Sunday, February 17, 2008


I remember one night when we still had the dining room table set up. This was, of course, before the dining room became the study and the study became the bedroom. We were playing a game of Gin. I like this game; it's got just enough capacity for aggravation to make it really interesting.

We were drinking pre-mixed Cosmopolitans with SKYY vodka. They were OK, I guess. Jets to Brazil was probably playing in the background, and I know there was some form of incense at work in the air.

Fast forward two years: I'm waking up at 4:40 a.m. and hopping in the shower. After having some toast, a banana, my vitamins, and a glass of tomato juice, I sit down where that dining room table used to be. I spend about half an hour browsing the morning's news, then slip on a shirt and tie and head out the door to go to the office. It's cold outside, and my footfalls are a steady clip-clap on the cement leading up to my building.

As I reach the third floor, I pause outside of Room 320. That's where it all started; where we trace it back.

And nowadays, I think of my times in that building, and the good (and bad) work that I did there. I think of warm nights back on the balcony at the apartment, and of the various move-ins and move-outs that accompanied my time there.

And I smile.

Nunc ubi Regulus aut ubi Romulus aut ubi Remus? Stat Roma pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.

Regulations Are Important


That's enough to make two hamburgers for every living person in the United States. This is the beef that goes into school lunches - lunches that are eaten by little kids. Am I a vegetarian? Yes. Am I a militant vegetarian who pushes my beliefs on others? Not usually, but it's stories like this that make me want to outlaw cheap meat. Maybe if we were made to pay what meat really costs, in terms of energy, our environment, and our health system, we wouldn't be so cavalier about eating it all the time.

This is the largest beef recall in U.S. history.

You can't mistreat broccoli.

How Close We've Come

I stumbled (again) upon the story of Stanislov Petrov, the Russian officer who didn't press the Big Red Button back in 1983.

Full story here.

Little things like this usually make us wipe our forehead and shout "Whew! That was close!" The funny thing is, both the Russian and American arsenals are still on hair-trigger alert. My guess is (and I don't know about our Russian friends) that we're using Microsoft Windows to power our systems; I expect full nuclear catastrophe at any time. This winter might be colder than most, but nuclear winter is way, way cold.