It takes a gay

and they just don't get it

Our people, the gays, throw dinner parties. That's one of those things we happen to do with unrivaled panache. With multiple themed courses, before- and after-dinner drinks, paired wines, and elaborate desserts. We move naturally from one course to the next; cold foods are cold and hot foods hot when they reach the table.

Not so in heterohio. Their people struggle to host a family-style dinner with three dishes (all at once, of course), and get it all on the table at the same time. In fact, they not only struggle, they fail. The food's not at all bad, it's all just planned and executed in a particularly un-gay idiom.

And the funniest part of it is they don't know they're all wrong, and it makes "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" that much more amusing.

How I learned to stop worrying and love suburbia

There's an xmas tree on the second level, "so people driving by can look in the window and see the nice tree."

That's what suburban life is about. Showing off what you've got from behind closed doors and preferably a gate.

That and santitized everything, like the remote-controlled Heat-N-Glo® SL-950TV-D™ gas fireplace behind glass (as the model number suggests, it's as easy as watching tv!).


The New York Times > Science

Flour, Eggs, Sugar, Chocolate . . . Just Add Chemistry

About the author of this book I'll soon be buying for the Scott :)

canoe! canoe!

You know people who are into BDSM sex have safewords that mean, no, seriously, stop now?

Scott and I need such a word for Ed and Kathleen. We ask for one thing – a gift bag, say, or a bit of gift wrap for stuff we'd brought to give them – and it starts like five minutes of digging out every roll of wrapping paper they can find and going down in the fucking basement and getting out four boxes of nice bags and store bags and ribbons and bows and three scissors and four things of tape and tissue paper and colored tissue paper and—CANOE!

Or we say, when throwing together some food, "Could I have a prep bowl or two?" that prompted like five minutes of opening cabinets and getting out all the glass, plastic, and metal bowls,— wait! I think there are more in the basement!— to have a place to put one diced onion so I could clear off the cutting board.

Kathleen thinks we're saying "noo" like Canadians. It's not entirely untrue; we think that "canoe" is Sue's suggestion for a safeword.

So to them, our saying, OK! That's enough! Stop! We're fine! is like S&M sex where ow! stop spanking means "oh yes do it harder." Seriously, we tried. It only intensified the pain, and believe me, it was without pleasure.

Update: I was trying to show her how to make challah. Aside from her complete lack of interest in the science of bread (Scott and I believe it's essential to understand why things work the way they do, if you're going to change them, or even follow a recipe), I asked for a measuring spoon. I'd already looked through all the logical drawers, such as the one containing silverware, serving spoons, and the measuring cups – only to discover that there is no order whatever to the kitchen. It was as if every box that they opened just got its own fucking drawer / cabinet with no thought to where you'd be using its contents. Outrageous, and almost unusable. Of course I asked her about them (don't normal people who pretend to cook know where such tools are?) and this prompted another search through all the same damn drawers, and then Ed had to get involved, and look through boxes and shit in the garage—CANOE!


My dad & music

Listmania! Music featured on The Weather Channel

Seriously. We're driving in the car and this shit is on. I finally asked, "What is this? Greatest hits from The Weather Channel?!"

It's not bad really, it just happens to go very well with your "Local on the 8s™"

The particular song that provoked my reaction, by the way, was even called "The Promise of Rain" by John Boswell. I totally hear it every time I breeze past the weather channel. (Be sure to check out the audio sample)


I love shoes





Salon.com | Goin' south

by Russ Feingold:
"I can only wonder how many more generations of central Alabamians will say yes when the increasingly powerful Republican Party asks them to be concerned about homosexuality but not about the security of their own health, about abortion but not about the economic futures of their own children. As my wife and I drove through Greenville that night, I thought how fundamentally unfair this all is in order to support an increasingly radical conservative movement."


new drink friend! : Oatmeal cookie

from the wine bar we went to tonight:
  • stoli vanil
  • bailey's
  • goldschlager
  • milk
and you could probably make it an oatmeal raisin cookie with some crème de cassis.


three fantastic finds

At an Italian market on Taylor street near scott's campus.Villa Puccini and Villa Vetrice (discussed here, the highest "score" of the bunch). Also, tipo 00 flour for pizza and pasta, and savoiardi at an appropriate price. Of course, the vini santi are the most exciting, because wine stores rarely have even one, much less four good ones, to choose from; and they're rarely 500ml for $10.


oooooo aaaahhhh

Eva Solo Breadbin

And I'm actually completely done with the semester!

Just sent off the last paper for Ethan's class. Yay!

Now to make some dinner: whole wheat pasta with lentil ragù and maybe a trader joe's meatball.

My new favorite book!

Amazon.com: Books: The Slow Food Guide To Chicago: Restaurants, Markets, Bars (Slow Food Guides)

christian "victims"

Frank Rich writes
What is this about? How can those in this country's overwhelming religious majority maintain that they are victims in a fiery battle with forces of darkness? It is certainly not about actual victimization. Christmas is as pervasive as it has ever been in America, where it wasn't even declared a federal holiday until after the Civil War. What's really going on here is yet another example of a post-Election-Day winner-takes-all power grab by the "moral values" brigade. As Mr. Gibson shrewdly contrived his own crucifixion all the way to the bank, trumping up nonexistent threats to his movie to hype it, so the creation of imagined enemies and exaggerated threats to Christianity by "moral values" mongers of the right has its own secular purpose. The idea is to intimidate and marginalize anyone who objects to their efforts to impose the most conservative of Christian dogma on public policy. If you're against their views, you don't have a differing opinion — you're anti-Christian (even if you are a Christian).

