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December 31, 2002


A beautiful, witty, intelligent, adorable wife. A son who delights me. Parents, a brother, and an extended family -- laws and in-laws -- who make me stronger. Friends who challenge me, confide in me, advise me, tease me, and keep me moving forward -- including two in particular who have changed my life as only family can.

I don't often talk about my faith, because I have so many questions about it and am shy of offending my friends of different (or no) faiths. But I am so deeply grateful to God for allowing me -- somehow -- to muddle through one of the more awkward adolescences and young adulthoods ever, to be surrounded by these wonderful people.

My prayer for 2003 is that they all be protected, nurtured and strengthened, and that the New Year brings them opportunity, love and peace.

December 29, 2002

It's either his ears or his teeth.

Whichever it is, there's a certain baby who's gotten very fussy and clingy at home all of a sudden. And although we'd made progress, I've now reverted to merely "Not The Mommy."

Way to make me feel useful, kid...

December 25, 2002

An Uncanny Resemblance

We had my whole family over to the house this Christmas (having spent time with Shannon's family earlier this week). The genetic connection between my brother and son was confirmed. A picture is worth a thousand words (Quicktime required):

December 22, 2002

Last mention, I swear

So the full story, according to Trent, is that he was set up: "When you're from Mississippi and you're a conservative and you're a Christian, there are a lot of people that don't like that. I fell into their trap and so I have only myself to blame."

Pure self-delusional crap, a sort of revisionist defensiveness all too common in the South. Considering that the people who pushed Lott off the plank were in the final analysis from his own party, who either genuinely repudiated his nostalgia for segregation or saw an opportunity to cut some dead-weight-with-seniority, you have to wonder just how blind he is.

That last defense of the Good Ol' Boy -- "I'm being persecuted because I'm a Christian" -- is frequently, like patriotism, the last refuge of the scoundrel, to paraphrase Ben Franklin.

Update: Duh. Or, as the folks at National Review's The Corner speculate, Lott's statement could reveal something even more base:

Surely Lott's little tirade has nothing to do with the fact that some Jewish conservative pundits -- Goldberg, Kristol, Brooks, Krauthammer, et alia -- were among those most eloquently urging his departure from the Majority Leader's office. I honestly don't think he means that, but then again, I have no idea what the hell he means.

December 17, 2002

Prediction: It Won't Be Long Now


Lott backers have warned that if he is dumped as leader, he may resign from the Senate, leaving it up to Mississippi's Democratic governor, Ronnie Musgrove, to name a successor until a new senator is elected next year. Musgrove would probably appoint a Democrat, taking away the Republicans' Senate majority.

But White House officials have told Republicans that Bush is willing to accept the consequences if Lott quits and allows Musgrove to replace him, GOP officials said.

From my cold, dead hands!

Quoth the New York Times:

The Defense Department, arguing that an increasingly popular form of wireless Internet access could interfere with military radar, is seeking new limits on the technology, which is seen as a rare bright spot for the communications industry.


...American executives say that the military's demands may also curtail the capacity of wireless Internet services and could even force a complicated redesign of millions of computer communications systems already in place or nearly ready for shipment.

Darn it, I just bought an iBook and Airport Base Station. You can't take that away from meeeee!

December 16, 2002

This is not an endorsement

My friend Mark Tebault, philosopher king, assessing Star Trek Nemesis:

"My tears sat in their little ducts, refusing to be jerked."

He's not alone.


A Man Out of Time is a fascinating look at the Old South, Trent Lott, and the challenge the "party of Lincoln" has in overcoming its civil rights-era history. Well worth reading.

Alas, Al

He ran a lame campaign in 2000. But if he had the guts to impersonate Trent Lott on SNL, he had to have something going for him. Now I'm actually sorry he won't be running in 2004.

December 13, 2002

Vaccinations, the Military, and the President

Bush's announcement of his administration's smallpox policy was, at first glance, handled exactly right.

The policy itself is a tough call. From the AP article:

Based on studies from the 1960s, experts estimate that 15 out of every 1 million people vaccinated for the first time will face life-threatening complications, and one or two will die. Reactions are less common for those being revaccinated.

Using these data, vaccinating the nation could lead to nearly 3,000 life-threatening complications and at least 170 deaths.

In short, military in high-risk areas are ordered to take the vaccine, but the administration is not recommending mass inoculations. So, how to communicate the risks versus benefits, and how to shore up support within a military whose rank-and-file troops have been suspicious of or refused anthrax vaccinations in the past?

By taking the vaccine himself, but not recommending it for his family and staff:

"As commander in chief, I do not believe I can ask others to accept this risk unless I am willing do to the same," Bush said. "Therefore, I will receive the vaccine along with our military."


"Given the current level of threat and the inherent health risks of the vaccine, we have decided not to initiate a broader vaccination program for all Americans at this time," Bush said. "Neither my family nor my staff will be receiving the vaccine because our health and national security experts do not believe a vaccination is necessary for the general public."

I don't care for W's politics. But I have to admit, his team generally knows how to communicate.

Because sometimes you need them...

look! cute little kittens! blogjam random kitten generator

December 11, 2002

Good blog, despite the politics

National Review is a conservative magazine. I'm not (conservative, or a magazine), so I can't say I'm a fan. (Though I give them credit for giving Ann Coulter the boot.) But I really like what they've done withThe Corner on National Review Online, a collaborative blog that includes news updates, back-and-forth debates between NRO contributors, and an odd amount of discussion of comic books.

(What is it with conservatives and comic books these days, anyway? Even John Hood at the John Locke Foundation betrays a way-too-in depth knowledge of comic books. (Though he's wrong about the Golden Age Green Lantern, who was never involved with interplanetary politics -- that was the Silver Age character.) He even mentions Kurt Busiek's Astro City.)

Paging Dr. Freud

Look closely at the promo art for Marvel's upcoming Rawhide Kid western miniseries. Can you spot the subtext here? No fair if you've already read the coverage in the New York Post or Newsarama.

December 10, 2002

A Lott to Answer For

My friend Lex Alexander mirrors my thoughts exactly about Trent Lott's apparent nostalgia for the segregationist Old South. (Check the December 9 and 10 entries.)

While these days I'd much prefer a weakened, slow-moving-target of a Republican leadership, the right thing for Senate Republicans to do would be to usher him quietly out of the Majority Leadership. No bets on whether that will happen.

And now I'm back!

Immediately following the restoration of the furnace ...

... less than 18 hours later ...

... the Ice Storm of the Century took out our power, along with nine tenths of Durham.

We slept in our own bed once in the last 13 days. But our long national nightmare is over.


(knock wood)

December 4, 2002

Sorry I've been away

Sick baby.

Thanksgiving holiday.

Furnace spewing carbon monoxide.

Refugee status. (Thank God for our neighbors John and Lorie.)

It's been a trying few weeks!