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wFavorite posts
halloween 2002 roundup
the future of online gaming
star wars cereal review
japanese culture link of the day (12/6/2002)
japanese culture link of the day (12/23/2002)
reviews: hentai games sux0rz
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Recommended:
megatokyo
sinfest
8-bit theatre
mac hall
penny arcade
twisted kaiju theater
this modern world
dilbert
destroy all monsters
giant robot
8bit joystick
retrolounge
teleport city
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radio paradise
neil gaiman
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greg costikyan
techrepublic
u.s. constitution
indiana democratic party
tompaine.com
fark
boing boing
metafilter
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spinsanity
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this modern world
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gamespot
quake 2
 

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nextblog (random)
blogdex
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the truth laid bear
technorati
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#!-usr-bin-girl
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angry bear
annatopia
asymmetrical information
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blog left
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body and soul
bookslut
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busy, busy, busy
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charles murtaugh
cogent provocateur
confessions of a g33k
cooped up
corrente
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crooked timber
cut on the bias
daily kos
democratic veteran
destroy all blogs
die puny humans
disgustedliberal
d-squared digest
electrolite
eschaton
exploits and musings of heidi
flit
founding issues
geisha asobi blog
gorilla-a-go-go
how appealing
hullabaloo
insanekungfu
intel dump
interesting times
ipse dixit
it's still the economy, stupid
kieran healy
late night thoughts
lillianchan
long story, short pier
making light
mark byron
mark a. r. kleiman
matt welch
matthew yglesias
meryl yourish
min jung kim
modulator
mydd
nathan newman
never trust a monkey
no more mister nice blog
notes on the atrocities
not geniuses
oliver willis
oni blogger
onye's livejournal
open source politics
orcinus
pacific views
pandagon
peevish
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quaker in a basement
reachm high
roger ailes
royal blue
ruminate this
sadly, no!
scoobie davis
seeing the forest
self made pundit
semi-daily journal (brad delong)
shadow of the hegemon
sixdifferentways
skeptical notion
skippy the bush kangaroo
south knox bubba
swanky conservative
tacitus
talking points memo
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tapped
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ted barlow
terminus
testify!
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the likely story
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the power pill
the rittenhouse review
the road to surfdom
the sideshow
the talking dog
the volokh conspiracy
thinking it through
through the looking glass
to the barricades!
to the point
tristero
uggabugga
unmedia
unqualified offerings
untelevised
uss clueless
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Friday, June 14, 2002x


wired: new economy not a myth


The bursting of the tech-stock bubble didn't change the fact that the much-hyped "new economy" had some basis in fact, according to this article in Wired. Fundamental changes in the US economy meant that the productivity gains of the boom 90s were at least partly independent of cyclical change, and as a result the recession was not as severe or long-lasting as it might have been, the article says. I'm no economist (though I did take Econ 101 back in my poli sci days), and this article was interesting reading, especially considering other economies, like Japan's, are still in the doldrums.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/14/2002 //



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weekend link clearance sale!


Most bizarre ways to trash a laptop computer

Planetary system resembling our own discovered

Couple sues MTV for US$10M over prank (Apparently set up as part of a as-yet unbroadcast program, the prank involved the unsuspecting couple discovering what was apparently a bloody dead body in their hotel room, then being confronted in some fashion by actors posing as hotel security as hidden cameras recorded their shock. Unamused, the couple filed suit against the network and the hotel.)

Japan invites public to place names on an object to be left on an asteroid by a satellite

Serendipity: A 1997 Salon interview with John Woo

Killer bees improve coffee crop (Seriously: Although the coffee plant is self-pollinating, African bees introduced to South America provide a big help, increasing yields by as much as 50% and improving flavor to boot. The "killer" bees are no more venomous than their North American counterparts but more agressive and tenacious in pursuing targets.)

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/14/2002 //



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miss williams' guitar


the fabulous lucinda williams
W00t! Lucinda Williams launches summer tour that includes Indianapolis.