Yeah, Bill O'Reilly and a few other notoriously disingenuous types are purely strategic here. But I think victimhood is actually central to a lot of people's belief.


The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Think Globally, Eat Locally

Exactly. As if anyone needed more reason to eat local!
The solution to these insecurities is to establish community-based food systems that include many small farmers and a diversity of products. Such systems make large-scale contamination impossible, even for determined bioterrorists. Far more people have contact with the Mexican lettuce at the supermarket, for example, than with the locally grown lettuce at the farmers' market.


Wired 11.09: PowerPoint Is Evil

Wired 11.09: PowerPoint Is Evil Yes old but good nonetheless.


gibson paper



All day Saturday

Yesterday I took the final in the American Political Institutions seminar. The format is intended to mimic one day of the comprehensive exams we'll sit for at the end of our second year: eight hours to answer two out of three questions, with copious references to seminal literature in the field.

I'll go out on a limb and share my answers. On one hand, I think I advanced and adequately supported arguments that addressed the questions. However, my answers are quite short. I have a year and a half to learn what is expected on comps. If Bill's feedback is that I should've included more details, it's best that I know that now.

I'd also welcome comments from any of my colleagues who read this. :)


NPR : Joan Nathan's Recipes for Classic Hanukkah Dishes

NPR : Joan Nathan's Recipes for Classic Hanukkah Dishes

I haven't made latkes yet this year but I will soon! :)


How would Jesus solve those equations?

"What does it mean to have a Christian perspective of mathematics?"
What, indeed?

From patriotboy

Henry Waxman needs reëducation.

A whole bundle of niftiness!

Netscape N throbber, flaccid.I found urbanmainframe in a search to justify that the thing at the right of the browser toolbar that moves while a page is loading is in fact called a "throbber." (It seems to have come from the original very throbbing Netscape N. I couldn't find an animated one.)

But urbanmainframe also satisifed another little thing I'd wanted to find online, the cool original SGI logo! I do like the new simple 2000ish one or whenever they did it (very cool type family), but the old one just says hardcore power. Looking around at their products, though, they're still using the old one on the branding on the front of the machines! Yay!

Finally, on branding the new Mozilla flagship products, Firefox and Thunderbird. A good read.

Why yes, I'm working on my paper for Gibson

But in the event that I did something else (subjunctively, of course)...

Periodic table of wine: kinda neato

De Long's Wine Grape Varietal Table: Learn About Wine The Visual Way

it's funny and it's fascinating!

In Vino Gravitas - The Supreme Court has a sobering look at interstate wines. By Dahlia Lithwick
Previous posting at Volokh, making predictions before oral argument.


evangelicals and equality

(a few days old, but worth posting)
Andrew Sullivan:
"The Bush line, essentially is: 'We are not homophobes; we are happy to live alongside gay people, as long as they recognize that they can never have the same civil rights as we do. Accept your own inferiority, and we will accept you.' That's why this is so hard to compromise on. Because it cuts to the core of a human being's self-worth. On this, we cannot compromise. The simple truth is that there isn't a single civil right I would deny to an evangelical Christian. I've defended their freedom of religion, of association, of disassociation, and believe they should be treated with respect. I wouldn't dream of drumming them out of the military, firing them for their faith, tearing up their relationships, or taking their children away from them. The favor, alas, is not returned."

Semester-end snack

This semester's crunch-time snack, an impusle buy today at whole foods, are honey roasted chipotle peanuts. Yum.

ProCreation car emblem

take that, creationist wackos!



Scott points out that I should have done more work and less going out this week, and I could've driven up there for sex and Vermilion. He's right, of course, but oh well.

Adium X(tras) :: Sound Sets :: Tokyo Train Station


Humm Page: Llama Sounds

Remember during the election coverage, on CNN, there were bizarre ads for IloveAlpacas.com? There are also ads of varying sizes in the New Yorker having to do with alpacas. Scott is knitting a scarf with alpaca wool. And last week there was an article in the NYT. With all this recent hype around such an unusual animal, I was curious what they sounded like. Apparently, they make the same noises as llamas, and I found an excellent collection of llama noises online.



god that's fucking disgusting

Why yes, that is a bowl half full of the Spaghettios "ravioli" in a can that my roommate's girlfriend made for herself about twelve hours ago. And yes, I will try very hard to leave it there for her to clean up her damn self.

Update (40 minutes later): Ryan just cleaned it up. She's in the bathroom applying makeup.


menu for the week: it's cold out.

  • Hungarian potato soup and ciabatta
  • Ciabatta, frittata, and salad
  • Arroz con pollo (Spanish-style, with saffron)
  • Cuban black beans and rice (frijoles negros)
  • Maybe a pork roast and sauerkraut

Now that's what I call a headline!

