Monday, January 7, 2013

A few (more) brief thoughts on Tolstoy

I finally read War and Peace back in 2010 (and previously posted brief thoughts in this space), and am presently reading Anna Karenina. Both works feature Russian aristocrats beset by debts and the need to raise money to support their accustomed lifestyles (and if I remember my Dostoevsky, there was something of the same sort in The Brothers Karamazov). As Anna Karenina opens, Stepan Arkadyevitch Oblonsky is contemplating the sale of a forest on his wife's property in order to pay his debts.

In other words, he seeks to mortgage tomorrow, by disposing of a productive asset, for the comfort and amusement of today. Has a...familiar ring, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another holiday, another battle

General E____ claimed victory this afternoon, as he turned General G____'s right flank, occupied a key hill in the left center of the field, and blunted General G____'s attempt to turn his right. The hill in the left center was the real key to the action, and General E____'s deft use of his light infantry (the Rafiki Rangers) helped him hold his position while General G____'s aggressively handled cavalry wore itself out.

Figures were 1:72/20mm Crimean-era (mostly), rules based on Joe Morschauser's How to Play War Games in Miniature. As the young gentlemen return to the whirl of skating lessons and online schooling on the morrow, a miniatures game seemed a good way to close the holiday season. Time permitting, we'll do some painting this weekend on their next regiments (and Dad's army of 19th-century Scandalusia).

General E____ insists the next clash of the armies to be recreated will be the Battle of Schrute Farm. Perhaps I ought to set about getting the hedgerows and farmhouse done.

Friday, December 28, 2012

...and what may come next

"The village had its one poor street, with its poor brewery, poor tannery, poor tavern, poor stable-yard for relays of post-horses, poor fountain, all usual poor appointments. It had its poor people too. All its people were very poor, and many of them were sitting at their doors, shredding spare onions and the like for supper, while many were at the fountain, washing leaves, and grasses, and any such small yieldings of the earth that could be eaten. Expressive sips of what made them poor, were not wanting: the tax for the state, the tax for the church, the tax for the lord, tax local and tax general, were to be paid here and to be paid there, according to solemn inscription in the little village, until the wonder was, that there was any village left unswallowed."

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, p. 87 (tip o'the tricorne: gutenberg.org)

Wait.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It even sounds like a man's team

This brief post is an excuse to post the helmet I designed for the Detroit Dukes, my team in the Playmaker Football online league known as the United Football League. The less said about my performance as a coach the better, though I have managed to put together a pretty talented roster, particularly on defense (star players: DEs John Strickland and Barry Burton, LB DaVondrious Green, and CB Marzelle House) and on the offensive line.

I picture our uniforms being like the Detroit Lions of the 1960s and 1970s, no black trim, just Honolulu blue and silver. The Duke himself there I adapted from the old Duke Beer (Duquesne Brewing Co.) logo.

Done for the heck of it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Inkblot!

Saw a reference to the passing of Arlen Specter (the reference is not in the linked article; I saw it elsewhere) that mentioned Specter helped "bork" Robert Bork.

Maybe, but I think Judge Inkblot borked himself, for anyone who was paying attention. The Ninth isn't that hard to understand, unless one is not quite bright or is planning mischief against the liberties of the individual. In either case, one ought to be disqualified from the Court (oh, if only).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Had a happy Independence Day...

...not to mention a pretty thoroughly 21st Century one. :)

A good friend and colleague held a luncheon at a vegetarian Indian (southern Indian, specifically) café. The meal was a buffet, and my lovely bride and I tried a little of durn near everything on offer. I liked it all, and even the kids didn't do badly (I think they liked the masala dosa best).

After lunch, one of my other colleagues took us to the Indian market next door to the restaurant, where I got a seven-ounce bag of coriander for $1.99 (I like McCormick, but maaaan that's a good price), plus a couple of different curry mixes to try some things with for another $4.

After that, we went home, changed into shorts, and went to a traditional cookout at another friend's house. Good bratwurst.


Thought experiment

Can the state rightly prohibit the adult owner of a dairy cow from milking the cow and consuming the raw milk?

Can the state rightly prohibit the adult owner of a dairy cow from consuming the raw milk produced by the cow, even when one hires another to care for and milk the cow?

Discuss.

(Edit to add: I have no interest in consuming raw milk myself -- pasteurized is just fine by me.)