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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

It Just Happens 

The New York Times (registration required) reports that Congress Trims Money for Science Agency. I'll let others get snarky about the Punxatawny Weather Museum and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The thing that amazes me is the Republican attitude toward governance. As far as I can tell they think that civilization just happens. The idea that you have to work at making sure that the herd of people called the United States don't reduce themselves to a bunch of ignorant savages looking for guidance from their imaginary friend in the sky seems to be foreign to them. They don't need to foster scientific progress because Government can't do anything about it; progress just happens doesn't it? This is similar to the way they're currently destroying the military. Cutting Veterans' Benefits, Stop Loss, calling up people in the Individual Ready Reserve who've been inactive for years, extending combat zone tours again and again, calling up National Guard units for years at a time. None of these things will hurt the Military because the military is always there. It needs no nuturing. They think they live in a <Austin Powers>Consquence-Free Environment</Austin Powers> Or else to get scary, they really do think the Rapture is about to happen and are about to jump up into heaven so planning for the future is a waste.

Old School 

Here's one of the early digi-snaps that features both of the Boys. Young Alexander was just starting with the I-can-do-whatever-Willy-is-doing approach to fun.

Google 4.x? 

I was just checking my Sitemeter stats. It's not that hard. My traffic isn't exactly what you'd call impressive. But, one of the browsers in the Browser Share chart is reported to be Google 4.x. Now I've heard rumors that Google was making a browser, but I didn't realize they were up to version 4 already. It is gratifying that Safari is no longer the dominant browser. Since I am a confirmed Mac guy and use Safari, all my views are with that browser. I now definitely account for less than half the activity on the site. Woot!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Sunday Kid-blogging 

The boys watching Shrek 2 on the day after Thanksgiving. If that's not a traditional part of the Holiday, I don't know what is.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Prophecy? Fulfilled. 

This is probably not very original, but I just need to type it. Republicans seem to spend inordinate amounts of time telling anyone who will listen that the government can't do anything right, and always makes a bad situation worse. And then when the get their hands on the reins of power, they do everything they can to prove themselves correct. "See how we screwed this up? We told you the government is incompetent!"


We're in the middle of making the Feast even now. This year we're doing a rather small gathering; only 16 people will be sitting down to eat. Luckily we will have 4 pies so there should be enough dessert.

As for Thankfulness, besides the standard Thanks for a healthy happy family, I am Thankful that I have a job. Being unemployed last Thanksgiving cast a bit of a pall over the event. Hooray for gainful employment!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Cranberry Bread 

Below is a recipe inspired by the Cooking For Engineers website. It is lifted from the recipe found on the back of a bag of cranberries, but doubled and modified a bit.
4 cups general purpose flourCombine in a mixing bowlStir wet ingredients into dryFold cranberries into batterTranfer into 2 greased & floured 9" loaf pansBake 1 hour at 350°FRemove from oven, invert to remove loaves and cool on a rack
2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups orange juice
4 Tbsp buttersoften
2 eggsbeat
12 oz bag of fresh cranberries

Comments are up 

I just signed up with Haloscan. Now I have comments and trackback enabled. Time to test it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

You're out there! 

I just checked my Sitemeter stats and two someones (one in Singapore and one most likely from the US Eastern Seaboard) besides me have looked at Hank's Place. Hi!


My Lovely Wife Natalie came home with Garfield The Movie tonight. What a piece of crap. But Young William was squealing and screaming with laughter through large portions of the movie. So I'm thinking I may not be the target demographic.

Inverse of MacArthur 

I read somewhere (how's that for a rigorous citation) that during World War 2 MacArthur had a way of really pissing off our Australian Allies. When some noteworthy goal had been achieved by the combined efforts of American and Australian troops Doug would generate a press release stating that American troops had done something or other. When some objective was achieved via purely Australian efforts the press release would state that American and Allied troops had accomplished something.