(Yeah, I know the song by the Jayawks is about Victoria, not Lucinda, Williams, but the title still works. And it's cool that the song mentions my home town of Louisville.)

Apropos of nothing, some pictures of Paul Westerberg for your enjoyment.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/14/2002 //



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teleport over


Lots of juicy review goodness today at Teleport City, a site that celebrates kung-fu, horror and exploitation films, lounge music, hardcore, Japanese rockabilly, and generally swanky stuff.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/14/2002 //



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all (well, mostly) quiet on the war front


I checked this morning, and it seems that for the most part the flak over my comments at Cut on the Bias has died down, with one notable exception: Alley Writer has posted a lenghty rebuttal. Here is my response.

In my comments here and there, I cite an interesting op-ed piece in the Washington Post that summarizes my concerns quite nicely and points out an obvious solution that I fully support. Julian Epstein,
former Democratic chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, notes that a 1942 Supreme Court decision that upheld Presidential power to suspend civil liberties noted that such power stemmed not so much from the existence of either a state of war or even a declaration of war but by explicit statutory power granted by Congress:

[by] the Articles of War, and especially Article 15, Congress has explicitly provided, so far as it may constitutionally do so, that military tribunals shall have jurisdiction to try offenders or offenses against the law of war in appropriate cases


posted by Gregory Harris on 6/14/2002 //



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However, the Supreme Court left unanswered the question as to whether such power exists in the absence of specific authorization by Congress:

[it was] unnecessary for present purposes to determine to what extent the President as Commander in Chief has constitutional power to create military commissions without the support of Congressional legislation. For here Congress has authorized trial of offenses against the law of war before such commissions.


As such, it seems to me that Presidential assertions of such authority at the very least are on unexplored legal ground. The resolution Congress passed authorizing the use of force does not seem to me containing language addressing suspension of civil liberties. While several have pointed out a statement by Senator Joseph Biden asserting that the resolution was equivalent to a declaration of war, I note that this statement is dated October 2001 and therefore wasn't made in this context.

I agree with Epstein about the solution to this conundrum: Congress should grant the Executive such statutory authority. While still subject to possible abuse, at least . Furthermore, I'm sure Congress would indeed grant such authority. One of the things I remain concerned about is the Executive's bold assertion of such power outside Congressional authorization, and I remain unconvinced that such authorization exists.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/14/2002 //



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Dodd at Ipse Dixit noted that "dirty bomb" suspect Padilla has indeed had his day in court and been rejected. But I see nothing in the story addressing his incarceration as a enemy combatant, but rather as a material witness, which detention I'm fully comfortable with as enjoying precedent.

Notably, looking over Cut on the Bias this morning I posted a comment to a discussion that agrees with Alley Writer.

// update //


In the comment thread to a post on Ispe Dixit, Dodd suggests the discussion be tabled. I second the motion; I'll still post updates here as needed.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/14/2002 //



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nihongo a-go-go


Speaking of SixDifferentWays, I found there this funny essay that humorously addresses anime addicts wanting to learn more of the Japanese language (nihongo).

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/14/2002 //



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permalinkage update


I've added a couple of new blogs to my permalinks: Cut on the Bias and The Last Page. As far as I know, I'm mutally permalinked at CotB, Ipse Dixit, and Onye's blog. Honarable permalink mention to SixDifferentWays; I don't have a permalink there exactly, but I do show up often in the Frequent Referrers section. Anyone else permalinking me? Let me know!

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/14/2002 //



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it's flag day


old glory
Show the colors proudly! (We put ours up yesterday.)

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/14/2002 //



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Thursday, June 13, 2002x


it seems...



Which PPG are you?



posted by Gregory Harris on 6/13/2002 //



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new worms crop up


It's time to update your antivirus software; a new worm, Worm_Fretheme.E, is making appearances in email inboxes. Typcially of email-propogated worms, it lures users into running the malicious code by purporting to be a password utility.

As always, if you receive email containing an attachment the contents of which you aren't positive about, ignore the attachment and delete the email.

