Villagers With Pitchforks

The flaming torches were delayed in transit, sorry.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


The earthquake/tsunami appears to be the biggest natural disaster in my lifetime.

There are links all over; here is one I got from Making Light.

Want to help? Send money. Money is portable.

Update: See this Wikipedia entry.

International Committe of the Red Cross

Doctors Without Borders

Website is getting heavy usage. I quote:
Doctors Without Borders web site is experiencing very heavy traffic.

All updated activity reports on what Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is doing to help in South Asia will be posted [on their site] as they are released. If you
would like to make a donation to MSF, please use this link:
Donate securely by credit card or donate by phone at 1-888-392-0392.

Click here for info about volunteering with MSF

Emergency: Earthquake in South Asia
December 27, 2004

In response to the earthquake and tsunamis that have devastated parts of South Asia over the past weekend, Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is preparing to provide emergency assistance to people affected by the disaster. MSF is readying a full charter of relief supplies for the area of Indonesia closest to the epicentre of the earthquake.

In addition, MSF medical teams are on the ground in Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Myanmar assessing emergency needs and offering assistance. MSF fieldteams in all countries where MSF is present, including Somalia and Kenya, are also investigating damage from the disaster.

Prime Ministers National Relief Fund (India)

Send checks to:
Prime Minister's National Relief Fund
Embassy of India
Attn: Head of Chancery
2107 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

It's Gonna Be A Long Epic

Picked up the New and Improved epic-length Return of the King DVD set yesterday. Watched it last night. Was shocked, shocked to find that they still left out the part where Sauron , after cutting off Frodo's hand in a desperate saber duel on the overhang of the Cracks of Doom, reveals he's really Frodo's father.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Holiday Cheer Update

Quote from a real ad I got in the mail yesterday:
Nothing says Christmas like a chrome plated skull knob on your guitar

And they're on sale, too!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Explorer, arriving

I was leaving the Peppersauce, having had a nice ham lunch (mmm... do that again sometime, ladies) when a Ford Explorer pulled in next to my Honda Element. The Explorer, which started out Pretty Big, had been raised and Big Bad-Ass Off-Road Tires had been added.

I resisted the urge to ask the driver if I could go up on deck and watch the airplanes land.

No, sir. No icebergs nearby. Why?

The text of this article on Dave Barry's blog reads, and I quote:
American passengers damage a ship.
The ship in question: The new Queen Mary II, the biggest passenger ship afloat. The passengers, it seems, are too heavy for some of the furniture.

My doctor's going to yell at me Tuesday about my weight gain since taking the Hawaiian cruise back in October, but here's the thing: I've been monitoring my tonnage, and the increase came after the cruise.

Mon Dieu! you reply (if you speak French). How can this be?

Well, French is one of the keywords. The Norwegian Wind has a French executive chef who understands proper food portions. We ate most of our dinners in the nice restaurants aboard, where the meals were served in courses, with plenty of time to eat the properly-sized dish, and sufficient time between courses to relax and let the previous course digest. Our ship had a couple of midnight buffets, but we never went. No need to.

Another keyword is ship. My job, expressed in sheer physical terms, is to drive to an office and sit and think all day. Sometimes I type on a computer. Occasionally, I go to another room and sit and talk for an hour. At lunch time, I go to a nearby place that serves American junk food and eat. Cheese is involved. I like cheese. Then I drive back to the office (or walk 200 feet) and sit and type some more.

By contrast, a day at sea on my vacation went like this: get up, walk once around the ship (8 laps=1 mile), go up to breakfast, often on the other end of the ship, return to quarters, go to bingo upstairs at the other end of the ship, lose, eat lunch, return to quarters (at the other end of the ship), go to a workshop upstairs at the other end of the ship, return to quarters, relax, go outside and watch the sunset, eat dinner (upstairs), go to a show, go to bed. Walking all over a 775-foot-long ship, in other words, was built into my day. Ten days of that - and even on days ashore spent mostly on bus tours I walked around the ship a lot - and I felt great.

Which do you think was healthier?

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Quote of the Day

I'm going to make my New Year's resolutions today and strive to break them all by the end of the year.

By getting all my capitulation out of the way now, I figure I can keep 2005 100% failure-free.

- Maatthew Baldwin, Defective Yeti

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Brains! Braaaaaains!

USA Today: I Was A Middle-Aged Zombie

Well, I'm one myself (just ask my boss), but intrepid reporter Susan Wloszczyna was one of George Romero's zombies in his latest movie, Land of the Dead.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Reindeer Games

A couple from NPR this morning:

"He's a good Canadian Boy": Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Special Turns 40
The story of Rudolph, the outcast red-nosed reindeer who went on to save Christmas for generations of children, will be broadcast on its 40th anniversary Wednesday.

Mongolian Reindeer Herders: A Vanishing Breed
As part of the "Worlds of Difference" series on cultural change, Lorne Matalon visited with the Tsachin -- nomads who herd reindeer.

He learned that Mongolia's domesticated reindeer population has fallen to fewer than 700 animals, maintained by 44 families.