Saturday, October 31, 2009

What the Samhain?

Hereabouts the wind blew in some cold and wet marking the seasonal change that concentrated the Celtic mind:  Samhain! Winter is coming.  Celebrations involved treats of hot cider and fresh apples. Baked goodies were welcome too.
For those not fortunate enough to have a well stocked larder, the event was yet another "oh, Shit!" moment in a long series of assaults on their human dignity. They viewed the aggressive opulence of the well to do with hope of generosity or malice at its denial.
One treat was always available to all who could manage a bit of fire in a shelter out of the wind, a good tale, the scarier the better so that everyone could claim the shivers came from hobgoblins, not the chill air.  "Ooooh," sez Gran tucked up in the old horse blanket, "Someone's just trod on m'grave!"
Follow the link in the title for Dum Luks' previous seasonal contributions. Both the joys and frights are observed -- can Bela Lugosi be far behind? No, sez I.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Did He Just Say ... ?

Digby quotes  Peter Beinert:
The demographic shifts that have put the Democrats in power—more young voters, more Hispanic voters, more highly-educated voters... (emphasis added)
Did he just say Republican voters are dumb as rocks?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Old Proverbs Applied

If one engages in a formal process of separating sheep from goats, it is a good idea to be prepared for the goats to act like goats. Surprise at this result may not be an adequate response.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Different County, Different Ballot

Same Election.
Goldy shows a King County ballot which obscures I-1033 which is likely to get a large "no" vote there.
Here in Skagit County the opposite is true. Here's our ballot.

Curious when you compare the two.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DeLong Illustrates a Point

In a post of interest about the future of Academe, and of Berkeley in particular,  Brad DeLong illustrates a point with the following:
There were plenty of people who were disappointed when The Lord of the Rings movies came out because the characters didn’t look anything like the characters they had created in their own minds.
Hmmm... My disappointment with LOTR was in the destruction of Tolkien's plot and characters. Tolkien wrote Aragon as a hero -- not as an angst filled mid-twentieth century Willy Loman. Elrond was committed to Sauron's defeat no matter the cost -- not a mingy Wall Street lordling more concerned that his prospective son-in-law was unworthy of his Long Island Princess then that evil might prevail. And, for Christ's sake, Tolkien wrote high romance, not maudlin boy gets girl stuff. Yes, Aragon worried that he was unworthy -- but that was before he committed to the fellowship. There were far greater concerns then his worthiness after that. Of course Elrond grieved that his daughter might give up her immortality. But he knew that Sauron's dominion must be defeated, regardless. His gift was not niggard but freely given. The LOTR writers seized on the appendices to justify their need to expand the female characters in ways acceptable to the money men in Hollywood.
Finally, more CGI orc slaughter-- and too much antic Gollum --was not an adequate replacement for the wonder of Tom Bombadil who places the entire saga in perspective when he peers at Frodo through the ring. And laughs.
Given all that, what the actors looked like, or sounded like, or anything else was so secondary as to be lost to view.

Does no one else feel that way?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Inept Marketing?

An e-mail just arrived from a service company, that shall be anonymous here, that tracks various stats. Included was the following:
Here's what we've found for your account:

Now, on to the updates…
This is a true statement so far as I know. But might it not be more productive, for the marketing, to include a loop in the mail merge that deletes this in the case of null fields? After all, it isn't as if their product can do something about the situation.