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December 26, 2004

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

So. The bad news is that it's taken longer than I'd like to resume regular blogging. The good news (for me, anyway) is that I've got a new Mac G5, and I'm putting my old laptop on AirPort so I can blog like a slob, draped over whatever piece of furniture looks comfortable. (Or in the bathroom, as most bloggers do!) Of course, all this upgrading involves downtime. Meanwhile, I'm almost up and running on Movable Type, though it's taken me longer to convert to Movable Type than it took Gutenberg.

In any case, I can't let Sunday go by without a proverb. So here's this week's:

Az me muz, ken men.

When one must, one can.

Posted by EtherPundit at 09:32 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

December 19, 2004

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

As I mentioned, posting's going to be light until I get onto Movable Type and park myself at www.etherhouse.com. (The address works now -- update your bookmarks! -- but it forwards to TypePad.) (Update, 1/7/04: the address is up and running and it refers to the correct URL.)

So I'll post an appropriate one this week:

Der vos shveigt maint oich epes.

He who is silent means something just the same.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:59 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

December 12, 2004

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

This one goes out by special request to my bud Karol at Alarming News.

Besser tsu shtarben shtai'endik aider tsu leben oif di k'ni.

Better to die upright than to live on your knees.

This one's got everything: a noble, stirring sentiment, and a fun English cognate in "k'ni" (knee).

Posted by EtherPundit at 01:17 PM | Comments (2)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

December 11, 2004

EtherHouse undergoing renovations

It's a shame to post this sporadically when you're trying to get a blog off the ground. But I'm still trying to drag EtherHouse, bit by binary bit, from TypePad to Movable Type. Had to switch hosts, ending up where I probably should have started, at Hosting Matters. Now we'll see if we can whip the thing into shape and go live with my real URL: EtherHouse.com.

I must admit that I've also been enjoying a little decompression from the news and blogs in general for the last week or so. It's the first time since Sept. 2001 that I've actually felt able to relax my vigilance. Don't ask me what good it ever did anyway, staring with bloodshot eyes at talking heads on the TV while tense music blared the latest alert, or reading political blogs until my wrist was numb from mousing. Apparently some part of my lizard brain thought it was very important that I follow all the polls, as if victory depended solely on my unwavering attention.

In a way, Nov 3 was as big a turning point in my life as Sept 11 was. It silenced so much unbearable din. Bush's victory, apart from anything else it achieved, had a major effect on my personal life; it muted a lot of the constant rage and hostility that had been emanating from so many of my friends and colleagues for so long. Bear in mind that I'm a deeply closeted Bush supporter, so the rage and hostility weren't directed at me personally. They just permeated the atmosphere like new elements. Hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, rage, and hostility.

Shortly before the election, the EtherHub and I very cautiously bought a bottle of champagne. There was quite a lot of voodoo around the whole purchase. "Well, there's every chance we won't use this." "Oh, that's for sure. We could always use it on New Year's." "That's really what it's for, now that I think of it. New Year's. Or some wedding in the future. If it happens to get used on Election Night, well, that's a nice bonus..." We were so careful not to jinx anything.

We spent election night in a hotel room in Philly. The champagne was cooling in an ice bucket. When Fox called Ohio for Bush, neither of us reached for the champagne. "It's just one network," I said calmly.

When NBC called Ohio, we popped the cork and filled the flutes I'd bought just for the occasion. I had tested all the glasses in the store until I found the ones that made the most pleasing "ding!" when clinked together. And we ding!ed ourselves silly in the early morning hours of Nov. 3. Again and again. Every time we heard something we liked: whooping, laughter, ding!, and a sip of champagne. Daschle got several goodbye ding!s too. There was so much good news we could have ding!ed our way through two bottles.

And now it turns out we could've bought a case. There's been so much good news lately that I hardly know what to make of it. It's taken a while to learn how to push aside the "so when's the brutal payback coming?" anxieties, but I figured out how to deal with it.

I feel like a new woman. And for this one brief shining moment, I'm really enjoying not having a passionate opinion on 50 things a day. So bear with me; I'm sure this phase won't last, and I'll be refreshed and extra-feisty when I'm ready to come out swingin'.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:44 AM | Comments (1)   Category: Personal stories

December 08, 2004

Weird Kinky Sex

Well, the good news is I found out by looking through my referrals that my site is currently 26th of approximately 257,000 that appear when you Google for weird kinky sex. (How did that happen? It's like... it's like Google is reading my mind! I knew it! -- I never should have taken off my tinfoil beanie. Damn thing just got too sweaty...)

The bad news is that Michael Moore's site is 24th on the list. Could some anti-porn activists be hacking Google, inserting dreadful buzzkills to deter porn-seekers? 'Cause that's gotta feel like a bucket of ice water in your lap when you're searching for weird kinky sex.

Unless you're a lot kinkier than I care to imagine.

Posted by EtherPundit at 10:11 PM | Comments (3)   Category: Michael Moore , Sex , Technology/Computers

Flyboy Confidential

I'm not a pilot and never aspired to be one. Still, I'm fascinated by the message boards of PPRuNe, the Professional Pilots Rumour Network. It's a voyeuristic thrill to eavesdrop on what these macho dudes talk about when the self-loading freight (as they call passengers) aren't around. PPRuNe is the first place I check when anything avaition-related is in the news; often the posters have an inside line, or more knowledgeable theories than you'd read anywhere else. (And they frequently ream the MSM for inaccuracy in aviation reporting.)

