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Planet Swank
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L337 lexicon
...speak l337?
(image courtesy megatokyo)
L33t/l33+: elite
b33r: beer
h4x0r: hacker
j00: you
L4m3: lame
L33t: elite
ph33r: fear
sux0rz: sucks
sw33t: sweet
w00t: woo hoo!
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  xFriday, July 30, 2004

hail and farewell


I'm wrapping things up and just about to leave my current consulting position, in which I've worked for the past five months. It's been a good experience, and although the work has been hard and at times stressful, I'm pleased with a job well done.

I'd like to thank my supervisors and co-workers, who are a bright, motivated and talented crew indeed. They've made my tenure here easier with their generous help and much more pleasant with their graciousness.

Fear not; I begin a new consulting position Monday morning. Posting may be sporadic through the weekend and until I get settled; I'll provide updates as I can.




  xThursday, July 29, 2004

capturing attention?


News of the day: Pakistan captures high-level al Qaeda operative ... or rather, captures him on Sunday and waits until now to announce the fact.

Imagine that...oh, wait: Someone already did.

As I said on the Washington Monthly comment thread, first off, the capture of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani is a Good Thing, all politics aside. If this guy is connected to the embassy bombings, it's high time he was caught, and I look forward to his trial and conviction.

That said, I don't think this announcement is going to be a bombshell at all, although it's sure to be hyped by the GOP. It isn't bin Laden or even someone associated with the USS Cole, whom I'm sure would be a genuinely high-profile capture.

The fact that the announcement of his capture was evidently delayed to coincide with Kerry's speech is suspicious indeed. (As commentors on the thread pointed out, the announcement was made at about midnight local time -- a fact that surely seems aimed directly at US media consumption.) But if this is the best the GOP can muster for a July Surprise, perhaps we can put our tinfoil hats away after all.

The blogs certainly seem to be aware of the, ah, coincidence. I'm not following news coverage closely enough to see if the awareness that they may be being played for chumps has leaked into the so-called "liberal media" -- but then again, it never seems to, does it?






  xWednesday, July 28, 2004

please stand by


test pattern

It's a very busy week so far, and right now sleep is more important than blogging. I hope to have more time later in the week, over the weekend, and perhaps next week.




  xTuesday, July 27, 2004

blogosphere milestone of the week


Of course, the really big news from the Democratic convention coverage yesterday is that Atrios is no longer anonymous. Welcome, Duncan!




  x

bush mendacity watch


Check out Where Was Bush?, a guide to the still-unanswered questions about Bush's National Guard service courtesy of the Democratic Party.

While we're on the subject, how about the case of the Amazing Disappearing, Reappearing pay records that still don't back up Bush's claims that he fulfilled his requirements? Frankly, the Bush apologists' repeated pointing to his honorable discharge is becoming an increasingly threadbare excuse. Like the SEC investigation of Bush's alleged insider trading at Harken, it merely indicates that, for whatever reason, the authorities decided not to press charges.

And let's also not forget that the public record now conclusively establishes Bush's claim in his 2000 campaign autobiography of flying with his unit for "several years" as a lie an exaggeration.




  x

quote of the day


Digby comments on the message discipline of the Democratic convention:
It's as if the Party has Jack Nicholson's smile.

I like it!




  x

comix post of the day


b.d. on the cover of rolling stone

I've been meaning to mention how strangely affecting it's been to have the Doonesbury character B.D. -- who emerged from the first Gulf War unschathed and even managed to get through Vietnam pretty much intact* -- lose his leg in the current Middle East fracas. (For pity's sake, they even removed his helmet!) But it's been a while, so I wasn't sure how to bring it up. However, I can use this recent Rolling Stone cover story as a hook, so there it is.

