Sunday, December 25, 2005

Meme of Four

I enjoy doing mini-surveys/quizzes, though I like to try to trace them back to see where they started. I still haven't found the actual genesis of this one, though it seems to have been making the rounds for at least three weeks.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays!

Saturday Morning Edition's Scott Simon read a wonderful piece on this morning's show called "A Modern Day Mary and Joseph." The transcript isn't online, but the audio portion may be (though my RealPlayer couldn't play it this morning). But try to take a listen, it's both somewhat amusing and very moving.

Jim is cooking Christmas dinner again this year, and is making a crispy orange duck.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Senator Specter: Begin Impeachment Proceedings NOW

Dear Senator Specter:

I am horrified by the way our civil liberties are being trampled by the Republican party in general and by our administration in particular.

We have a president who's been incompetent and close-minded. I know that those are not impeachable offenses. However, we also now have a president who has completely ignored all semblances of checks and balances. You and I know that America had a long tradition of not torturing its prisoners. You know and I know that the wiretaps ordered by the president were grossly illegal. These things were true, at least in the America I was raised in.

In the past, there have been times when you've shown yourself to be an independent-minded representative. We need people like you to stand up to the administration and begin impeachment proceedings now.


Laurie Mann
Pittsburgh, PA

* * *

Oh, and now the government is trying to "protect us from PETA." Geesh. I'm not a fan of PETA, but treating them like a terrorist group just crosses the line...

* * *

One small sign that rationality still exists here and there in the goverment - a federal judge in Harrisburg said that "intelligent design" cannot be taught in a science class. Given that it's not science, that shouldn't have surprised any thinking person out there. But, we increasingly see that there are fewer and fewer thinking people in the goverment every day.

I have to thank pro-science bloggers like Michael Burstein and John Scalzi for highlighting this gem from Judge John E. Jones' ruling:

Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

Unsurprisingly, the former school board members are not going to appeal!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Temporary Domain Problems

If you've tried to access anything at, you might have seen a temp page from Network Solutions. If you've been expecting E-mail from Jim or me, we're not ignoring you delibeately.

I goofed and let my domain lapse. I've since paid for it to be reinstated, but, in the meantime, I have no E-mail access.

If you've stumbled over this blog, you probably have my IP address somewhere (it's All (well, at least most) of my site is accessible from the IP address.

Network Solutions has been spamming/junk mailing/telemarketing me for a while. However, they've been doing this with all of my domain names, most of which are through another registrar. So, stupidly, the one time I should have paid attention to them, I assumed it was junk and blew it off. Oh well, live and learn.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wicked Legalized Ticket Scalping

We had high hopes of being able to see Wicked when it came to Pittsburgh this winter. We knew tickets would go on sale on Monday, December 5. Since we were coming back from Portland that day, Jim went over to the Benedum before lunch on Tuesday.

They were already "sold out."

Now, of course, if we wanted to pay over $200 a ticket, we could go to one of the many ticket resellers on the Web that claim to have plenty of tickets to see Wicked in Pittsburgh. But, as much as I'd like to see Wicked, I don't believe in supporting ticket scalping, whether it's "legal" or the guy trying to sell an overpriced Steelers ticket on a corner.

I've written complaining letters to the Stephen Schwartz Company (the production company of Wicked), to PNC (the local sponsor of Broadway in Pittsburgh) and to the Post-Gazette (local critic Christopher Rawson had also written about the overpriced tickets). The original tickets for Wicked should have cost between $29 and $72. They are available on the Web between $140 and $400. Unbelievable...