30 July 2007

Winning the War

The New York Times has an editorial by Michael E. O’Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack on the state of the Iraq War. The opening paragraph:

VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.
Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

As we enter a period where political heavyweights (and moral lightweights) view opinion polls for their direction on the War, it is important to listen to voices like these. The commander in Iraq, General Petraeus, has asked for time to allow his methods to bear fruit. Beneath the din of partisan posturing lies the truth about the war (or maybe it lies above it). Let the troops fight. Let the Iraqis know that we support them. We can win. Read the whole piece.

28 July 2007

SPOTD #128

The big news is the arrival of Evan Brian Joseph Palmer. He was adopted by Justin and Kira Palmer last Sunday, after being born in Gainesville on the 15th of July. He weighed 7lbs 2oz and was 21 inches in length. The little family is doing great, happy to be together.

Today's phrase:
From José Martí, patron saint of the SPOTD

Los niños son la esperanza del mundo.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Lows neen-yoes sown lah ace-pay-rahn-sah dale moon-doe.

The children are the hope of the world.

Watch this video. It is an incredible display of technological innovation.

This is a review of a book that looks pretty cool. It is about the weird creatures that live deep in the sea.

Another video from the set of the new Indiana Jones movie. Not much there, but still fun to see. This movie should have a huge open.

I finished the seventh Harry Potter book the other day. I thought it was fantastic and a fitting end to the series. Stephen King wrote about it here. I posted some funny Simpsons videos on the series here.

I've mentioned personal submarines in a previous SPOTD. This is an article that talks about their implications for security, especially the danger posed by terrorism and the drug trade. I'd still like to own one.

John Edwards is an insincere and pompous blowhard. This article from The Onion (a satirical website) is an excellent send-up of Edwards-style campaign promises.

Link of the Day
This is a weird one. I remember seeing this when I was a kid, although I don't remember this portion. This is today's Awesome Video Saturday entry. It's about Mark Twain and some of his characters and a freaky devil.

27 July 2007

The Big 2

Joseph turned 2 years old today. It is hard to believe that so much time has passed since he was born. His start was a tricky one, but as you can see he is doing great

Here he is with his namesake and Grandpa.

Looking handsome on his birthday.

The whole family on the beach.

We had a nice birthday party last Saturday with my parents and Ross, Lillie, & Sophia who were visiting us from California. They have some pictures of their visit on Lillie's blog.

24 July 2007

Awesomiosa Videoarmus X!

I didn't have the chance to post AweVidSat on Saturday, so here it is one Tuesday, with some videos in honor of the release of the 7th and final Harry Potter book. I just finished the book and thought it was outstanding.

These are all Simpsons clips, and the first is a little long and will be gross for some:

Author J.K. Rowling makes an appearance.

A pretty funny bit on some that see Harry Potter as a sinister influence.

17 July 2007

Beards & Shoes

I'm back in Gainesville for the week. There are a few things I want to blog about but may not have much time. Thus, I blog about two fun but trivial things.

While at the beach I grew a beard. I still have it right now.

I bought these Nike Shox through Nike ID.

Nothing like running with the Lowdogg.

14 July 2007

Awesome Video Saturday IX: Alternative Music

This week's installment showcases some of the excellent, more unique musical styles in the world. First is Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, interpreted on the Theremin.

This is an exceptional video, showcasing the talents of World Air Guitar Champion C-Diddy.

13 July 2007


Michael Barone has an interesting post about the "Millenial" generation, a generation that started in 1982 (my brother's birthyear). He refers to some prescient writing on the subject. It's worth a look.

11 July 2007

Reasons I'm Glad to be American

China has executed a former official whose responsibility was to approve medicines. He was convicted of accepting bribes in exchange for approving certain drugs. What he did was clearly wrong and may have resulted in someone's death, but still- execution?

I'm a Traitor

At least according to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr:

"Get rid of all these rotten politicians that we have in Washington, who are nothing more than corporate toadies," said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the environmentalist author, president of Waterkeeper Alliance and Robert F. Kennedy's son, who grew hoarse from shouting. "This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors."

I'm not a politician, nor am I a corporate toadie, but I dispute the beliefs and methods of Global Warming alarmists. If that makes me a traitor, so be it.

09 July 2007

Live Earth DOA?

According to the UK Daily Mail, Live Earth has been "branded a foul-mouthed flop."

Reuters reports "Earth underwhelmed by environment pop extravaganza."

Blogger Murdoc looks at the real environmental impact of Live Earth, and it ain't pretty.

Follow the links for more. Apparently the "crisis" will continue.

07 July 2007

Awesome Video Saturday VIII: World Travels

This first video is something a guy made as he traveled around the world. It's one of the best videos I've seen (via IRF).

You can check out his outtakes here.

Gotta love those Germans and Swedes! Next, mein friends in Deutschland.

Unt now da Svedes

06 July 2007


I thought I'd post some pics from our vacation There's nothing like a sunset on the Gulf of Mexico.

Here is a photo of the family on a balmy 4th of July.

I don't remember having much interest in sand castles as a child, but I sure enjoy building them now. This is one I worked on the other day. I went for one with a gatehouse like Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine.