The New York Times > National > United Methodists Move to Defrock Lesbian


yet more geeky troublemaking

Hi Michael, Some of the things you recommended are actually in development right now...they were not added to the current release because of time constraints. In fact, this exact feature is already included on all the admin pages in the system...I just haven't added it to the coursepage yet. Other things, such as the resizable columns, are simply not worthwhile because of the amount of time it takes to get them tested across all browsers and operating systems. When I add the feature that controls the display of information on the coursepage I will look to see if I can resize the columns in a more pleasing manner. The pitfall there is that if I don't force a width on the right-most columns, its possible for the title to use up the whole page width, which doesn't look very good. Thanks for your suggestions...I will do my best to address them in upcoming versions of the software. -Marc Marc A. Bertone Programmer / Analyst

being a pest, cont'd.

Hi, I'm an end-user of the eRes system at Washington University in St Louis. I have requested that the library make a change to the summary view of documents, but the administrators (cc) claim that they "have no control" over the display. Surely any modern web application is configurable in the way I'm asking about.

Specifically, the summary view of documents shows only the arbitrary document "title." This default (if it is a default) is profoundly unhelpful for academics. Citations are most frequently given as "author-date" pairs, or maybe a book title; chapters of of books are almost never cited by title. Further, it's clear that richer data are entered about the documents. It should be possible to change the summary view so users don't have to open detail view for six or seven documents in order to find the right one.

How do administrators change display settings? Is it part of the application, or a control file somewhere? Three equal-size columns for "title", file type, and file size is profoundly unhelpful. They should also be resizable, no? A third of my display width for a file size is also a bit ridiculous.

Michael Malecki
PhD Student in Political Science
Washington University in St Louis


What, is it made by peoplesoft?

I'm sorry if I'm being a pest, but I want to pursue this a bit further. The detail view provides much richer data – source type, author, and year. So someone enters this in the database at some point.
I find it incredibly hard to believe that the software is not configurable for the summary. I couldn't find documentation at the vendor's site, but I'd be happy to look through the manuals if you have them. It's a very poor default, and one that should be changed, but it really has to be configurable.

On Wed, 1 Dec 2004 08:51:34 -0600, Scott Britton wrote:
> Michael,
> We do not have control over the display information, except that titles can
> be listed either alphabetically or in the order they were placed on ERes.
> We try not to be creative with the title of the article (avoiding "Reading
> 1" or "Author- Article Title") because readings are often used by other
> classes and are retrieved by the published title.
> An instructor can request that we group articles together into folders.
> This helps to organize long lists of articles.
> Scott Britton
> Head of Access
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Reserve Unit
> Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 8:14 AM
> To: Scott Britton
> Subject: FW: sort key in document listing
> -----Original Message-----
> From: malecki@wustl.edu [mailto:malecki@wustl.edu]
> Sent: Tue 11/30/2004 5:23 PM
> To: eres
> Subject: sort key in document listing
> It would be immensely helpful if you could add or change the result display
> to show the author and year of documents, rather than the arbitrary title
> you assigned it. As you must surely be aware, citations are nearly always
> given as author-date pairs.


The Office Holiday Party store

There's one of these dress barn stores that we keep walking by on the way home from the red line. As bad a name as "dress barn" is, it's really just the store where all secreataries get their New Dress for the Office Holiday Party.


The New York Times > Travel > Escapes > 36 Hours: In Phoenix

The Times has on its list of must-go places in Phoenix the amazing little Mexican restaurant we dragged Scott's parents to when we were there. They didn't eat anything, because they were afraid of it and thought we were crazy for dragging them halfway across the city.

What's a trip to the Southwest without Mexican food? Be prepared — Barrio Café (2814 North 16th Street, 602-636-0240) isn't your typical chips-and-salsa joint. Silvana Salcido Esparza serves her black mole sauce over chicken or enchiladas in her simple but elegant storefront restaurant. The white-walled, Saltillo tile-floored space features a small wooden bar and rotating work by local artists — often Latino. Start your meal with guacamole prepared table-side ($8) and try the 12-hour slow roasted pork with achioto rojo and sour orange and salsa Yucatan ($17). Save room for dessert, especially the churros rellenos de cajeta de cabra ($8) — goat's milk caramel-stuffed fritters with vanilla ice cream.

Those churros really were sublime. Scott's dad had something rude to say about the creative ingredients, if I remember correctly.


on my dad's being a crazy person

Scott helped put together a graph showing clearly the sad, sorry decline of my dad's capacity for good eating and where it's headed.

My dad's restaurant picking graph

They make me tired

When did my dad and Kathleen become exactly the same as Scott's lame-ass parents? Is it really that hard to go out to dinner in Chicago, to try something new you haven't had before, to figure out where to go, or to meet people and then decide? Apparently they need to drive right up to the front of the pre-ordained restaurant, park, and not walk or take any kind of train or bus at all. Walking around and finding a place to eat is apparently also out of the question.

So is anything like indian food, couscous, grape leaves, or tapas.

Shop or Die!

Aerobics lessons and digital cameras greet Friday shoppers

They really should've gotten Mr Combs to participate. I'm sure "Shop or Die" would be as effective as his compelling "Vote or Die."


Bitter, yes, but terribly lucid and incisive.

