1984

 
 31 Dec 2004 @ 9:06 AM 

It’s been twenty years since the year 1984 ended. In memory, I finished re-reading the novel 1984 yesterday. It seems Orwell was about fifty years off in his predictions, looking at his explanation of how the societies of Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia coexisted.

Orwell made the assumption, common to many novelists and (especially) politicians of his time, that socialism/communism would be an unstoppable force for change in the coming decades (remember he wrote 1984 in 1948). The doctrine of fear and hatred and constant war, on the other hand, sure seems like it’s moving in. Using words for their opposite meaning is a fun little game, as well – anyone feel more secure with the Homeland Security Department’s announcements of fear and dread?

War is peace

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 31 Aug 2011 @ 12:38 PM

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Categories: Random Thoughts
 28 Dec 2004 @ 9:42 AM 

This is a requested design this time: We Learn Korean So You Don’t Have To. I plan to add one that changes it to “because you can’t” tomorrow, since I don’t think the DPRK is a really credible threat in most people’s eyes.

The shirt design is similar to the ones they sell at DLI, but DLI doesn’t do mailorder. 🙂

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Dec 2004 @ 09:42 AM

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 26 Dec 2004 @ 5:12 PM 

Forty cents is all that stands between me and a commission check from CafePress – my first in over two years. This has more to do with the change in the minimum check amount (from 10 to 25 dollars) than any slacking of interest in my exclusive wares, or at least that’s what I tell myself.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 26 Dec 2004 @ 05:13 PM

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 26 Dec 2004 @ 1:30 PM 

Well, this has been a full weekend. I’m almost glad to go to work tomorrow – they don’t expect me to do as much there.

Friday, we had the “open one present” wait for Alex. He was about to explode by the time we called it “eve” and said he could open one. He got a cool RC Corvette in that round. Circuit City’s “get it free after rebate” system is a good thing for parents.

Friday evening, we headed out to my sister-in-law’s mother-in-law’s house (don’t try to figure out how this makes us family – it’s Texas). They are some of the most fantastic people around, and they wanted a house full of people for Christmas. We were happy to oblige them. Our contribution to the potluck included baklava, cheese and crackers, and a veggie tray. Somehow, we came back with more than we took over, including some presents for Alex and us’ns.

Saturday morning, we put the turkey in the oven. Twenty pound monster, it was. We put lemons and limes in the body and a tangerine in the neck; that was the moistest and most succulent turkey any of us had ever had. Alex got to open all the presents under the tree, and then more presents when the relatives came over in the afternoon. After all was unwrapped, he asked plaintively, “Why didn’t Santa bring me what I asked for?” As if he didn’t have a bushel of presents. His Oma (Dutch for grandma) contributed 25 bucks to his college fund, which will have a more long-lasting effect even if he doesn’t appreciate it yet. Much eating and drinking and sitting by the fire ensued. Everyone left with jars of homemade cranberry butter (which has no butter but can’t be called jelly because it lacks pectin) and most were given other leftovers as well, including more baklava and pumpkin pie.

Sunday saw the rise of the after-Christmas sales. We’ve already got most of the shopping done for next year’s presents, at least for the kids. It’s a very liberating feeling. They’re even wrapped and in the closet now. Mostly, this is just a good idea to avoid adding more work to the time which coincides with Finals week next year.

More photos of a cute boy and his toys are coming soon, no doubt.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Oct 2005 @ 01:50 PM

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Categories: Personal, The Boy
 24 Dec 2004 @ 12:59 PM 

We’ve posted more Christmas photos on the site. We’ve got pictures from Alex’s pre-K holiday program, the light displays here in San Angelo, and some of Alex looking cute.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 30 Jul 2005 @ 06:05 PM

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 20 Dec 2004 @ 2:53 PM 

I love how the SecDef is able to twist things so he sounds like he’s on top of stuff.

bq. I have directed that in the future I sign each letter.

Um, who is he directing? Apparently he needs to tell himself to do things. The voices need to be assuaged somehow.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2004 @ 02:54 PM

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Categories: Military, News
 16 Dec 2004 @ 9:39 PM 

I’m thinking a double batch of baklava for January’s big event, but I’m flexible. Maybe several kinds of cookies instead. Or a super-duper cheesecake.

In other news, my cow-orkers really need to stop trying to interest me in inane chatter. Interesting conversation, I’m all over. Crap about sports or local “celebrities” – please make it stop.

Thank you, please drive through.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 16 Dec 2004 @ 09:39 PM

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Categories: Food
 16 Dec 2004 @ 5:21 PM 

And today marked the third (of three) test finals for this semester. I hereby declare the 2004 school year officially done. One more semester, three more classes, five more months, and I shall be a college graduate. No measly Associates “degree” like my benighted veteran friends think of as an accomplishment, but a real-life, everybody believes it’s real, oh-my-jebus how did it take me until 2005, Bachelor’s of Science degree.

Now, I just have to wait for my grades. Two in Maryland, one in Romania. Anyone want to bet which one is not last?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 16 Dec 2004 @ 05:21 PM

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 16 Dec 2004 @ 4:55 PM 

My annual (or so) Black Forest Cake is online for viewing. We only gave half of it away this time. Oh, yeah, semester break is gonna be pigout time.
Cake

Of course, this photo was taken before Alex picked all the cherries off the top. Little monkey.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 16 Sep 2007 @ 12:36 PM

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 14 Dec 2004 @ 11:28 AM 

Microsoft has a Google Desktop competitor now. Um, wasn’t that the point of the astoundingly slow and useless “indexing” feature they forced into Windows XP? I’ve never seen an increase in speed in the search results from an indexed drive compared to a non-indexed one, but um…why would Microsoft come up with an add-on program for something that they claim is already built into the OS? I guess they know it sucks too.

Meanwhile, the indexing feature on *nix boxes works fantastically well, indexing things without slowing down the machine while you’re using it and delivering search results in milliseconds. Hmm…

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 14 Dec 2004 @ 11:28 AM

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Categories: Geek
 12 Dec 2004 @ 10:19 PM 

One of the cool things San Angelo does every year – Christmas lights along the river. I was able to get some pretty decent pictures of several “days of Christmas” themed displays, as well as this Santa’s Toy Company display.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 16 Sep 2007 @ 12:46 PM

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 11 Dec 2004 @ 9:31 PM 

Well, I’ve finished my homework for the semester. The “big project” (a massive 10 page research paper) is complete, with much websurfing for source materials. Next week, 8:00 am for each of three days, are my finals. Although alloted 3 hours each, I’ve never spent more than an hour on one of my finals and I’m only one semester from graduation, so I doubt this will change next week.

Amusingly, the one closed-book final I have is for the most basic class. I finally got around to taking my freshman science classes this semester and next semester, and that’s the only test which doesn’t allow open book and open notes for the final. Go figure. I guess I’ll have to open that book for the fifth time since buying it. 🙂

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Dec 2004 @ 09:31 PM

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