby, got a bit inquisitive after a few minutes and wanted to see the dancing flames a bit more closely, so she marched right up to the glass divider to look in.

She misjudged the distances, however, and there followed a plainly audible sizzling sound (!!) and a yowl/yelp/twist-and-flip combo after which she ended up five feet away from the fireplace and licking her nose furiously where it'd touched the hot glass.

I don't like the sound of sizzling flesh, but Annie now gives the fireplace a wide berth.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

With the end of the regular television season my TiVo has determined that my interests once more lie in the Spanish-language and cheeseball sci-fi directions. It also started picking up various University of Washington televised classes and more than a few Asian-language shows, which is strange because I already told it the Asian-language channels and the UW channel were not favorites, but oh well. I've had to turn off the Suggestions feature for now until I can thumbs-down all the weirdness and return to recording only Battlestar Galactica (and could you please tell me what the HELL is up with these shows and their "QuakeCam" filming styles?) and The 4400 and a few sci-fi and other shows I actually want to have recorded now and then.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

Requisite mention of the Apple-is-switching-to-Intel-chips-oh-no! hysteria:

I'm waiting for Monday's WWDC keynote to find out what really is announced. I have my take, good and bad both, on a full architecture switch but I don't know enough about what's really happening here to form an intelligent opinion yet, and unlike most other sites I've seen mention this, I'm not going to indulge in the hysterical doom-saying.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

As part of last night's Don-marinated-in-white-wine-with-rice-pilaf-and-asparagus affair, I thought my music library would be growing by a few hundred songs, but we never got around to that with the grilling and the drinking and the after-dinner drinking and dessert drinking.

Poor me. No piracy last night.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

So the muscles along my ribs are sore today and I've no idea why. I haven't done any unusual lifting or anything in the last several days and I wasn't writhing in such agony last night and this morning that I should be sore, but I definitely feel it tonight.

Kind of like the times I'll spot a huge bruise or cut on my arm or leg or whatever and have no idea how I got the injury.

I wonder if I'm sleepwalking or something.

Speaking of which: Sometime I'll have to relate the story of the time I sleepurinated over the banister at my parents' house, but that's a tale for a different weird Sunday.

Seattle Times headline confusion

One of the things that annoys me about The Seattle Times' web site is their sometimes jarringly mismatched headlines and story snippets.

Typically this happens with their "digest" stories, which summarize several shorter or less-detailed stories for a designated part of the Seattle metro area—say, the Eastside or Snohomish County—under a single headline that itself summarizes a single of the included stories.

Sat 06/04/05: Seattle Times TOC headline confusion
Typical example of headline/content mismatch in Seattle Times' digest stories
In today's paper, the Local Digest summary's headline reads "Man shot to death in apartment" but the story snippet on the news index page (all that day's stories linked from a single contents page) is a different story altogether, though still death-related unfortunately.

When you view the story digest itself, the headline is in fact related to the first story included.

I'm not sure why they don't summarize the story that's headlined in the digest on the TOC page. Not that the mild confusion such headline/story mismatches generate is in any way earth-shaking, but it makes me think their web-site design is clumsy or inattentive.

Danger in the shower. Or: How to get soap in your eyes, draw blood from your foot, and scare the hell out of your cats, all at the same time

In the last couple of years I’ve taken more and more to shaving in the shower. Feels like I get a closer shave, I can keep my razor and shaving cream off the sink for less clutter, blah blah blah. I tend to lather up and then shave before rinsing all the soap off me at once just before I finish the shower, which is likely way TMI but which is important to this prattly tale.

My two cats have demonstrated ever greater fascination with the entire shower experience in the last several months. They quite liked it when I had a bathtub with a shower head and shower curtain; they’re now enthralled by my master bathroom’s shower stall with its sliding-glass doors, the better to whip into frenzy when water drops slide down the doors.

This morning these disparate elements came together in a most unusual way.

Continue reading "Danger in the shower. Or: How to get soap in your eyes, draw blood from your foot, and scare the hell out of your cats, all at the same time" »

The Musical Baton

Via tara.

About music sharing

Music I’m willing to share is linked directly from this page. No link, no sharing—don’t email asking for files.

Total volume of music files on my computer: 48.56 GB (includes probably 2 or 3 GB of duplicates).

The last CD I bought was: Chariot, Gavin DeGraw.

Favorite song from the album (er, CD)? Probably “Meaning”; I’ve had the album for a little over a month and haven’t listened to it enough yet for any one song to sink in too deeply, but I like that song’s music and what lyrics I recall.

Song playing right now: “You’ve Got to Show” from Indigo Girls’ Become You

Five songs I listen to a lot (or that mean a lot to me): Listed in no particular order.
  1. Between” by Vienna Teng.
  2. Arclight” by The Fat Lady Sings. Reminds me of my good friends Corey, John, Phil, Chris, and the rest of the DeMolay gang, and of the amazing times we had in the summers of 1991–1994 (and a little less so, 1995).
  3. These Are Days” by 10,000 Maniacs. Reminds me of the ways my life has changed in the last 15 years and how each year makes its own memorable experience.
  4. On Your Way” by Eastmountainsouth. In a way, it’s the story of most relationships I’ve had.
  5. Drunkard Logic” by The Fat Lady Sings. One of my all-time favorites; I love the lyrics and the music and I can sing it pretty well too, which makes it so much better.

Handed off to Chris | John | Phil.