I think of that whenever I hear about an operation in Iraq that was conducted by "American and Coalition Forces". I get the impression that we are looking at the inverse of MacArthur. Instead of Americans always being mentioned whether or not they were there, we've got Coalition Forces getting credit for purely American operations. We wouldn't want anyone to think that the US is hogging all the glory.

Monday, November 22, 2004

What I Should Have Said 

Before the election I was having a chat/argument with my Dad about the merits of the two major party canditates. When pressed to say something postive about my favorite I mentioned that John Kerry is not a physical coward. Which led to a discussion about how Geo. Bush is almost certainly a coward. I cannot, in any reading about him, find a single instance of him performing an act that required the least bit of courage (and, no, pulling his SS agent out of an argument doesn't count).

Having exhausted that topic (Geo. Bush it turns out is courageous because he ran like a bunny all over the country on 9/11 because the SS told him to do so; or something like that), I asked Dad to name one Geo. Bush policy that had not been a complete failure. Dad's response: "He lowered my taxes."

What I should have said (version 1): That doesn't count, it just made everything else worse.

What I should have said (version 2): That's right and he raised the taxes of Young William and Young Alexander.

In my defense it only took me about 3 minutes to think up version 1, but it did take a couple of days for version 2 to occur to me. So, Dad, if you're reading this, that's what I should have said.


I don't want him to feel left out of the photo-blogging, so here is Young Alexander at the SF Zoo on ZooBoo day looking at the otters. He's wearing his Stitch hat.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Flying Monkeys 

I'm sitting here watching The Wizard of Oz and remembering how much it scared me when I was kid. Being of a certain age, I watched it the first several times on a black and white TV. This kind of takes away from the coolness of it being a groundbreaking color movie from way back when the world was monochrome.

And lets be honest, the whole it's-just-a-dream-after-all ending really harshes my buzz. It's a cop-out.

I'm pretty sure that Young William doesn't really believe me when I tell him that when his mother and I were his age, there were no DVD players or VCRs. When a show was on you set your butt down in front of the TV and you watched it. The Grinch came around once before Christmas and if you really wanted to see it you made sure you were ready when it was on. He gives me the same look I gave my dad when he told me about it being up hill and into the wind going to school and coming home too; and lets not even talk about the snow.


Hooray! It turns out there is a way to photoblog on blogspot using a Mac. Life is full. So Without Further Ado, the inaugural picture at Hank's Place:

This picture brought to you courtesy of flickr.com. It is a picture of Young William at a friend's Pirate Birthday Party at Linda Mar Beach. Arrr!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Playing For Fun 

Today was Young William's last AYSO Under-6 soccer game. A big part of the Under-6 soccer experience is that there are no winners or losers. This is admirable, we want the little guys to learn to enjoy the game before we start tracking the score. This works pretty well on the sidelines; all the parents are cheering and wooting whenever anybody gets near the ball. (Digression, Under-6 soccer teams have 6 players and there are 3 kids playing at one time on a very short and narrow field) But out on the field it's a different story. Whenever a goal is scored there is delay getting to the kickoff caused by 6 5 year-olds arguing about the current score. It would make the game get restarted a bit faster if we tracked the score so the ref could just tell them the score.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Google Whinge 

OK, I admit it. I probably shouldn't whinge about Google when they're behind this free blog; but I can't help it. All the web-based stuff they do is great. So why do they release Windows-only software? For example, I'd like to take advantage of their free picture hosting service on this blog, but as far as I can tell I have to be running Windows in order to so. This I will not do. Yeah, yeah, I know I want them to spend money developing a program I can use for free, and am complaining that they won't. But there it is.

Aren't You Dead Yet? 

Based on this Washington Post article about the Administration's proposed changes to the tax code, I do believe that the Republican Party currently thinks that if you are not rich you should have a shitty job while you're young and vigorous and then die as soon as you start to reach mature years. If you're rich, of course you don't need a job and can afford to pay for your own health care.

Austrians In Charge 

So they're trying to amend the Constitution to allow Arnold to be President. That seeems like a great idea to me. It didn't turned out so well the last time a country let an Austrian immigrant in favor of single party government run the place. I'm just sayin'...

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