ScentStories Up Your Nose / It plugs into the wall and plays "scent CDs" and features Shania Twain, somehow. Hail, Satan: "Look at it this way: much like white zinfandel or 'Cathy' cartoons or the George W. Bush presidency, ScentStories could vanish tomorrow and no sentient being anywhere on the planet would miss it, ever. And that, verily, is the scent of true perspective."


more yum


  • spinach risotto with crimini mushrooms and thyme
  • pan-seared scallops with garlic and lemon


  • roasted brussels sprouts
  • chicken paprikás
  • whole wheat pasta

for jon

How to reset the nickname and the automatic completion caches in Outlook


I had a lovely dinner aboard the train to Chicago. No, of course I didn't go to the café car: I brought a sourdough bread that I'd sliced about half of, an assortment of cheeses, and some salami (sopressa, I think).

It was not unlike meals I'd brought on to trains in, say, Bologna or Rome. Immensely satisfying, but it was missing wine. In Italy you can get a juice box of table wine, perfect for the train! a bottle and a glass are impractical. I wanted travel wine. Definitely on the list of things to bring back next time... especially because I couldn't find any online. Is there no market for this here? Why the stupid small bottles? Who wants to drink out of those? They need a glass. Although props of course to this kickass sparkling wine packaging.


Creepy shit, this

Yahoo! News - Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents

damn that's a nerdy idea

I'd laugh really, really hard if Steve gave out Linux with his xmas cards.

yummy plans!

Metromix.com:: Thanksgiving Dinner at Vermilion


Gawker Stalker

Gawker Stalker
Freemans tuesday night the 16th of nov. the bush twins along with 2 massive secret service men tried to have dinner they were told by the maitre 'd that they were full and would be for the next 4 years upon hearing the entire restaurant cheered and did a round of shots it was amazing!!! [Ed: We're hearing that this is actually true.]


An eye for an eye

I strongly believe that if you excessively horizontal-scale a beautiful font, that you should be punished by being horizontally scaled. You should be laced up in a motherfucking corset until your motherfucking ribs break. It's only fair.

But- but-

American Family Association reviews Shark Tale:
"Of course, when it comes to kids, this is tricky stuff. The film does not come right out and say that we should all accept homosexuality. And, naturally, children should be taught to be accepting of others."

The reviewer nearly acknowledges his own tortured "love the sinner hate the sin" confusion. It is a compelling message, he admits, but can't bring himself to say that he thinks accepting others isn't something you really want your kids to believe in.


Another little game

Let's suppose the following hypothetical situation: A number of graduate students (say, seven) share an office. The overhead light has a motion sensor. When people are working or reading at their desks, they're not moving around enough and the light shuts off after about 15 minutes.

One member of the class decides to rewire the light (the junction-box is easily accessible). He or she is extremely proud of him/herself for this unusual feat of engineering.

What do you say you're going to do at the end of the year for next year's class? Your could be an asshole, and proclaim that you are going to re-wire the sensor "to give the next class a challenge like we had" or do you shut the fuck up and leave the light the new way that makes everyone happier?


Sex Inspectors

The Observer | Review | 'I'm trying to wean myself off younger men': "The series goes out at 11pm. And the footage is extraordinarily frank, even with clever cropping and pixellation. Couples draw their bodies on a blackboard and identify the bits they like stimulated. Then there's the jaw-dropping moment where one of the men admits he ejaculated so fast after a spot of spanking he temporarily blinded his partner. It sounds terrifying - and just occasionally it is - but actually the shows are redeemed by the good humour and bravery of the participants."


