November 22, 2004
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!
November 21, 2004
PS: I finally saw Smallville for the first time tonight. Except for the names, it has nothing to do with the Superman comics whatsoever. I already knew that, but it helps to confirm it. The Chloe character is totally original. I didn't "get" the show. Do all the episodes follow this formula?
- Kryptonite causes something to happen
- Clark resolves it
If you're a Smallville fan too, you'll know just how hilarious that summary is. Pretty much yes, but that's part of its charm.
I took an Excel Spreadsheets class this weekend. The class was fairly easy and straightforward, and I learned a lot of tricks with Excel that I didn't know before the weekend. However, the final exam was nothing like the class. I just spent the past three hours being angrier and more frustrated than I've been in a long time.
I'm still far too grumpy to even bother going into details about everything that went wrong on the final. The overarching problem was that the class was full of easy stuff like 1) highlight this data, 2) see the pretty graph, 3) save. In contrast, for the final, the teacher gave us a spreadsheet with some data and told us to make a business presentation out of it. I had learned Excel over the weekend, but I sure hadn't learned economics or business management. I couldn't read the data at all; I didn't understand the headers and I spent a lot of time looking up what all the business terms meant so I could even understand what the figures meant. All of my formulas were right, but somehow I had invested 159% of my money, my graphs kept overwriting the other graphs, and I couldn't get the damn thing to center on the page to save my life. Even the teacher couldn't figure out what was wrong with my spreadsheets.
I left the class in a very foul mood. So much for personal growth and enrichment; I took a class that I didn't even need, and all I got was a massive headache.
November 20, 2004
Some things that we talked about last night that I wanted to give her links to:
Fallujah Marine in Trouble for Pulling a Kerry
You're Not in 'Jesusland' Anymore
Ethics in America (the one you want to watch is Under Orders, Under Fire I & II)
And here's something else we kinda hit on last night:
Americans donÂ’t hate Europeans. We donÂ’t even hate French people. Well, most of us donÂ’t. In fact, by and large, we love Europeans. We find them fascinating and mysterious. We buy European wines and foods and brag about how many American dollars we had to spend on it. We think that Europeans are somehow more sophisticated than we are, and we seek to emulate their sophistication, at least in gesture if not in spirit. But, when you get right down to it, many Europeans simply arenÂ’t individualist enough for us, and so we kind of lose them at some point, usually when we start talking about how much we love our country and our freedoms. It isnÂ’t that we donÂ’t understand that Europeans love their country, too, or that we donÂ’t appreciate European culture. ItÂ’s just that we are American and that means more to us than having a cool accent.
November 19, 2004
Dad has an expression that drives some people nuts: "If you were sorry, you wouldn't have done it." Several people think that expression is absurd, but I know what my dad means by it, and I hate to hear him say it. Sometimes we know we're doing things that will hurt people or get us in trouble, but we do them anyway. And then we expect a "sorry" to fix everything. Dad doesn't buy it; you shouldn't have done it in the first place. I would often break my curfew in high school and then come in and say I was sorry. Of course I wasn't sorry and I had stayed late on purpose, so sorry doesn't cut it. Sometimes I would egg my parents on and then say 'sorry' in a huffy voice. That doesn't cut it either. The funny thing is that my husband has sort of picked that expression up and uses it when we argue. Whenever I sheepishly apologize, he echos Dad...and usually gets a punch in the arm.
I think about Dad's expression a lot. Obviously there are times when a sorry is sincere, but sometimes we shouldn't be allowed to get away with hurting people on purpose and then apologizing. If we were sorry, we wouldn't have done it.
Oh yeah, I'm also struck by how much Bush is not like Hitler.
November 18, 2004
Between the fields where the flag is planted there are 9+ miles of flower fields that go all the way to the ocean. The flowers are grown by seed companies. It's a beautiful place close to Vandenberg AFB. Checkout the dimensions of the flag.
The 2002 Floral Flag is 740 feet long and 390 feet wide and maintains the proper Flag dimensions as described in Executive Order #10834. This Flag is 6.65 acres and is the first Floral Flag to be planted with 5 pointed Stars comprised of White Larkspur. Each Star is 24 feet in diameter; Each Stripe is 30 feet wide. This Flag is estimated to contain more than 400,000 Larkspur plants with 4-5 flower stems each for a total of more than 2 million flowers. You can drive by this flag on V Street south of Ocean Ave. in Lompoc, CA.
And not a single weed!
But let's face reality, even if I resurfaced, I still wouldn't have anything good to say.
There's what's right and what's right, and never the twain shall meet.
When my husband was home, he saw that I had bought A Few Good Men, which he has never seen. I told him of my thoughts when I had watched it again, and he said that it didn't sound like something he'd like to watch. He made a comment (not a direct quote -- I can't remember exactly how he phrased it) about it being the type of movie that makes people shudder at what must be done to protect America. Is Jack Nicholson the bad guy, or has he done what was necessary to keep America safe? I don't have the answers to those questions. We also talked about the Ethics in America program and the SSG Alban case. The husband didn't like to face these issues at all, probably because every servicemember fears being in those shoes.
November 17, 2004
And a very touching memorial and letter from CPT Sims' father on TexasBug.
It's days like this when we're reminded that freedom isn't free. -- Chaplain Jacob
I just got back from the memorial service for CSM Faulkenburg, CPT Sims, 1LT Iwan, and SSG Matteson. 2-2 INF lost four great leaders in one week; for those of you unfamiliar with the military, these are four top-of-the-hierarchy men, all four of them leaders who touched many lives. What struck me about this memorial service was the sorrow that the soldiers expressed. I saw four grown men cry as they spoke about the bond they shared with these soldiers. I realized the sorrow that soldiers feel when one of their brothers falls, the bond that simply doesn't develop between colleagues in other professions. I was moved by the pain that these men felt from losing men they'd served with, bunked with, and fought with. It was extremely touching, and I won't soon forget those tears.
I also realized I would follow COL Pittard to the ends of the earth.
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