Poking around, you'll find discussion topics from wind shear to queries about which Singapore bars have the most pilot groupies. There are some intriguing political threads too. A couple years ago, for example, there was a drawn-out row on the board over whether pilots on commercial flights should be armed. The American pilots, most of whom are ex-military, were generally in favor of arming pilots. The British and European pilots tended to be violently against it, though it seemed to me their stance was based more on a visceral revulsion to handguns than on practical considerations. Of course, this topic had been discussed in the MSM, but who cares what reporters and pundits think? It's much more interesting to hear from the pilots themselves.

Posted by EtherPundit at 05:37 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Website Reviews

December 06, 2004

Fundie Fun: Create your own church sign!

I know posting's been light; I'm currently walking the Trail of Tears that is a TypePad-->Movable Type migration.

But here's something to make it up to you.

A church sign generator. You can create a church sign, and even order it as a magnet. I trust you all not to write anything blasphemous. I'm sure you wouldn't even be tempted. You seem like a trustworthy lot.


Posted by EtherPundit at 09:51 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Website Reviews

December 05, 2004

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Az meshiach vet kumen, vellen alleh krankeh oisgehailt verren;
nor a nar vet bleiben a nar.

When the Messiah comes, all the sick will be healed;
only a fool will stay a fool.

I guess there's one thing even God can't do.

Posted by EtherPundit at 05:35 PM | Comments (6)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

December 03, 2004

Is death smart? I say yes.

Uncommon Knowledge about Death

Is it used by the police?  I say Probably.
Does it have a hole in it?  I say Probably.
Is it a predator?  I say Probably.
Is it used for entertainment?  I say Probably.
Does it have a backbone?  I say Probably.
Does it have a face?  I say Probably.
Does it use numbers?  I say Probably.
Does it dig holes?  I say Probably.
Is it found in salad bars?  I say Probably.
Is it smart?  I say Yes.
Is it originally from Africa?  I say Probably.
Does it have arms?  I say Probably.
Can it speak?  I say Probably.
Is it ferocious?  I say Probably.
Is it delivered?  I say Probably.
Does it cut?  I say Yes.

Words of wisdom from 20Q,net, a site that allows you to play 20 Questions with a robot. The interesting thing is: The robot learns from each game. It's an ongoing artificial intelligence experiment. I've played the game many times and tried to catch the robot learning, but the questions seem to rotate as part of the game, so it's hard to detect a change.

The robot is very talented at guessing objects, but has trouble with abstract concepts. The noun I was trying to get the robot to guess above was "suicide." It did manage to guess that my concept had something to do with death, so gold star for robot boy. After I admitted "defeat," it bragged about some of its other knowledge about death, spewing out the list shown above.

Sigh. Robots apparently have little need to understand death. (Although I will admit that death is used by the police, is used for entertainment by some, alas, and is found in salad bars. Especially in certain Korean delis around the midtown Manhattan area where they leave the lunch food in the hot/cold trays until dinnertime, by which time the whole buffet has become a deadly hot 'n' cold Petri dish of romping pathogens.)

Try a game yourself here.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:26 AM | Comments (1)   Category: Language , Technology/Computers

December 02, 2004

I, the prudent EtherPundit: Anagrams, Part II

"I, the prudent" is an anagram for EtherPundit. I've already written about my love for anagrams. I can't help myself: I had to delve for some more, this time for EtherPundit.

Anagrams for EtherPundit:

Pud tinter, eh?  As a matter of fact, the color is all natural! But thanks for noticing.

Hit DU, repent.  Because it's not nice to torment retards.

Dr. Petite Hun.  She's cute as a button, but watch out for that prostate exam.

Hindu petter.  Those Bollywood films get me all randy...

I tuned Perth.  An unusually good night for DX. I suspect tropospheric ducting.

Hup! Rid Tenet!  Hey ho, hey ho! George Ten-et has got to ...  he's gone, you say? Huh. Just as well.

Deep thin rut.  Every blogger's worst nightmare, and inevitable fate.

Hide pet runt.  If maw finds out you didn't drown that thing, there'll be hell to pay.

I.D. the punter!  Blimey, guv! I prefer to remain anonymous!

Nu, Dr. Epithet?  So now you're a doctor, suddenly it's okay to talk this way to your own mother? Such a foul mouth!

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:20 AM | Comments (1)   Category: Anagrams , Games , Language

December 01, 2004

"Free Bird"? But my dear Lynyrd Skynyrd, that makes no sense!

As the EtherHubby and I were in the car listening to our local "classic rock" station, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" came on, as it always will if you listen to a classic rock station for more than 45 minutes. "Did you ever notice," EtherHub mused, "that birds usually mate for life? So this guy's justification for leaving his girl, because he's as 'free as a bird now,' doesn't make any sense."

"It's just part of the gotta-be-movin'-on,-babe axis of 70s rock, like 'Ramble On' by Led Zep, or 'Ramblin' Man' by the Allman Brothers," I said. "I gather that at one time shacking up with a woman and then dumping her was considered the essence of machismo."

"But the guy in this song sounds like a real freeloader. Birds are really industrious. I think he should stop comparing himself to a bird and call the song 'Free Bum,' because that's obviously what he is."

"I like it. Then he can sing, 'Cause I'm as free as a bum now! Can you spare a little chaaaaange?'"

At last, a reason not to turn off this wretched song: Singalong time!

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:16 AM | Comments (3)   Category: Music