a preview for api tomorrow

Classroom activities on regulation

  • ❑ It is 1964. The six members of the European Economic Community (dominated by France and W. Germany) are drafting the first Common Agricultural Policy. Since they are all relatively rich and can't imagine that Poland will want a piece of the CAP subsidy for another 40 years, they can afford give in to demands from important national constituencies, like chicken farmers in Germany who say that cheap Tyson frozen chicken from America is putting them out of business. The "panel of trade experts in Geneva" that would eventually become the WTO rule in favor of the United States and say, "put across-the-board tariffs on some stuff that will mostly hurt West Germany." Choose three items to tax up to 25%, remembering that you can take this opportunity to throw a bone to another non-chicken ag constituency: potato starch, sauerkraut, lederhosen, light trucks, expensive brandy. Hint: Volkswagen makes something called the Kombi van. Hint 2: The Brandy is probably French; you don't care about Italy; and you can't tell Benelux apart from each other (neither can they).
  • ❑ You are 1973 EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Vehicular Pollution Eric Stork. "We [have] to find a way to keep the [1970] Clean Air Act from being blamed for putting American Motor Company out of business," you say. Although Congress made explicit targets for cars' fuel efficiency (1985 CAFE 27.5), it added vaguely that the EPA "shall, by rule, prescribe average fuel economy standards for automobiles which are not passenger automobiles." AMC makes the Jeep Wagoneer. Find a way to allow Detroit to meet the Clean Air Act targets and still make large, inefficient vehicles. Hint: Your light truck tax from #1 is still in effect, and Detroit automakers all seem to think that it would be fair to exempt light trucks, say, up to 6,000 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight and set their target at 20.7. After all, they only make and sell a few vehicles are in this category (Wagoneer, Blazer, and Bronco).
  • ❑ You are Jimmy Carter. The American economy hits more recession in 1979. The clever Japanese have figured out that they can ship light trucks to the US in two parts, and bolt them together on the docks because "auto parts" are not subject to the chicken tax. Appease the Big Three and the UAW with one Customs Service ruling.
  • ❑ You work for the EPA under Reagan. Mention that the standards for emissions and efficiency haven't been changed since 1973. Ha! You thought I was serious! You were gonna do it!
  • ❑ You are NHTSA. Pesky safety advocates and their allies, personal-injury lawyers, have begun to notice that SUV drivers are far more likely to die in rollovers than car drivers because SUVs have a high center of gravity. A 1980 segment on "60 Minutes" shows that a Jeep can flip over even on a dry, open road if the drivers swerves abruptly, as if avoiding a child or a tricycle. You "look at the difficulties of coming up with rollover evaluations" and of "repeatability" of a test. Then do nothing.
  • ❑ You are a congressional committee under pressure in 1984 to close tax loopholes (deduct full purchase price for depreciation over just three years) that encourage realtors, sales representatives, and consultants to buy the largest, gaudiest, most expensive new Cadillacs and Lincolns they can get their gauche little hands on. Pretend to close the loophole. Hint: Farmers still want to be able to deduct their light trucks up to 6,000lbs GVW, and you always do what farmers tell you. Detroit agrees, especially since Japanese light trucks are still subject to the chicken tax.
  • ❑ An AMC ad shows a Jeep careening off tall sand dunes and then driving off into forests. NHTSA says that the Jeep is in fact highly unstable and prone to roll over. Devise a rule that will cost pennies per vehicle, make the Jeep seem more adventurous and attractive to young buyers, and not do anything about its instability. (You can pretend to be either NHTSA or AMC here. It doesn't really matter.)
  • ❑ You are Ford. You want to roll out the 12mpg Expedition, but it will totally kill your light-truck CAFE. One of your lawyers points out that in a previous bit of pork for corn farmers, vehicles that can run on "E85" (85% ethanol, which is available at few gas stations, alongside regular fuel so consumers have ample opportunity to pass it up) can be said to get "superb gas mileage." By adding a small sensor that will allow the engine to adjust automatically, you can count a 27mpg Ford Ranger as getting 44mpg. Determine exactly how few of these in a given year you must produce in order to meet 20.7mpg with the introduction of the Excursion. If you exceed 20.7 CAFE Chrysler and GM, played by other members of the class, will laugh at you. Make sure to inform consumers of this unique capability in a footnote to the Appendix of the owner's manual.


Big sigh

There is a large class of people in this country who are sympathetic to the "European dream" of a managed market economy in which cooperation is emphasized over competition, leisure is privileged over work, and the social costs of capitalism are closely regulated -- and you know who you are, gentle readers. But to most Americans "freedom" still means untrammeled private-property rights, open markets, workaholism and the belief that somehow we'll all die rich.
A Salon review of three books on the European Union



The true story of Stickies

MSN Search

Microsoft came from behind in the browser war, andhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif triumphed briefly. I think most of us hold a negative view of IE in comparison especially to Firefox. Of course, search is a different concept, and I think the "market" is more fluid.


Critical opinion so far.

Slashdot | Learning Unix for Mac OS X Panther

Slashdot | Learning Unix for Mac OS X Panther

Microsoft is as reality-based as the Bushies

Microsoft says Firefox not a threat to IE | CNET News.com:
"'I don't agree that just because a (competing) product has a feature that we don't have, that feature is important,' he said. 'It is not. It is only important if it is a feature the customer wants. There are plenty of products out there with features we don't have. We have plenty of features that our customers don't use."


more blue post-election blues

Frank Rich gets it pretty much right:
"The Leslies swear by 'moral absolutes,' support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and mostly watch Fox News. Mr. Leslie has also watched his income drop from $55,000 to $35,000 since 2001, forcing himself, his wife and his three young children into the ranks of what he calls the 'working poor.' Maybe by 2008 some Democrat will figure out how to persuade him that it might be a higher moral value to worry about the future of his own family than some gay family he hasn't even met."


for gmail users:

A handy notification extension for the status bar.


Fuck the South!


Oh, and by the way

Get Firefox

If you're one of the three or four regular readers of my little blog, you should be aware that Firefox 1.0 was released today and you should download it right now.

Film festivals are fun!

I'm especially excited to meet the director of Gods & Monsters and now Kinsey.

Many thanks to Hilary for finding and going to the Metropolis St Louis event last week! A lot of them seem like exactly the kind of young people I want to befriend, to get away from the department and do fun stuff. Example: we met Andrea who hooked us up with the Film Festival parties! And Victor, who's also cool.

Quiet, at last, I hope!

I asked the woman upstairs very nicely if there was anything she could do about the loud walking, especially late at night. Her first response was, "It's the shoes, isn't it?"

I said, well yes, they're loud, but even barefoot it can be pretty annoying when someone crosses the apartment 32 times between 3 and 4 AM.

She, in turn, asked that the techno music be less loud; that's not a problem because I really only turned it on as loudly as I did to annoy her.

Kinda ironic

A web article today on TNR says basically the same thing that Stephen Glass made up a few years ago.

Old, but good

Here's an American Prospect article by E. J. Graff from 2002 that concisely summarizes the recent political history of gay rights just up to Vermont civil unions.

2000 census data on same-sex partners


Marriage Amendments go to court

from NPR.

