Happy Boxing Day

Filed under: blogging,news @ 22:38

Hope everyone had a joyous day today.

Mine was excellent. I sat around reading America The Book which my fantastic brother graciously gave me for Christmas, watching HP3, and having a wonderful dinner with some family friends. I’ve been doing a lot of that, lately: socializing, that is.

Sunday: Church. Monday: “Movie Night” with some teenaged friends of the family. Tuesday: My parents’ annual St. Thomas’ Day party – sixty-six in attendance (thankfully nowhere near the record). Wednesday: More church. Thursday: Freedom, sweet freedom… to shop for the people I had not managed to get presents for already. Friday: Christmas Eve service. Saturday: Christmas dinner for thirteen. And that brings us to today.

The best part about coming home this year was seeing how well other people recognized me. Perhaps more on that when I’ve got more data.

I’m leaving tomorrow morning for Seattle, so the inconsistency with which this site is updated will temporarily become consistent. In the I-doubt-I’ll-post-anything-during-the-next-week sense.

And a preemptory Happy New Year! to everyone.


A Question

Filed under: music @ 23:33

For any out there with a Celtic connection, or with some knowledge of music and history, what does Waltzing Matilda have to do with traditional celtic music?

Dad has a CD titled “Celtic Carols”. One of the titularly referenced carols is, indeed, Waltzing Matilda. And, as a side note, there’s the Pogues.

Is it a celtic tune better known to Americans by it’s Australian lyrics?

Or is the CD produced by a bunch of crackheads?


Blogwaffe Intl.

Filed under: a group of folks,news @ 01:26

I saw a friend of mine (more directly of my brother’s) today for the first time in a year (nearly to the day). He mentioned to me that he had heard of this site through an acquaintance of his from (as he recalled) Scotland. As he related, simply mentioning Allen’s name in conversation brought an inquisitive response: “is he related to Michael D. Adams, publisher of the incomparable blogwaffe, handsome, erudite polymath, and ladies man extraordinaire?”. Incredulous, he responded: “Yes, but you forgot to mention ‘kung fu master'”.

This is made all the more remarkable by noting that Matt, the informant in question, works at Oxford. Thus, the association is entirely extranational (from the perspective of an American resident). One obvious explanation involves a direct Saucy or xaosseed relationship, but I prefer to think the connection is separated by more degrees than that.

So I guess that makes .us, .uk (both England and Scotland), .ie and (at least on occassion) .za. Curious. But not unwelcome.

Signed, a Hollaback Girl

Filed under: music,rants @ 00:59

An open letter to Gwen Stefani;

Though your latest album is very good technically, you manage to pull of a mere “mediocre” aesthetically. Perhaps I am being unfair; I have simply heard samples from all the songs on your album but have heard only two songs in their entireties (What you waiting for? and Hollaback Girl). However, any album containing the latter must necessarily fall short of excellence. It is this song which this letter addresses.

Perhaps it is ironic that I am chastising you by verbiage rather than meeting you back at the bleachers (sans principals and student teachers, naturally) to engage in a pugilistic fracas the outcome of which would determine our relation in the current social hierarchy. I hope the irony is not lost on you, but after hearing the level of sophistication intrinsic in your lyrics, I must concede that that hope may be in vain.

As reported by imdb, you were born in 1969; thus, you are thirty-five years old. I bring this up not to debase you with unfair societal impressions regarding age and women (which, again ironically, is, in part, the subject of the other of your songs I have heard in full) but only to point out that your Junior High experience occurred roughly twenty years ago. Given that fact, and even setting propriety aside, how much artistic value is there in demanding some naive school girl set aside her pom-poms and face up to her back stabbing defamation by engaging in physical combat? Perhaps this song is a study in anachronism? Or in some otherwise incongruous juxtaposition? Alternatively, you may simply be trying too hard.

Actually, I think I can answer my own, above question dealing with artistic value. In the situation set forth in Hollaback Girl is a great deal of substance which could have been presented very poignantly in a piece of like theme. However, your song lyrically consists of callow, fatuous drivel: even below the level of typical pop. I expected better things from you. Previously I have had a great deal of respect for your work. If it weren’t for the fact that you are riotously hot, I might be even more critical of your recent work. As it is, I bigotedly and unabashedly make allowances.

Yours in Critique,


Took a while for me to Post

Filed under: neat!,news @ 15:36

… but, it’s worth mentioning anyway. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is finished, according to the author herself. A release date is to be announced within the next twenty-four hours.

More information.

UPDATE.12.21.2004: July 16, 2005.


The Last Homely House

Filed under: news,thoughts @ 13:02

I’m back in Moscow(.id.us), and things have changed. I walked in the door around 10pm and smelled baking. I’ve always loved Mom’s baking so I stopped by the kitchen to see what delight she has in store. The smell, as it turns out came from freshly baked bread. Not the bread I knew and love as young child returning from school, but minaiture, tiny elven bread in wee baby, lillipution loafs.

Mom said that the bread was going bad in larger loafs, so now she makes little ones. Practical, I was forced to admit. Though it no means I have to eat twice as many sandwiches to reach satiety.

But the real shock came, though, before seeing the diminutive baked goods. Just as I walked into the kitchem I stopped.