Meanwhile, a new worm apparently works by combining infected JPG files with software designed to extract the infected code and spread it to other images. This virus is deemed a relatively low threat; JPG images alone can't infect a system, but require the system already be infected with the extraction code virus.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/13/2002 //



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the nine traffic jams of the ninja


This is a hoot: Ninjas shut down Detroit expressway.

(via Destroy All Monsters)

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/13/2002 //



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making a splash in the blogosphere


I noted yesterday the minor controversy concerning my response to a post on Cut on the Bias. Susanna of CotB emailed me this morning to let me know that my comments were quoted--wildly out of context, IMO, and amid much derision--on two other blogs, War Now and Alley Writer.

Both War Now and Alley Writer focus on my pointing out that the US hasn't declared war is among the disturbing factors in the apparent denial of Constitutional rights to a US citizen (even one accused of terrorist plotting), and interpret that to mean I'm saying we aren't at war at all. Well, no, fellas; I'm just saying that the administration is going a bit far absent a formal declaration of war.

I've been typing a lot about this issue and I'm too tired to summarize more, so I'll just give you the links. Be aware that both Alley Writer and I did a fair amount of cutting and pasting on the various threads. I think the level of discourse speaks for itself:

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/13/2002 //



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Original post on Cut on the Bias
Discussion thread on CotB
Alley Writer's citation #1
Discussion thread at Alley Writer's citation #1 ('fess up department: I posted my comments to the wrong article. My apologies.)
War Now citation
Discussion at War Now
Alley Writer's citation #2
Discussion at Alley Writer's citation #2
Cut on the Bias takes note of all the discussion
Discussion thread at CotB post 2

Update: New riposte at Alley Writer; my response; related comments in response to a post at Ipse Dixit

Update 2: Alley Writer takes another stab at it; my response; my repsonse to the comment he claims I ignore; Dodd proposes tabling the discussion. I second the motion; I will make no further posts to these threads.

Update # 3: SixDifferentWays asks many of the same questions; a lengthy (and generally civilized) discussion thread results. Oddly, my retorts seem to have disappeared from a couple of discussion threads at Alley Writer. That could be the result of some error, but if it's deliberate, I can't tell you how validated this makes me feel . Finally, some external sources for your convenience:

Biden press conference from October 2001
Sept. 14 Congressional resolution authorizing use of force
Ex Parte Quirin 1942 Supreme Court decision

Whew!

Since this site is L4m3, I don't have a comment scheme yet, but if you wish to comment, please email me.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/13/2002 //



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After all that, I noted a trio of interesting posts at The Volkoh Conspiracy that outline the thought process as that worthy blogger wrestles with the issue. Volkoh concludes with a quote from Senator Joseph Biden, who declares that there's no difference between the Congressional authorization of force and a declaration of war. My read of that quote, though, and Volkoh's interpretation of it, seem to me to apply to military action against foreign combatants. For me it still doesn't address whether the existence of a state of war automatically, or at the whim of the President, suspends the Constitution. Volkoh contends--and I agree, to an extent--that a formal declaration of war isn't necessary to justify every action taken by a President in time of war. But I find it significant that although the US has engaged in quite a few military actions in the 20th Century, the greatest suspension of liberties occurred during the declared wars--WWI and WWII--and during the undeclared conflicts like Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War, the chief executives did not attempt to assert such borad powers to suspend Bill fo Rights protection. I think the word for that is "precedent."

I also wonder, if there's no difference between the authorization of force and a declaration of war, why didn't they just call it such?

Finally, a personal note: props to Susanna of CotB for informing me of all this to begin with, and for a series of several intelligent and considerate emails subsequently. I promise to permalink her pronto.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/13/2002 //



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virtual idols


This is apropos of nothing, but I wanted to take this opportunity to point out a little curltual oddity that perfecly meshes my fascination with computers and Japanese culture: the notion of virtual idols. Japan is well-known for its idol phenomenon; nigh-omnipresent media stars who sing, model, star in movies, do voices for anime, or any combination thereof.

virtual idol date kyoko
In 1996, a new idol made a brief splash on the Japanese pop scene (some jpop idols have long careers; others are the equivalent of one-hit wonders). Date Kyoko, a computer generated virtual idol, released a single or two and appeared in videos in which her rendered image was superimposed on real-life footage. The studio generated a personality profile to go along with her images, and she even granted interviews to various pop magazines. She continues her career as a virtual idol in Korea.