*If memory serves me right, B.D. was taken prisoner by the VC guerilla Phred after getting lost on patrol. After returning to his unit, he was awarded the Purple Heart for a wound he received in the experience; the punch line is a thought balloon in which B.D. sheepishly admits he cut his hand on a beer can.




  x

the big dog


I'm listening to Bill Clinton's speech from the Democratic convention last night, and it's simply brilliant.
To build that kind of world we must make the right choices; and we must have a president who will lead the way. Democrats and Republicans have very different and honestly held ideas on that choices we should make, rooted in fundamentally different views of how we should meet our common challenges at home and how we should play our role in the world. Democrats want to build an America of shared responsibilities and shared opportunities and more global cooperation, acting alone only when we must.

We think the role of government is to give people the tools and conditions to make the most of their lives. Republicans believe in an America run by the right people, their people, in a world in which we act unilaterally when we can, and cooperate when we have to.

They think the role of government is to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those who embrace their political, economic, and social views, leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves on matters like health care and retirement security. Since most Americans are not that far to the right, they have to portray us Democrats as unacceptable, lacking in strength and values. In other words, they need a divided America. But Americans long to be united. After 9/11, we all wanted to be one nation, strong in the fight against terror. The president had a great opportunity to bring us together under his slogan of compassionate conservatism and to unite the world in common cause against terror.

Instead, he and his congressional allies made a very different choice.

Clinton lays out how the Democratic platform makes America "safer, smarter, and stronger," and the Republican plans, well, don't. And, of course, it's a pure pleasure to hear a leader speak who doesn't give an embarrassingly mangled performance.

"Strength and wisdom are not opposing values." Brilliant!




  xMonday, July 26, 2004

a reasonable list


Some genius is compiling a list of reasons -- 81 so far and counting -- to vote against Bush the Lesser in the upcoming election. A sample:
DAY 12:

The Bush administration did not inform Congress that the prescription drug bill passed in 2003 would cost $139 billion more than was revealed before the law was approved. Richard S. Foster, the nonpartisan Medicare actuary, says he was told that if he disclosed the true cost of the legislation to Congress, he would be fired. The Bush administration paid actors to pose as journalists in televised video clips that praised the law. The source of the videos is not provided in the clips.

Of course, listing the failures and dishonesty of this Administration can be a full-time commitment, as The Poor Man, among others, can attest.




  x

awesome web zen


Check out this incredible interactive Flash-based primer on Zen. It's koan-tastic!

(via FARK; cross-posted at Destroy All Monsters)




  x

happy 60th anniversary


I didn't mention that we were in New Orleans to celebrate my grandparents' (on my mother's side) 60th wedding anniversary. 60 years! Wow!

My contribution -- aside from hauling the family from Indianapolis to New Orleans and back -- was writing a piece for the scrapbook my sister put together. To my surprise, it turned out to be in verse. With warm filial congratulations to my grandparents on their remarkable achievement, I reproduce it here.
On a 60th Anniversary

We gather here to celebrate
A love among the all-time greats
For sixty years you’ve shared a life
As wife and husband, man and wife

Sixty years! Imagine that
To your love I tip my hat
Through good times, bad times, even war,
You’ve shown us just what love is for

You’ve shared much warmth and many joys
You’ve raised a girl and three fine boys
Looking ‘round, I hope you see
Your proud and loving family

Children, grandchildren, even greats
Share your warm and noble traits
Your wisdom, love and kindness true
Show in the whole D’Antoni crew

Birthdays come, and now so many
You greet them all and don’t miss any
Your thoughtfulness and kindness ample
Set us all a good example

Through many summer vacations hot
You’ve hosted kids, and quite a lot
Thanksgivings see the gatherings
And all the warmth the season brings

And through it all, your love stayed true
With steadfast faith and joy anew
Each one standing by the other
As the finest father and mother

So lift a glass, congratulate
The two who we now celebrate
For sixty years, a time so long
We must applaud their love so strong

I hope my lovely wife and myself can also be so fortunate as to celebrate 60 years together.




  x

home at last


We got back from New Orleans at about 1 this morning. I did have some connectivity over the weekend, but it was spotty and opportunities to use it infrequent, so obviously the blog has lain fallow for a few days (longer than that, really --ed). I'm catching up on a few things, but hope to pick back up here by sometime this evening.





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