Bye-bye, Asscroft!



for a change, a recipe


I was pleased with the soup I made for dinner tonight. It reminded me of Milanese soups, with a number ingredients that mingled well yet maintained their individuality. It's not a minestrone becuase it doesn't have beans; you could add a half cup of rice or maybe spelt to make it a meal without bread.
  • 'bout a pound of spinach, raw, chopped, or I guess a frozen box is ok
  • As much pancetta or bacon as you care to add, up to 1/4 lb.
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large or 2 med potatoes (1.5lb?), half-inch dice (I used yukon gold so they stayed chunky with thin skins)
  • 4-8 cups stock (I made chicken stock, but fresh or packaged veggie or beef stock would be good; I will note that if you are making beef stock, shouldn't you use it for onion soup and top it with either Gruyère or Idiazabal and broil it? Yes, you should.)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Sea salt to taste


Chop the bacon and fry (starting in a cold pan) until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is almost crispy but not quite. Remove the bacon, and pour off most but not all the fat. Add butter and sauté the leeks, potatoes, and garlic together until the leeks are soft. (You could use olive oil. I know we're trading one saturated fat for another, but they're different flavors and we're using a lot less butter than we had bacon fat.)

Add the stock and salt and simmer until the potatoes are soft. If you add rice or pasta to the soup, this is at least 20 minutes.

I broke one egg per person into the soup at this point, and cooked them slightly too long because I was setting the table.

Serve with bread unless there's rice or pasta in the soup.

Part II of the NPR Gross Anatomy Lab story


Conservatives just aren't very creative

“I know all about Polk street and the Castro,” he said. “Stanford University. I’m from San Francisco, and I’m for gay marriage.” He was wearing a yellow golf shirt, tucked into khaki chino shorts with a cell phone clipped to his belt — the Republican uniform. “Our candidate, John Kerry, supports gay marriage, gay adoption, everything gay.”

The ruse, apparently, was supposed to target this church-going Democratic crowd by misrepresenting Kerry’s politics.


This would have been cool

So pumpkin portraits seemed cool until
All carvings are carved on Fun-Kins™ artificial pumpkins. Do not use open flame for illumination. We recommend battery powered lights. The Pumpkin Lady is not responsible for damages resulting from improper use of these pumpkins and/or illumination.

A pumpkin for Steve!


It's not that they're passionate

(New Salon article)
It's that they're completely fucking misinformed about the world.

Next up on the gay agenda

after marriage equality...
Cher as Secretary of State.
(from Margaret Cho)


It makes you chuckle

in that special NPR way.



A member of our class of 8 became very seriously mentally ill. He was hospitalized and is "under very close medical supervision for the forseeable future." Officially, he is on medical leave from the University, and has returned home, which in his case is a foreign country. There is almost zero chance that he could be reinstated into the program.

One lesson we are meant to take from this, according to the Chair, is that "globalization is here to stay."

So Billy and Natty agreed very well / And Mama's well pleased at the match

A book due out early next year asserts that Abraham Lincoln might have identified as gay in modern times. From Andrew Sullivan.


Good Design Makes Choices Clear.

The AIGA GOTV initiative is hot. More design is exactly what this country needs!

Who do you love now

Who do you miss now

an excellent extension

Jay (Sarcastic Frustration) has extended the 12Reasons by inserting bits of the Republican platform.

She's a demographic... nascar mamas?

She is pissed off


VotergasmThis site is great! Especially their how-to guides.

a little bit silly. a hardcore conspiracy theorist might think that it's part of the long-term effort to suppress democratic votes by spreading stds.



Somehow I have 6 pairs of shoes in my office-sunroom and 2 in my bedroom. None of them are on the shoerack.

next semester!

Seminar: Theories Individual and Collective Choice Behavior I

T 8:30-10:30 -- Room: TBA -- Instructor: Bueno de Mesquita

An introduction to Rational Choices Theory. Topics will include the following: the foundations of Rational Choice Theory, Spatial Theory of Electoral Competition, Cooperative Game Theory, and General Equilibrim Theory. 3 credits. Prerequisites: PolSci 5052, Mathematical Modeling in Political Science. (Formal Theory and Methods)

Quantitative Political Methodology I: Foundations

T R 1:00-2:30 -- Room: TBA -- Instructor: Park

This course is an introduction to political methodology, focusing on probability theory and elementary statistical inference. Particular attention will be paid to research design, hypothesis testing, and confidence intervals. 3 credits. Prerequisites: graduate standing or permission of instructor. (Formal Theory and Methods)

Comparative Party Politics

W 1:00-3:00 -- Room: TBA -- Instructor: Rosas

In this seminar we will review some of the concepts and theories employed in the comparative study of political parties and party systems. Most of the canonical literature has been developed with an eye to the political experience of advanced industrial democracies, but has been extended more recently into the study of inchoate democracies, where the programmatic character of political parties cannot necessarily be taken for granted. We will focus on the constitutional and societal determinants, and on the political and economic consequences, of different party system arrangements, centering mostly on European and Latin American politics. 3 units. (Comparative)

Approaches to Comparative Politics

R 10:00-12:00 -- Room: TBA -- Instructor: Sened

Problems of theory construction and testing in a comparative framework. Both underdeveloped and industrial societies are discussed. Primary emphasis placed on increasing student's abilities to criticize and develop theoretical ideas. 3 units. (Comparative)


nothing like a refund check!