Since 1996, the notion of popularity cults surrounding virtual people has become much less far-fetched (note: that sentence contains six different links). That doesn't mean I'd line up to buy a CD of Lara Croft singing, though.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/13/2002 //



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Wednesday, June 12, 2002x


i never learned that in physics class...


...well, actually, I never took physics...but anyway: Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics rates the suspension of disbelief (or degree of ignorance, as applicable) necessary to get one's head around the things that happen in action movies. Like people being thrown through glass windows and emerging unscathed, despite the razor sharp nature of broken glass.

As an aside, there was a Marvel Comics villain called Jigsaw that served as one of The Punisher's nemeses. It seems Jigsaw was a minor hood the feared vigilante threw face first through a plate-glass window, and now has a mug resembling...well, you know. One of the things I loved about the character is that he carried a perpetual chip on his shoulder, not only because of what the Pun did to him, but because the Pun didn't remember doing it (he was just one of a gazillion hoods ol' Frank has roughed up in his career).

(via Ipse Dixit)

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/12/2002 //



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i cause a stir elsewhere


I get some flack over my comments to a post on Cut on the Bias that cited an article by Heather Mac Donald ctiticizing anyone worrying about anything so silly as the Constitution in connection with the "dirty bomb" suspect.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/12/2002 //



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l337 tw34k


Since I occasionally sprinkle my posts with "L337," I added a brief lexicon to the words I'm likely to use over on the left. Scroll down...you'll find it.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/12/2002 //



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parking-fu!


This is too funny! (Update: According to a thread on Destroy All Monsters, it's a clip from a film called Shaolin Soccer.)

(via Destroy All Monsters)

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/12/2002 //



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guard against social engineering


TechRepublic, the IT site I write for, hosted an interesting article on ways a company can guard against social engineering. That's the technique by which h4x0rs (hackers) gain access to a company's information not so much by electronic intrusion as by tricking employees into helping them. The article begins with a tale of a consultant hired by a company to test security who was able not only to gain access to the server room but also to get everyone else to leave by claiming it was a surprise security inspection (which, in a way, was even true).

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/12/2002 //



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// update //


Salvage crews have called off efforts to right a decommissioned Navy ship that capsized and sank prematurely on its way to be scuttled to form an artificial reef off Key West, Florida.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/12/2002 //



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Tuesday, June 11, 2002x


wedding bells ring for ex-beatle


Congratulations to Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, who wed this afternoon at a castle in Ireland.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/11/2002 //



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here's the mail, it never fails...


I actually got something interesting in the mail yesterday. My friend David sent me a postcard from Bryce Canyon, Utah, where he's working as a park ranger. It's always good to hear from him! I get tons of mail...mostly junk and bills, of course (since I own my home, I get tons of credit card applications, and I enjoy laughing and tearing them up), so it's certainly fun to get something personal for a change.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/11/2002 //



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more publishment


TechRepublic just published an article I wrote on the virus hoax hall of fame.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/11/2002 //



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this is disturbing


Here's one of those conundrums that faces patriotic individuals who nonetheless have reservations about the conduct of the war on terrorism...the sort of questions that are labeled unpatriotic and tantamount to aiding the enemy.

The Attorney General announced that the al Qaeda suspect arrested in connection with a plot to detonate a "dirty bomb" might face indefinite incarceration without trail under the definition of "enemy combatant." The man in question is a US citizen, though, for whom Constitutional protections would presumably apply. If I remember my civics lessons (I went to school back when civics was actually part of the cirriculum--but then, I was lucky enough to go to a fine Catholic high school), among the reasons for the Bill of Rights was to list rights the Framers assumed the American people already had, and among those were right to due process, etc. etc. One of the things they feared was the country's leader unilaterally declaring war (a power they reserved for Congress) and then using the crisis as a pretext to suspend those rights.

