Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A request

As you know, I don't generally like to talk about personal stuff on my blog too much (and I have done it a bit too much lately), but I think I should mention this. For those of you who read this blog and are praying folk, I'd appreciate it if you could spare a mention of my youngest daughter in your prayers. We ended up taking her to the Emergency Room today because she was having some trouble breathing.

It's pretty frightening to hold your daughter in your arms and hope that she will stop gasping and be able to inhale normally. Long story short, they think she might have pneumonia. Frankly, I'm rather hoping she does because that would be a bit easier than the uncertainty. Having a known problem and plan for a solution is easier to deal with than not knowing what is wrong nor what can be done to resolve it.

The situation was not so severe and pressing, however, that they couldn't allow her to go home from the ER, so no one thinks there is much risk of her just stopping breathing entirely all of a sudden.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The evolution of Michael Jackson

I found that as I got near the end, I kept expecting each face to be the last, but it just got creepier and creepier. Via the Corner.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

And, just to prove how boring I am, ...

Some words I found in the OED and found interesting.


3. Logic. The conclusion of a syllogism or consequent of an hypothesis.


1. Rhet. An exclamatory sentence or striking reflection, which sums up
or concludes a discourse or a passage in the discourse.

epiphanic, a.

Of the nature of or characterized by an epiphany; esp. in Lit. Theory,
constituting or containing a significant moment of revelation.

Hence epiphanically adv.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Who Knew?

I was bored the other day while on the internets and I decided to start searching for the names of people that I knew, both currently and previously. Mostly I found nothing or the sort of blog/homepage that is pretty standard for the average internet-connected person nowadays.

In once case, however, I ran across a link to a Washington Post article. At first, I suspected that it wouldn't be the same person that I had known, (I'm not going to say "know" because we haven't kept in touch; we haven't spoken in close to a decade.) but the person in the photo accompanying the article was quite clearly the guy I knew. His name is Joey Tomassoni, and this is the article. I don't think I'm of the same mind as he regarding the points and purposes of art, but I am pleased that he has been noticed for his work and that, as far as one can tell from brief mentions on the internet, he seems happy in his work. Good for him.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Big Screen / Small Screen

An interesting article musing on the way movies may be altered by the decline of the movie theatre and the rise of the personal video device (think "video iPod). The author argues that the sweeping panoramic epics will be killed off because they cost a lot and fail to impress on minuscule screens that are becoming more and more popular. An interesting article.

This article and the previous were ones that I saw linked in the Corner, but they don't seem to have any archives available for 2007 at the time I'm posting.

EDIT: Would have been more useful had I linked the article the first time.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Haven't seen the movie, won't see the movie. Why? This about sums it up. *WARNING* For those who like to be made aware of such things, there is a bit of vulgar language and such-like. Unsurprisingly really, the movie itself was rated R.

Who's Your Daddy?

David Frum comments on an article in the Washington Post a while back. You don't even have to read the whole article to get his drift. The bits he excerpts should be sufficient to understand his point.
And please don't tell me that this is a matter of personal choice. The sperm donation industry exists only because the government agrees to enforce the contracts that make the whole thing possible. The man sells his paternal rights for $25 or $50; in exchange, the woman disclaims any right to support - and through this contract, the ensuing child is cut off from any rights to her father's care. This in a country where (as my AEI colleague Sally Satel points out) it is illegal to sell a kidney.

Return of Pamphlets

Adam Bellow, son of novelist Saul, is making an effort to bring the pamphlet back to life. You'd think (and I noted in the second paragraph here) that blogs have dispensed with any need to publish pamphlets, but Bellow thinks there is still a market for them. Which I think is great. On the other hand, I'm not sold on the idea of spending $4 for a pamphlet. It seems a bit steep to me. Still, I love the idea of pamphlets.

Speaking of movies

Thomas Hibbs wrote an article suggesting that the ideal film-maker would be a combination of Mel Gibson and M Night Shyamalan. I think he makes a compelling case. I haven't seen Apocalypto, but the reviews I have seen and the opinions I have heard have been almost universally favourable. And I haven't seen all of Shyamalan's films, though I have seen most of them, and he is truly a craftsman of great movies.

Long term loan

Who knew? Turns out the UK has just finished paying off the money they borrowed from the US and Canada. They borrowed $4.33 billion and ended up paying us about $7 billion because they took about 60 years to pay the debt off.