Almost 60 days after moving. (Scott, note: two water usage charges for July and the first half of August were deducted from the total.)

Just like a lesbian

I replaced my bike tires today! GRUNT!


I'm a bad blogger

I swear I'll be better when my powerbook is all fixed. It feels like work to sit down at my desktop and write stuff.


a good workout

I met some other people, grad/med students, who swim relatively frequently. I worked out with them and it kicked my ass today!

  • 500 warmup
  • 500 kick
  • 3x [ 2(4x75 @ 1.15,10,05,00), 4x50 kick ]
  • 200 easy


chipotle, qdoba

I had previously contended the Qdoba was owned by Burger King. In fact, it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jack in the Box. Chipotle, 90% owned by McDonald's, has more than twice as many stores.

i love fg!

David Maltese just played one of my all-time favorite tracks, The Phoenix (the RITM River and Rain mix)!

menu for the week

  • butternut squash giant ravioli with browned butter and sage
  • pechuga de pollo al ajillo and orzo with roasted red peppers
  • tortilla española and mixed local greens
  • chicken korma & basmati rice
  • tuscan beans & tomatoes, companion bakery bread


argh! broken again!

I would have made the same diagnosis as the Apple Store, but I still don't like not having my computer for another fucking week. After it came back with a fresh logic board, I ran it for about 3 hours on the battery. I plugged it in at home, did some more work for about 45 minutes, and as I was connecting to my computer to transfer Lee's files, this time it at least gave a kernel panic screen. Subsequently it wouldn't boot (but, unlike before, would give a boot chime).

So the powerbook is back off to the Depot, but now we know that there is a problem specifically with DC power. I'll also exchange my adapter, just in case.


powerbook coma

Date (MM/DD/YYYY) Case Number Dispatch Number Name Status
9/8/2004 41924098 R3140220 Michael Malecki Begin Repair
9/14/2004 41924098 R3140220 Michael Malecki Begin Testing
9/13/2004 41924098 R3140220 Michael Malecki End Hold
9/8/2004 41924098 R3140220 Michael Malecki Hold - Awaiting Part
9/14/2004 41924098 R3140220 Michael Malecki Ready to Ship
9/5/2004 41924098 R3140220 Michael Malecki Repair Requested
9/8/2004 41924098 R3140220 Michael Malecki Unit Received


On-message, cont'd

Do you trust the GOP news machine, or are Fox News and MSNBC the only sources of Truth in the world?

5 articles and a book

articles by wednesday, book by thursday... not too bad.

When I get refdb installed on Steve's machine I'll be able to provide citation links.

upward revision

I used to consider 512mb an adequate minimum of RAM. 768 works well enough on my win2k3 server. That was before I'd used 1.5GB on my powerbook.

Many thanks to Josh for the hookup (pointing out the sweet deal at Outpost).


Jon Stewart rocks

on Schwartzenegger's rallying the faithful at the end of his speech with a chant of "four more years": "Wow. His will... seems to be, triumphing." Damn that's good.


GOP "Reporter": Nancy, what is the lifeblood of the community? Is it small business? Nancy: Oh yes. Small business is the backbone of the community where I am from in [swing state] Ohio.
GOP "Reporter" (to someone else): What will happen if we don't re-elect President Bush? Not an Economist: If we do not reëlect President Bush, a lot of small businesses are going to go out of business.

Yeah, the real news sucks too

Since they do have access to all kinds of Republicans, it's interesting the Fox News might actually put principle above party for once, suggests Wirzbicki at TNR.



The OED is my authoritative source on the English language; some look instead to Merriam-Webster's. There has been some discussion recently in the blogsphere about putting the Ism back in Terrorism. When did it leave? Certainly Bush doesn't deserve the influence he has on the languagewe use, and it does seem that we used to talk about Terrorism and now we hear about Terror, and the "war" thereon. But does this usage have a deeper history?


4 : violence (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands


1946 KOESTLER Thieves in Night 243 While the usual *terror acts continued, the Jewish representative bodies issued their usual protests.
1941 Reader's Digest June 58/2 It must be remembered that this government today is Hitler, Göring, Goebbels, Himmler and a few others{em}men who..ordered the *terror bombing of Rotterdam last summer and of London last winter. 1945 Time 26 Feb. 32/1 Terror bombing of German cities was deliberate military policy. 1959 R. COLLIER City that wouldn't Die ii. 27 To Sperrle the primary consideration was always that the pilot should see his target;..a Nuremberg tribunal absolved him of terror bombing.

Confused on a doctrinal point

Lt. Gov. Michael Steele of Maryland was clearly only invited to a primetime speaking slot at the GOP convention because he's black. The Republicans are doing their best to pretend that they have got a 'big tent.' (The white people probably concede to this strategy the same way the anti-war democrats have to put up with John Kerry).

Anyway, Steele thought that one of his applause lines would get a lot more applause than it did. He was talking about how W is a Man of Action. Blah blah, Democrats and Kerry just talk about things, don't get them done, etc. But his big applause line fell flat on the predominantly white, probably largely evangelical audience: You can't just have faith to get things done. Faith without good works is no faith at all.

I guess no one told him that born-again Christians think that faith ("a personal relationship with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ," as they usually put it) is enough. Do black evangelical churches actually differ from white ones on this key point of Christian doctrine?

