New Theme 
Saturday, November 18, 2006, 03:12 PM
Yes, there is a new theme. I updated my blogging software and switched over to the "modern" theme from what I believe was called "classic" or something. The default color schemes are remarkably bland, even to my design-oblivious eye. I want a clear design that's as cool as the ones they have over on Blogger, but I don't want to give up the freedom of running my own domain.

At the time of writing there is a lot of sky blue on this page. Hopefully it will be gone by the time you read this.
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My Peers and I 
Thursday, November 16, 2006, 06:01 PM
From David Brooks' column on Borat today:
Thereís also that distinct style of young personís snobbery. Young people havenít accomplished much yet so they can only elevate themselves by endlessly celebrating their own superior sensibilities.
Actually, I find myself agreeing with him.
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Babel 
Monday, November 13, 2006, 11:06 AM
I saw Babel last night with high expectations: it received good ratings on both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. The cinematography was excellent, the soundtrack was moving, the dialogue was convincing, and the acting was quite decent; unfortunately none could salvage an absolutely horrible script.

Apparently someone sat down and said, what we really need is a movie with a disjointed collection of characters who we don't get the opportunity to know or care about, who have a series of horrible things happen to them. The movie was like a slow motion human train wreck. Very quickly the audience is able to figure out that every pleasant moment is only placed there so that when the writer smashes the characters' lives to pieces their pain is all the more jarring. All this havoc is wreaked through a combination of callous indifference, negligent incompetence, bureaucratic indifference, and foolish decisions on the part of the characters as well as outside forces. Nobody in the movie deserves what happens to them, and I suppose that's supposed to form some "deep though" that is part of the point of the movie. In reality, though, Babel is simply a two hour saga of human misery that tosses out some cheap commentaries regarding language barriers and global connections as if they're supposed to excuse the film for lacking anything regarding a coherent storyline.
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Pain 
Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 11:06 PM
From the NYT:

Anyone out of high school forced to watch more than an hour of ďLaguna BeachĒ might possibly feel the urge to beat themselves about the head with a large stick.
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Torpedo is in the Water 
Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 02:08 PM
The launch was not as smartly executed on my part as I would have liked, but there is sufficient information for it to reach its destination.
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The Price Being Paid 
Monday, November 6, 2006, 10:48 AM
Burials at Arlington National Cemetery took on a grim regularity in October, when at least 103 American troops were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, the toll had reached 99 by Saturday, making October the deadliest month since January 2005.

Military officials attributed the high number of deaths to a spike in violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began in late September and ended last week. They also pointed to a three-month campaign to win control of Baghdad from death squads that led to increased attacks on American troops.

But such explanations were little comfort to a 6-year-old girl weeping at the grave of her father, a mother clutching the flag from her sonís coffin, or a widow walking slowly through the rain behind her husbandís honor guard.


Video
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Links 
Saturday, November 4, 2006, 02:42 PM
I just realized that all my links open up in a new window. I absolutely hate it when people force you to open a new window, as I always use CTRL-click to open a new tab if I want to stay at their web site. I'm not saying I'm going to go through all the old entries and change the links, but I will try and change things for future entries.
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Deuteronomy 30:19 
Saturday, November 4, 2006, 01:02 PM
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today: I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life that you and your seed may live,
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Underway 
Thursday, November 2, 2006, 08:30 AM
I had duty yesterday, which means I have to make a complete round of the ship several times during the day, visiting sections that I don't normally find myself in while inport. Each area of the ship has its own special smell, from the vague musty odor of the gym, the suffocating chemical smell of the paint locker, the smell in the galley of whatever was cooking a few hours ago, to the ever familiar smell of fuel and oil in the engine room. It's that last smell that brought back the strongest memories of being underway as I inspected DOPR, and the feelings of dread, confinement, boredom, and stress came rushing at me for a brief moment. I quickly closed the watertight door behind me and moved on the next space. Less than a month left inport, and I plan to treasure each one of these days.
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Haystack Approach 
Monday, October 30, 2006, 10:58 AM
Someone gives you tasking to locate obscure information that likely isn't very important, or will be more easily obtained at a later date. You delay be shoveling vast quantities of hay in their direction, implying that the needle they are looking for is "easily" located in the information you have "painstakingly" gathered for them. This is especially effective on people who do not understand the sheer volume of semi-relevant information that can obtained via a simple google search. Proper routing and packaging of information is essential in the Haystack Approach -- make sure to package the "hay" in a professional manner, and if possible route the information through one or more persons before it reaches the original tasker. Since the intermediaries were not all tasked with this information they do have a stake in it and will likely just push the information up, both giving you a time buffer ("oh yeah, i'm on that, it's being routed to you") and adding legitimacy to your hay.
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