I'm sure this is a dangerous person embarked on a dangerous plan, but if this person can have his Constitutional rights abrogated by executive fiat, the same can happen to anyone, and that's an even more unnerving prospect than a terrorist attack, because a police state so established need never end (as indeed the "war on terrorism" declared by the President is indefinite). Here's today's Washington Post editorial on the subject, which acknowledges, as I do, the dilemma the government faces in intervening before the crime is committed, yet shares my concerns at the enormous power to incarcerate anyone, forever, without judicial review, that the executive just asserted.


posted by Gregory Harris on 6/11/2002 //



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irony alert


About a week before the President announced his intent to create a Cabinet-level department of homeland security, a top Presidential adviser official contended that the President should veto just such a measure should it arrive on his desk. The adviser's name? Tom Ridge.

(via Talking Points Memo)

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/11/2002 //



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kaiju-seum


A Tokyo art museum reports that an exhibition of images, props, and rubber suits from the Godzilla movies has drawn record-breaking crowds. The exibit is reportedly the first to examine the famous Toho Studio franchise as a reflection of Japanese culture.

KAIJU: A huge threatening Monster of enormous destructive power. Japanese Science Fiction films are filled with kaiju... Godzilla (Gojira), Mothra, and Gamera are just a few.

--From the Black Moon Anime and Manga Glossary

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/11/2002 //



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// updates //


A Federal district judge has handed digital TV recorder company Sonicblue a courtroom victory by ruling that the company does not have to monitor the usage habits of its users. The ruling reverses a decision that required Sonicblue to gather "all available information" about what TV shows are copied, stored, viewed without commercials or traded using its ReplayTV product. Sonicblue is being sued by the entertainment industry, which claimes that the ability to trade programming infringes on copyright, and that ReplayTV's commercial skipping features is tantamount to stealing programming. The judge's decision ruled that rules of evidence do not require that a defendant create new data that does not already exist.

Meanwhile, plans proceed apace to raise a capsized ship that sank prematurely on its way to be scuttled as part of a plan to create an artificial reef.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/11/2002 //



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Monday, June 10, 2002x


noted in passing


Convicted Mob boss John Gotti dies of cancer in a prison hospital. He was 61.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/10/2002 //



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that burning sensation


Another thing I was busy with this weekend was burning a few more CDs:

  • Parasite Eve (PSX) original soundtrack (2 CDs)

  • Silent Hill OST

  • Brain Powered 2 OST


...and from last week, the second Neon Genesis Evangelion soundtrack. I hadn't thought of this before, but talking to Onye I realized that probably one reason I've been a little obsessive about grabbing anime and video game soundtracks is that since I've been a little frugal until we sell the old house, I'm compensating by gathering what geek stuff I can from the Web. That made a certain amount of sense to me. Ther'es also the fact that I've learned to grab something when I see it, because too often I've returned to a site I've made note of, only to discover it gone.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/10/2002 //



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an eventful weekend...and week


Posts were sparse to nonexistent this weekend, as I had much going on. I hope to go into more detail later, but just to touch on the highlights:

  • My in-laws visited, along with my niece Erica

  • My friend Onye dropped by Friday night...I stayed up entirely too later talking to her, but she was pleasant company and conversation as always.

  • I took advantage of the beautiful weather do do a whole lotta lawn mowing and gardening.


I'm on deadline this afternoon, so I won't have much to say this afternoon. I hope to catch up tomorrow, after matters settle out a bit.

It'll be an interesting week, too, because my in-laws took my two-year-old daughter with them on the next leg of their trip, to St. Louis...and if she does well with that trip, they will bring her back home with them to Wyoming for another week. It'll be really strange not havign her around, and I know she'll enjoy thew adventure, but at the same time I'm worried about how she'll react. More updates as the situation develops.

posted by Gregory Harris on 6/10/2002 //



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