GOP Fake News

While the DNC convention included a lot more "dance parties" (featuring Janet Reno, but unfortunately not in a blue dress), the Republican convention fills a lot of its lag time with fake news.

It would be funny - especially the "reporter" who gets really excited (she's actually a spokesperson for the convention) - if it weren't so cynical a manipulative ploy. Republicans, after all, don't see any difference between fake news and real news (e.g. Fox News). If they distinguish them, they prefer the fake news if Republicans are portrayed positively.

Is there really any difference between the canned blurbs the GOP manufactured for the convention and the canned talking points they send over to Fox News every hour?

setting goals

Yes, I know I just got a phone in March, but I know what my next one will be. It's never too early to set goals.

thinly veiled fantasies

I love when anti-gay crusaders use such graphic language and get all hot & bothered when talking about what those people do:

"You're in the showers with them, you're in the bunk room with them, you're in staterooms with them," Schrock told the Virginian-Pilot. "You just hope no harm would come by folks who are of that persuasion. It's a discipline thing."

It's even better when someone uncovers the very real experiential source for such vivid description by hypocrites.

Yeah, he knows alllll about discipline in such situations. Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day!

It seems to me that self-hating gays (and African Americans (Connerly), while we're at it) would really be ideal Republicans. They should want more Shrocks who take hard right positions to keep their skeletons (or tricks) in the closet.


exploring bibliographic data and workflow

My refdb is up and running. I hate the web interface, which is very oldschool - just an output mode of the regular client through cgi. Its functionality is also really crippled compared to the command line. I guess I'll be in the interactive client a lot, or throwing together some c# that sends shit to the client. I definitely don't have time to rewrite the client itself in c#.

Some claim to be working on prettier php frontends to this, which is promising. I'd really like to see open source stuff like this move away from php toward c#-mono.

I'm also pleased that others recognize the way things should be, and how dysfunctional the academic process is.

Finally, I'm pretty much convinced that refdb is the best solution currently available. And if I choose to move to something else later, I can always dump ris or bibtex out of it and import.

A geographer named Bruce D'Arcus is a name I keep running across, and it's neat that he is both an active scholar and deeply involved in other geeky stuff like this that matters too.


this little piggy went to market

menu for the week (back from soulard)
  1. roast chicken à la provençale
  2. spicy garlic eggplant over jasmine rice
  3. gazpacho for lunch
  4. chili with corn over roasted potatoes or basmati rice
  5. orzo or risotto with roast chicken, thyme, and summer squash

pgsql initdb os x fix

having to tune values like shmmax is just annoying, since there appears to be no reason to have them set so low to begin with.


an end to deficit spending anxiety

I also just found out that wustl is giving me my "powerbook" (subsidized) loan money tomorrow, and also that Apple has credited me the $145 tax from buying it during tax holiday! That's very nice indeed... for a while there really I was spending like the Bush administration. Well, not that much. Maybe if I'd bought a dual g5 and a 30in display in addition to the powerbook (or several), without a need for any of them or any prospect of ever being able to pay them off.

getting there..

I borrowed Game Theory for Applied Economists from Steve and will trudge through a chapter or two of that tonight, and hopefully get Morrow to-morrow. I spent some of the day configuring Jessica's powerbook. I got us both DHCP'd on the ethernet (yay!). TeX works, and various other bits that she didn't know about now work the way they should (e.g., tabs in Safari). Mono works for me. Apache serves aspx. PostgreSQL is making, then php, then finally refdb. Then tomorrow I get to do all this on Steve's machine so it can be my primary refdb server; this weekend I'll give it a shot on windows. And on Steve's dual Xeon it will all compile in like 4 seconds.


6 more gmail invites!

Anyone want a gmail account?

and one week to learn game theory.. rrrriiiiiight

"Ethan- Jenny and I are ridiculously unprepared for your Formal Comparative class. Obviously we can't plow through a semester of Game Theory in a week, but what can we do? -mike"
Find Jim Morrow's "Game Theory for Political Scientists" and read the first few chapters carefully (ie with pad and pen working through the examplesd etc.). Make sure you really understand what a Nash equilibrium is and how to do backward induction to find a subgame perfect equilibrium.

One week until classes

Classes start a week from today.
  • Mathematical Modeling (text is a calc book)
  • Formal Comparative Politics (Jenny and I are not at all ready for this)
  • Law & Society (7 big, expensive, new, hardcover books)
  • American Institutions (basic survey stuff, from Downs to Putnam)


geekness: open source reference db

A project for this week: bib database to serve me for the rest of my career. I am likely going to install refdb and postgresql on at least three different machines - ADM's, Steve's, and my powerbook and maybe my win2k3 server - because of my requirements:
  • db with separate tables for biblio entries and notes
  • import/export in xml and other biblio standards (ris-xris/Z39.50/bibTeX)
  • update-anywhere replication possible (so i can take it with me on my powerbook)
  • easily insert reference links in docbook xml, LaTeX, and html
RefDB is basically the only thing out there that does this. I absolutely refuse to pay for proprietary software that's not being actively developed and isn't based on open standards (endnote). I want a relational database. TeX/bibTeX people (ADM and Steve) like their flat files, but I think that's only because they are not webapp developers and haven't experienced the power of relational data (nor xml, for that matter, but that's another story).