Millie is getting bigger and stronger all the time. She's a little beauty.

Here is Joseph with his uncle Chris, having a great time.

An image of the 4th of July fireworks from the view of our building.

All in all, not a bad place to be.

05 July 2007

Transformers- Aww Yeah!

Lacy and I went to see Transformers today. It was fan-tas-tic. This was as much about the experience and the nostalgia as the film. It was loud (no problem) and corny at points (par for a Michael Bay film), but just the right kind of summer blockbuster. In the end I had very little to complain about and really look forward to the sequel (which seems very likely). I really can't fully explain just how much fun this movie was. Even Lacy liked it, and she is notoriously difficult to please.

The following video is an excerpt from the 1986 Transformers animated film. There are some lines that are replayed almost exactly in this new film. Enjoy:

04 July 2007

Happy 4th of July!

This is a great Independence Day. I am blogging from Marco Island, FL with my family. I wanted to point out an excellent article about the Founding Fathers.

It is written by Joyce Lee Mason, a professor of legal history at George Mason University School of Law. Some excerpts:

It's easy now, in a nation awash with complaints about what our Founders did not do, what imperfect humans they seem to 21st century eyes, to overlook how startlingly bold their views and actions were in their own day and are, in fact, even today. Who else in 1776 declared, let alone thought it a self-evident truth, that all men were created equal, entitled to inalienable rights, or to any rights at all? How few declare these views today or, glibly declaring them, really intend to treat their countrymen or others as equal, entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
Certainly not America's 20th century enemies, the Nazis and communists; certainly not today's Islamic radicals, who consider infidels unworthy to live and the faithful bound by an ancient and brutal code of law. We are fortunate that the Founders of our nation were enlightened, generous, jealous of their rights and those of their countrymen, and prepared to risk everything to create a free republic.

More tragically, some seem to enjoy vilifying America, everything it has been and stands for, seeking and finding fatal shortcomings. Adams and Jefferson were not blind to those shortcomings. "We think ourselves possessed or at least we boast that we are so of Liberty of conscience on all subjects and of the right of free inquiry and private judgment, in all cases and yet," Adams admitted, "how far are we from these exalted privileges in fact." Recent moments of real unity after 9/11, when members of Congress stood together on the steps of the Capitol and sang "God Bless America," have been fleeting.

I hope that we remember the sacrifices of those that preceded us, in order to honor them appropriately.

03 July 2007

SPOTD #127

Happy Independence Day! We've got some new videos of the kids below.

Today's phrase:
From Mark Twain:

Un hombre con una nueva idea es un loco hasta que la idea triunfa.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Oon ohm-bray cone oo-nah nway-vah ee-day-ah ess oon low-coe ahs-tah kay lah ee-day-ah tree-un-fa.

A man with a new idea is a crank until he succeeds.

For a long time the United States was considered a crank in the international community. Sometimes that is the case today. I don't think that's a bad thing.

Blog Recap
Some highlights since SPOTD #126:
-Al Gore is a windbag.
-Michael Moore has a new propraganda film. Surprise, surprise! He isn't exactly truthful.
-Indiana Jones IV is in production.
-Journalists tend to favor Democratic candidates by a wide margin.
More on the blog.

It seems like this movie is on every time I am in Marco Island, but I just watched Dragon, the Bruce Lee biopic. I am no Bruce Lee expert, but I love this movie. Just thought I'd mention that.

Which is next?
Entertainment Weekly pitches some ideas for the next big '80's toy revival a la Transformers.

An interview with Ratatouille director Brad Bird. I watched a 9 minute video on the Disney website and found it very enjoyable. It's gotten good reviews and good box office.

Lacy and I watched The Fountain. It is visually stunning and well-executed, if difficult to understand. Eric Snider's review is a good one. This Wired article talks about some of the technology involved in making the film. That aspect of the film made it worth watching to me.

An interesting celebrity website, actually done by the celebrity, Jeff Bridges.

Storing Food
We like to cook, and this is a very helpful listing of how long food stays fresh.

Link of the Day
Have you ever watched the Discovery Channel show The Deadliest Catch? If not you should. It is a fascinating and enthralling show, where the men involved work in extraordinarily difficult conditions for a prized catch. This is an interview with one of the ships' skippers.

01 July 2007

Speaking Truth to Hot Air

Among Global Warming proponents there is a pushy sort of belief that if you question the theory you are in the pocket of big oil or some kind of knuckle-dragging science-doubter. In an editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times, James M. Taylor presents many reasons why Gore and his ilk should take some of their own medicine:

We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public's ability to discern the truth.

There are numerous studies that put a dent in Gore's idea of warming. Taylor enumerates them and I will summarize:

  • The glaciers in the Himalayas, Antarctica, and Greenland are actually experiencing net gains in size.
  • There are other highly probably explanations for the shrinking of glaciers in places like Mt. Fuji.
  • Severe weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes are either no more common than in the past, or there is no established scientific pattern linking them to "Global Warming."

The idea that we can reverse global climate trends seems ridiculous. It presumes that we know far more than we actually do about how climate operates. I'm not holding my breath for Gore to acknowledge that some of the psuedo-science of his film be reconsidered. We have to do it for him.