?>

Love Of Words Brings Child, Poet Together

My sister just sent my attention to this terrific story on NPR about 3-year-old boy who memorizes and recites poetry. Watch the video of Samuel Chelpka reciting “Litany” by Billy Collins and you’ll understand quickly how phenomenal and just plain awesome this is.

I need more poetry in my life, especially like this. Thanks, Sis!

RSS Help please?

The RSS feed on this blog is broken. I don’t know how to fix it. Can anyone help?

Somewhere along the way, I think when I moved from Moveable Type to WordPress, I thought it would be an awesome idea to sign up with Feedburner to handle my RSS feed. The idea, as I recall, was I could somehow keep the same feed regardless of where my blog lived so that anyone subscribed to my old feed would remain subscribed to my new feed. Magic. Awesome. Great.

Except… not, because now it doesn’t seem to work and I’m really not sure what to do. Feedburner’s troubleshootize page is not really helping me. Any other suggestions?

Oh, also, this may have to do with how my WordPress template describes the feed, but, well, what should I change?

I’m getting too old for this stuff. Playing around with the guts of a website/blog was just much more fun 10 years ago when I started a blog. Things were so much simpler then! And yes, I know I sound like an old grump, but, well, grr….

NaNoWriMo madness

It’s that time of year again. I’m 10,000 words into another NaNoWriMo project (I’m not calling it a novel because, well, it just isn’t and probably never will be) and already bumping into some kind of wall. Such fun!

What’s not so fun is

Laura Miller advising people against NaNoWriMo. Why? So people can read more. Hmm. Right. But maybe even less fun are all the ranting comments defending NaNo. The whole thing is pretty unfortunate.

Anyway, I have to go read Freedom and write some more words. That’s just how I roll.

Silence is golden, even at passport control

I haven’t had the pleasure of travelling outside the U.S. since all this “border security” and TSA madness, but Paul Lukacs has, and he has a great story about being detained by the feds for not answering questions:

I was detained last night by federal authorities at San Francisco International Airport for refusing to answer questions about why I had travelled outside the United States.

The end result is that, after waiting for about half an hour and refusing to answer further questions, I was released – because U.S. citizens who have produced proof of citizenship and a written customs declaration are not obligated to answer questions.

Check out the followup post as well. Rights, like muscles, must be exercised or they will atrophy and, eventually, disappear.

Bush wanted war on Iraq from day one

Two weeks ago I noticed this little bit at Crooks and Liars: New Documents Show Bush Administration Planned War in Iraq Well Before 9/11/2001. The documents seem to be just as described — the Bush administration was making plans to invade Iraq at least as early as January, 2001. According to the National Security Archive, “September 11 was not the motivation for the U.S. invasion of Iraq – it was a distraction from it.”

So, um, why hasn’t this been bigger news? This world is insane.

Todd Henderson: Ridiculous Law Professor

If you’re a University of Chicago Law Professor, married to a doctor, with a combined household income of over $250k/year, um, stop whining. Seriously. You sound like a complete asshat.

It’s hard to believe this man is allowed to teach anyone anything. Apparently, his “research interests” include “corporations, securities regulation, bankruptcy, law and economics, and intellectual property.” Shock.

Obama the Assassin

Glenn Greenwald on Obama’s assassination program:

I actually can’t believe that there is even a “debate” over whether an American President — without a shred of due process or oversight — has the power to compile hit lists of American citizens whom he orders the CIA to kill far away from any battlefield.  The notion that the President has such an unconstrained, unchecked power is such a blatant distortion of everything our political system is supposed to be — such a pure embodiment of the very definition of tyrannical power — that, no matter how many times I see it, it’s still hard for me to believe there are people willing to expressly defend it.

Um, exactly. What world are we living in here? What country is this?

Texting Trending Up

Unknown source:

Texting has surpassed email, phone, and face-to-face conversation as the main communication vehicle for 12-17 year olds.

And girls 14-17 years old send 100 texts/day? Really? These data, along with the fact that the source of the data is apparently not the least bit important, suggest we should just give up on the future. It’s not going to be pretty.

Drive by linkage….

Just a few notes on the way to the cigar stand: Judges who pay attention to what people are wearing in court only make themselves look ridiculous and make us all lose respect for the judiciary. Similarly, stories speculating about whether law school is a bad investment are ridiculous because the evidence is overwhelming: Law school is a horrible, very bad, no good investment, and something people should do only if it would kill them not to, which is to say, something no one should do, ever, anymore. Or, if you won’t listen to reason, at least try to go to a “best value” school, even though the every idea is a fantasy. There are no good deals on law school. Really.

But then, what job or profession really is awesome these days? Maybe jobs that give unlimited vacation would be nice, but they don’t address the much bigger problem that “the U.S. is alone in the industrialized world in that millions of mainly low-wage workers have no paid vacation at all.” Little facts like that, and that little problem of mass incarceration and what appears to be becoming a domestic war on Islam (the ugliest current manifestation of our stadium mob mentality) and you really have to wonder: what the hell is wrong with us in the U.S.? At least we have no shortage of funny books to read.

But, wait, even great fiction loses its charms when judges are getting removed mid-trial for making rulings the government dislikes. WTH, people? And someone thinks eye-rolling should be considered disorderly conduct? Don’t tell anyone in my courtroom or the State’s Attorney will have to be locked up for committing disorderly conduct about a hundred times every day.

Can’t I just move to Finland? It’s the world’s best country!

Hoptober Golden Ale Returns

IMG_1079.jpg

Hoptober is back!

Hoptober is made up of Centennial, Cascade, Sterling, Willamette and Glacier hops, while pale and wheat malt are mashed with rye and oats. Its creative elements spark a bonfire of citrus notes, fruity cheers and a bold finale.

“The wide array of hops creates a series of flavors that slowly unfold on the palate,” said Bryan Simpson, New Belgium spokesperson. “This beer embodies the shift to fall with its bountiful taste and blend of ingredients.”

Ed Dopman, San Francisco Beer Ranger and champion of the 2009 Ultimate Beer Ranger Challenge, recommends pairing Hoptober with Italian fennel salami and Taleggio cheese on sourdough bread.

“The five hops used in Hoptober provide just enough bitterness to cut the buttery, meaty flavors of Italian fennel salami, Taleggio cheese and sourdough bread,” said Dopman. “The four malts used in brewing this golden ale also give just the right body to stand up to the autumn wind, while remaining delicate enough to quench one’s thirst after a bike ride.”

So good. So happy.