Avoiding Loose Women

Steve notes (at the bottom of this post) that he does have a New Year resolution. It is to "avoid hard drugs, loose women, pickpockets, and a life of crime. Should be pretty easy to keep." Well, Steve, I doubt not your resolve, but it would perhaps be aided had you a sign like the one I have hanging near my door. Check this out.

Book Stuff

A couple notes about that list of books read in 2006 that preceded this post:

106 of the 178 were books I had never read before
146 of the 178 were fiction
All of the non-fiction books were books I had never read before
Almost exactly half of the fiction books were re-reads (72 of 146)

I'll be interested to see how all of this will compare to this year.

Books in 2006


1. A Gentleman of Leisure by PG Wodehouse
2. Quick Service by PG Wodehouse
3. Ring for Jeeves by PG Wodehouse
4. The High King by Lloyd Alexander


5. Doctor Sally by PG Wodehouse
6. If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout
7. The Pursuit of Victory by Roger Knight
8. The Mother Hunt by Rex Stout


9. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
10. Starman Jones by Robert Heinlein
11. Podkayne of Mars by Robert Heinlein
12. Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
13. The High Window by Raymond Chandler
14. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
15. Knight Templar by Leslie Charteris
16. Glory Road by Robert Heinlein
17. Enter the Saint by Leslie Charteris
18. The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler
19. The Mauritius Command by Patrick O'Brian
20. Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
21. Dead Water by Ngaio Marsh
22. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer


23. The Fortune of War by Patrick O'Brian
24. The Far Side of the World by Patrick O'Brian
25. The Yellow Admiral by Patrick O'Brian
26. Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
27. The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
28. Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
29. Mort by Terry Pratchett
30. Collected Stories by Raymond Chandler
31. Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
32. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
33. Playback by Raymond Chandler
34. Overture to Death by Ngaio Marsh
35. Frazz: Live at Bryson Elementary by Jef Mallet
36. Death of a Dude by Rex Stout
37. 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie
38. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
39. All I Survey by GK Chesterton
40. Dragon and Thief by Timothy Zahn
41. By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie


42. Plot It Yourself by Rex Stout
43. Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
44. Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
45. The Documents in the Case by Dorothy Sayers
46. Hand in Glove by Ngaio Marsh
47. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
48. The Real Jimmy Carter by Steven F. Hayward
49. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
50. Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective by Agatha Christie
51. The Amazing Power of Ashur Fine by Donald Sobol
52. Attack of the Bacon Robots by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik
53. Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie
54. The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence S. Ritter
55. Dixie Betrayed by David Eicher
56. In the Teeth of the Evidence by Dorothy Sayers
57. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
58. The Greatest Game Ever Played by Mark Frost
59. Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge
60. Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis
61. The Football Book by Rob Fleder (Ed.)


62. Game of Shadows by Mark Fainaru-Wada, Lance Williams
63. The Hundred Days by Patrick O'Brian
64. The Roman Hat Mystery by Ellery Queen
65. The Benson Murder Case by SS Van Dine
66. The Party of Death by Ramesh Ponnuru
67. The Age of Reagan by Steven Hayward
68. Murder in Three Acts by Agatha Christie
69. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie
70. The Ionian Mission by Patrick O'Brian
71. My Trip to Alpha I by Alfred Slote
72. Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
73. Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie
74. The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie
75. War and Our World by John Keegan
76. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen


77. Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie
78. The Floating Admiral by Various Authors
79. Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie
80. Asimov's Mysteries by Isaac Asimov
81. Dragon and Soldier by Timothy Zahn
82. Dragon and Slave by Timothy Zahn
83. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
84. The Truth by Terry Pratchett
85. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
86. The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett
87. The Wine Dark Sea by Patrick O'Brian
88. The Commodore by Patrick O'Brian
89. The Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton
90. Affirmative Action Around the World by Thomas Sowell
91. Glimpses of Death by Stan Sakai


92. Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? by Thomas Sowell
93. The Twilight of the Intellectuals by Hilton Kramer
94. A Personal Odyssey by Thomas Sowell
95. Dragon and Herdsman by Timothy Zahn
96. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
97. The Future of the European Past edited by Hilton Kramer and Roger Kimball
98. The Case of the Shoplifter's Shoe by Erle Stanley Gardner
99. Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
100. The Case of the One-Eyed Witness by Erle Stanley Gardner
101. The Egyptian Cross Mystery by Ellery Queen
102. The Case of the Bigamous Spouse by Erle Stanley Gardner
103. Coercing Virtue by Robert Bork
104. The Case of the Singing Skirt by Erle Stanley Gardner
105. Soldiers by John Keegan and Richard Holmes
106. The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout
107. The Case of the Counterfeit Eye by Erle Stanley Gardner
108. The Case of the Perjured Parrot by Erle Stanley Gardner
109. The Case of the Gilded Lily by Erle Stanley Gardner
110. He Talk Like a White Boy by Joseph C. Phillips
111. The Case of the Mythical Monkeys by Erle Stanley Gardner
112. The French Powder Mystery by Ellery Queen
113. The Dutch Shoe Mystery by Ellery Queen
114. The Prisoner: Shattered Visage by Mark Askwith and Dean Motter
115. The Prisoner: A Day In the Life by Hank Stine
116. The Official Prisoner Companion by Matthew White and Jaffer Ali
117. Ukridge by PG Wodehouse
118. Something Fresh by PG Wodehouse


119. Do As I Say (Not As I Do) by Peter Schweizer
120. Desolation Island by Patrick O'Brian
121. Nemesis by Agatha Christie
122. Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett
123. Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie
124. The Boomerang Clue by Agatha Christie
125. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
126. Lord Emsworth and Others by PG Wodehouse
127. The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett
128. The Innocence of Father Brown by GK Chesterton
129.The Wisdom of Father Brown by GK Chesterton
130. The Incredulity of Father Brown by GK Chesterton
131. The Case of the Foot-Loose Doll by Erle Stanley Gardner
132. Epic Legends of the Magic Sword Kings by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik
133. The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie
134. Inside the Tour de France by Eric Delanzy
135. Intellectuals by Paul Johnson
136. The Secret of Father Brown by GK Chesterton
137. When the Demon Knife Weeps by Kazuo Koike
138. Two Bodies, Two Minds by Kazuo Koike
139. The Scandal of Father Brown by GK Chesterton
140. Double Sin by Agatha Christie
141. The Tuesday Club Murders by Agatha Christie
142. Killer Dolphin by Ngaio Marsh


143. Creators by Paul Johnson
144. Emma by Jane Austen
145. Fool's Errand by Robin Hobb
146. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
147. The Dartmouth Review Pleads Innocent by James Panero and Stefan Beck
148. Ringworld by Larry Niven


149. The Martian Way by Isaac Asimov
150. The Jewish War by Flavius Josephus
151. Died in the Wool by Ngaio Marsh
152. Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
153. Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
154. Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb
155. Blandings Castle by PG Wodehouse
156. Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett
157. How to Dominate Your Fantasy Baseball League by David Sabino
158. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett


159. The High Window by Raymond Chandler
160. Joy in the Morning by PG Wodehouse
161. The Truth by Terry Pratchett
162. The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel
163. Playback by Raymond Chandler
164. Poodle Springs by Raymond Chandler and Robert Parker
165. Body Type by Ina Saltz
166. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
167. Champagne for One by Rex Stout
168. The Rubber Band by Rex Stout
169. In the Best Families by Rex Stout
170. Three Doors to Death by Rex Stout
171. The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler
172. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
173. Jingo by Terry Pratchett
174. Full Moon by PG Wodehouse
175. Mr Mulliner Speaking by PG Wodehouse
176. The Thirteen Gun Salute by Patrick O'Brian
177. Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
178. A Family Affair by Rex Stout

(italicised titles are first-time reads)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Always Allow for Alliteration

"Little Fred"? He must have been out of his mind. That's almost as bad as Aragorn nearly being nicknamed "Trotter" instead of "Strider". What a name to have. "Yup, that's me, same nickname as a pig intestine."

Monday, January 01, 2007

A New Year

Happy New Year, one and all. I almost finished another book before midnight last night, but I didn't quite make it. I was all tired out after spending the last 24 hours or so at the hospital welcoming my 2nd daughter into the world.

That's all I'm going to post for now. I have a lot of other things to which I need to attend. I'll have some year-end stuff up later this week.