Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sassy Fun Baby

Sabrina is the most delightful, giggly little girl, and I know that because when you tickle her, she bursts into the most amazing laugh, and when you stop she says "More." And then you blow a raspberry on her tummy and she laughs even longer and louder than before. Then you pick her up and hug her with a big grin on your face and the one of the warmest, happiest feelings you've ever known in your heart.

She won't put up with that for long, because that's not the game she's there to play. But she tolerates it for a while because she knows you can't help yourself, and after a few seconds it's back to work. You wipe the moisture from the corners of your eyes and get back on the job, and it starts all over again, and again, until you're exhausted and Mommy takes over for a while. It's hard to let go, but it all begins and ends with Mommy, and if you had to hand her over to anyone, it would be her. You're just grateful to be a part of it all.

Sabrina's Art, part 2

Sabrina chose the last one as her favorite of the five I had pictures of (my absolute favorites are some of her first paintings ever, and they're at the office just above where my laptop goes - I'll definitely take pics of those soon and post them), but I like this one a lot. She's so sure of what she wants to do, and she doesn't hesitate or think about it, it just comes out of her onto the paper. One day I hope to be as much of an artist as she already is.

Sabrina's Art

Take that, Monet! More to come . . .

Sabrina's Bed

This is the top bunk in Sabrina's new bed (thanks Grandmama AKA my mother!), which she climbs up and down with confidence. We've put pillows around the likely tumble-down areas, but no flying leaps yet, thank God. Below is the sleeping area, up top is for play and stuffed animal storage.

She loves to show off her bed to visitors, and they're all required to climb the ladder and get up under the canopy, which is covered with stars. It's very strong, but I'm usually worried about getting up there as it creaks a little.

We haven't yet succeeded in getting her to spend the night here on her own, and considering the degree to which she flails around in our bed, I'm a little worried she'll knock herself cold on one of the uprights, but we all have to learn such things the hard way. Mommy's quite good at bubble-wrapping sharp corners in a stylish and effective way, so I look forward to sleeping on a portion of our bed that's wider than 18 inches someday soon. Yay me! Considering I used to sleep from corner to corner of my king-sized bed and never touched the side for five years, that will be just unbelievably fantastic. The dogs are probably hoping to get back up there too, but no dice, piggies. You're still banished to your luxurious piles of pillows.

Worth Watching

Fitna, the film about Islam by Geert Wilders. Interesting but seriously graphic and difficult to watch at times. But probably good for you, so do it anyway. Link hijacked from Ace of Spades.

Nice Skirt, Mike

Hey, who knows when I'll be wearing a kilt again? I don't know if you can tell, but the tie kind of matches. Boo-ya, suckas.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Man That's Good Stuff

I'm a fan of David Mamet, who wrote the play that was made into one of my favorite movies, Glengarry Glen Ross. He may well have written the screenplay, but I'm too lazy to look that up. Mamet has apparently long been, in his words, a "brain-deal liberal," which considering his writing is bit of a surprise. He always seemed to have a conservative worldview, as liberals often do when you get down to it.

Anywho, he's written an interesting column for the Village Voice:

I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind.

As a child of the '60s, I accepted as an article of faith that government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart.

These cherished precepts had, over the years, become ingrained as increasingly impracticable prejudices. Why do I say impracticable? Because although I still held these beliefs, I no longer applied them in my life. How do I know? My wife informed me.

It's a long column, but well worth the time. Mamet, a New Yorker (I think) in the entertainment industry, will catch a rash of sh*t for writing this, as the comments will reveal if you care to read them. He's probably not going to suffer financially, being one of the rich white males liberals love to hate already, but I foresee a lot of awkward encounters at award ceremonies, movie premieres, etc. He gets a little closer to the point here:

And I began to question my hatred for "the Corporations"—the hatred of which, I found, was but the flip side of my hunger for those goods and services they provide and without which we could not live.

And I began to question my distrust of the "Bad, Bad Military" of my youth, which, I saw, was then and is now made up of those men and women who actually risk their lives to protect the rest of us from a very hostile world. Is the military always right? No. Neither is government, nor are the corporations—they are just different signposts for the particular amalgamation of our country into separate working groups, if you will. Are these groups infallible, free from the possibility of mismanagement, corruption, or crime? No, and neither are you or I. So, taking the tragic view, the question was not "Is everything perfect?" but "How could it be better, at what cost, and according to whose definition?" Put into which form, things appeared to me to be unfolding pretty well.

My major problem with liberalism is the idea that perfection is attainable, but that evil conservatives are keeping it from us. I'm oversimplifying, but conservatism seems to me to take human nature into account more fully than liberalism. I found this section particularly interesting:

What about the role of government? Well, in the abstract, coming from my time and background, I thought it was a rather good thing, but tallying up the ledger in those things which affect me and in those things I observe, I am hard-pressed to see an instance where the intervention of the government led to much beyond sorrow.

But if the government is not to intervene, how will we, mere human beings, work it all out?

I wondered and read, and it occurred to me that I knew the answer, and here it is: We just seem to. How do I know? From experience. I referred to my own—take away the director from the staged play and what do you get? Usually a diminution of strife, a shorter rehearsal period, and a better production.

The director, generally, does not cause strife, but his or her presence impels the actors to direct (and manufacture) claims designed to appeal to Authority—that is, to set aside the original goal (staging a play for the audience) and indulge in politics, the purpose of which may be to gain status and influence outside the ostensible goal of the endeavor.

I've excerpted more than is probably helpful, or even legal for all I know, but it's all well worth reading. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

One Sensible Voice in a Hurricane of Nonsense

Tim Blair, ever the Global Warming skeptic (good for him - we all should be, considering what people like Al Gore stand to gain from widespread acceptance of his nonsense), has found a story that, along with others and a common-sense view of the current state of climate science, helps non-brainwashed people make sense of the issue:

Miklós Zágoni isn't just a physicist and environmental researcher. He is also a global warming activist and Hungary's most outspoken supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Or was.

That was until he learned the details of a new theory of the greenhouse effect, one that not only gave far more accurate climate predictions here on Earth, but Mars too. The theory was developed by another Hungarian scientist, Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist with 30 years of experience and a former researcher with NASA's Langley Research Center.

After studying it, Zágoni stopped calling global warming a crisis, and has instead focused on presenting the new theory to other climatologists.