“What, Mother, is this abomination?”

My parents, apparently, had purchased a microwave, for themselves, no less – for their own kitchen.

Now, I have a microwave (or rather, Greg does) and I use it frequently. However, it has long been my belief that my parents’ was the only house in Moscow without one. When I was younger, I would occassionally campaign for the purchase of such a useful appliance, but the response this generated was always “what would we need one for?” My mother was obstinate in the face of my bleatings.

However, as I got a bit older it became a small source of pride that my parents’ household was the last outpost of disdain for modern convenience. I recall times when friends I’d known for years first realized our kitchen’s crutch:

“What do you mean you don’t have a microwave?”
*walks over to kitchen*
“Where the hell is your microwave?”
*walks back to living room*
“How do you survive? You’re parent’s are American, right?”

No longer. And indeed, it was my mother who purchased the beast a few months ago. Both of my parents now happily use it as if they had had one for years, as if nothing in the world had turned upsidedown.

All my world shook. Everything I had known as a child came into question. Was the sky actually blue? It was night, how could I find out? Perhaps Scary Harry (rest his soul) was really a demon after all, and not the human being my mother claimed he was in spite of my own observations to the contrary every Halloween. Did morning snow actually come from the sky, as Dad suggested, or must it have grown up from the ground as I, far more naturally, believed as a young boy? And perhaps the really were called “Ice Pickles”, afterall, and my days since have merely been full of deception.

None can say. All I know now is that my parents have entered the modern era.

Man, if I’d known they’d ever actually use a microwave, I could have gotten them one for Christmas. Now I’ve got to think of something else. But first I’m off to eat half a dozen sandwiches.


Comments Broken

Filed under: blogging,news @ 21:09

Or they may be. At least for now. It’s not my fault, really.

But since there isn’t anything to comment upon… no one will notice.



Filed under: blogging,dr. language person,neat!,news @ 22:31

Amaze your friends! Be the first on your Block! Now Posable!!

Blogwafffe is proud to introduce a hot, new and huge catchy hook: ‘Ask Dr. Language Person‘.

With a monicker shamelessly ripped from Dave Barry, a real live professional linguist will be receiving any linguistic or otherwise language oriented questions posted at sprachwaffe. So ask away. Keep them clean, though; it is my dad.

My life as a vast and empty wasteland

Filed under: a group of folks,thoughts @ 20:21

It has recently come to my attention that there are people out there who are actively involved in making a difference. In talking with some of these people, I have realized that I am not one of them. Educating children, feeding the hungry, counselling, community development, hell even auditing and entertaining all have wonderful, respectable uses in today’s society. Slacking off in grad school studying analytical bounds on quantum search algorithms seems not to. Sure, it’s easy to say that something I do will eventually be a part of the next big development in computing or the next big theory describing our universe; neither of these things is impossible.

But that’s just the thing, my field (on many levels) deals with probabilities. It is certain that being an assistant at a preschool helps people’s lives. It is known that financial services are a useful commodity and that entertainment is highly valued. But it is not known that some bit of research I do (supposing I ever actually do any) will result in any change in lives or society, let alone an improvement.

It’s also a fair argument to say that, currently, I am simply being trained. My real accomplishments will come when(?) I am a card carrying professor either leading a group of intelligent researchers on the future’s current topics, or teaching to a room of eager students looking to learn about the ways of nature (man will it ever be hard to dash the dreams of the naive). But that doesn’t help much with the fact that right now, sitting here in some torn up jeans and a wrinkled guess brand shirt having just finished a helping or two of Mac n’ Cheese, my current, cumulative offering to the world at large is a few bucks to a couple worthy causes, a couple “charity” concerts with some old choirs, volunteering at a church rummage sale or two, making fun of a few detriments to society (I’m talking about you, JH), and lots of well wishing. Oh – and I gave some homeless dude some spare change.

I’ve talked about something like this before, but it was thrust into my mind again this afternoon at Holly and Cheryl’s surprise (SUPPLIES!) birthday party downstairs. All of their friends are real people. What’s worse is that real people seem to be impressed with a person studying physics in grad school at caltech even when that person does absolutely nothing of immediate consequence. That really speaks to the amount of faith society has in science and it’s far reaching consequences: faith I’m not sure I deserve (though I can certainly name many people here who do: developements in medicine, medical technology, environmental studies, alternative energy, technologies and methods which could be considered ‘meta’ in the context of this tirade…).

Perhaps I should just be a stronger believer in ‘division of labor’ as a key and fundamental component of our society.


Term ≅ Over

Filed under: a group of folks,academe @ 21:13

I turned in my final (who has finals?), I passed GR, and I faithfully attended every first-year seminar. All I need to do before laying this term completely to rest is grade about fifteen labs. By the time you see me gate crashing the annual chemistry party, I’ll be at peace.

Speaking of, I’ve been telling people I’m going as someone’s ‘+2’ (though I was technically invited). Just who that someone is has yet to be pinned down – it may change throughout the evening. To further complicate (and for that reason), I tried inviting Holly as my guest to increase the maximal degree of separation, but she said she already had plans. So, is there anyone who wants free Ernie’s? Not that I want to get out of the oracle’s good graces, I just plan on having a good time.

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