February 22nd, 2007


Taquitos & baseball

I went to Taco Bell for lunch. I probably should have brown-bagged it today, and certainly had the time, but completely lacked the inclination. Unusually for me, I decided to try a couple of different things: the grilled steak taquitos and the spicy chicken soft taco. The latter was nothing special, losing points for the rather limp pico de gallo, but the taquitos were actually pretty damn good. Basically, they're a lighter version of the grilled stuffed burrito (i.e. without the beans and rice) cut in half and served with your choice of dipping stuff. I went with the guacamole, which was a happy choice since unlike most fast food guacamole this was actually somewhat spicy. It's no substitute for the real thing, of course, but it's better than the usual reliable mediocrity.

Speaking of mediocrity, Chris Needham puts together a good primer to the Nationals' talent (or lack thereof) as they head into spring training. I'm going to have to watch his blog a little more closely -and maybe start reading the Washington Times again, if only the sports page- as the season approaches. It could be a very interesting year, in both senses of the word.
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This man speaks truth.

The fact that it's funny is bonus. From Alphabet City:
Now, "If you talk to these sheiks, they’ll tell you that they’re in no hurry to see the Americans leave al-Anbar," he said.

"One thing Sheikh Sattar keeps saying is he wants al-Anbar to be like Germany and Japan and South Korea were after their respective wars, with a long-term American presence helping ... put them back together," MacFarland said. "The negative example he cites is Vietnam. He says, yeah, so, Vietnam beat the Americans, and what did it get them? You know, 30 years later, they’re still living in poverty."

There's also North Korea and Cuba to prove that fighting us to a draw isn't a real good move either.

Patience rewarded

One of the few areas where I think my taxes are well spent is the library system. Over the last few months I've been exploiting the Hennepin County Library to the hilt and especially enjoying its online request system, which allows you to "get in line" for a desired book and notifies you via e-mail when it shows up. This week my ship came in big time: not only did John Scalzi's The Ghost Brigades show up, but The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross came with it; not only that, Twelve O'Clock High arrived via interlibrary loan. I'm really looking forward to that because it's a twofer: I used to love the TV show when I was a kid, and I'm thinking the book will help prod me to get moving on some parts of Blood Red Skies that I've been stuck on for a few months.

It looks like the County libraries will be taking over the Minneapolis library system in the not-too-distant future. The Minneapolis Library website does a lot of dancing around the issue,
but when you look at the minutes of the "Committee on the Future of Libraries" that's actually looking at the merger, they make it sound like it's all over but the paper shuffling and rubber stamping by the polities concerned, two of which are solidly in the bag for the DFL and the third of which (the county) isn't likely to fight over this. I rather doubt that any of the three Minneapolis neighborhood libraries that were closed in the wake of the asinine decision to completely rebuild the downtown library (instead of, say, buying an assload of vacant office space downtown and relocating everything but the planetarium) are going to be reopened once the merger/takeover is done, but it's possible that the new HCL system might be able to squeeze enough efficiency out of their staff and the MPL holdovers to manage this. Of course, if they'd made more aggressive use of volunteers and library aides instead of insisting that all the work be done by union librarians, those libraries might still be open, but as anyone who's watched the city government knows, customer service is not exactly the first priority of the system.

The man behind the legend

I'm talking about Sid Meier! Actually, Daniel Drezner and Victorino Matus are. It's very interesting, especially for its sidewise looks at Doom creators John Romero and John Carmack (not very nice guys, evidently) and SimCity creator Will Wright (ditto). Very cool article; RTWT. That also goes for the comments to Drezner's post and his account of how Civicrack damaged his academic career. I can relate...boy, can I relate. (Maggie's Farm)
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dead wombat

Mixed results

Good: Got laundry done. Cooked pasta for dinner and didn't eat half of it immediately like I usually do.

Bad: Some skub-sucking bastard plopped their stuff in the dryers at about 9:30 while my stuff was halfway through the wash cycle. I now have wet shirts, pants, T-shirts and underwear draped all over the apartment; hopefully the dry air in the apartment will suck all the moisture out before I have to wear this stuff in the morning.

And then I made the mistake of looking at LJ instead of just shutting down Cowzilla and going to bed; next thing I know, it's after 2300. Oy.