March 05, 2005

A Few Random Thoughts

Bal Harbor is a very nice place. You can do much worse than the Sheraton Bal Harbor or the Westin Diplomat a few miles north of Bal Harbor where my convention was beng held. But cruising south from there on A1A to Miami Beach, where in the hell do all those people eat? We couldn't find a restaurant Friday night until we got off of A1A onto 112 (Arthur Godfrey Drive!) and cruised over to US 1 where we ended up at a little place called Soyka's. I can heartily recommend it, maybe 2.5 stars out of four. Loud, but fascinating decor. Again, we only ended up there because we couldn't find anything cruising up and down A1A. Weird. In my time in Florida before, I've never had trouble finding a place to eat on the water.

All things considered with North Korea, Japan is probably the country most likely to be hit with the next atomic weapon. Why? I start with the assumption that North Korea is the country most likely to use an atomic weapon. This is arguable, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility. So who will it be used against? Certainly not China, snce China would have no qualms about making sure it didn't happen again. Probably not South Korea, since North Korea still seems to hope to eliminate the compass point adjective from it's name. Probably not the US -- see China. So who's left that is an enemy and within range? Well, there's the ancestral enemy, who just happens to be the ever closer friend of their great enemy. If things do happen this way, then Japan would still be the only country to have an atomic weapon used against it. This would, of course, be a very bad thing.

I was sorry to hear about the death of Mr. Calipari who was killed while after apparently rescuing Giuliana Sgrena. Unfortunately, much of the news now is confirming my darkest fears about so many people. The anti-American vultures are doing what vultures do best -- feeding upon the dead. I certainly hope that no American soldiers are hung out to dry for this to appease Italy. I can appreciate Silvio Berlusconi's problem here, but there's an awful lot we don't yet know, and I can only imagine that a car speeding through Baghdad and ignoring roadbloacks, checkpoints, or orders to stop is treated rather roughly. As I said, it is very sad, but it is far from an indictment of anything else that has happened in Iraq.

I read through the current issue of the Economist today while flying home. It's almost enough to make me wish I hadn't let my subscription lapse. Almost.

I left my first notebook of preliminary notes on Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose in my rental car. When I noticed I didn't have time to get back to the Avis, so I hope the gentlemen driving the courtesy bus is correct when he told me that they will mail it to me. If it arrives, I'll certainly send Avis a nice letter mentioning him by name. If it doesn't arrive, I bear no ill feelings toward Avis since it was my fault, but, man, there's a lot of lost work in there. This book really is going to to take me several years to finish.

I'm still rather annoyed at the Supreme Court's ruling that invalidated the death penalty for the wicked little murderers who committed their crimes before they turned 18. FWIW, I had already been in college for three months before I was 18, so, yeah, I think you be fully culpable before you turn 18. Like I wrote below, I'm still confused about why they limited the abolition of the death penalty to younger than 18, since all the cool kids already oppose it for everyone.

I guess I might have a comment about Bill Maher and Ward Churchill, except I quit watching Bill Maher a couple years ago. I really enjoyed Politically Incorrect, but by the second season of Real Time with Bill Maher he seemed to enjoy playing to the loony audience more than playing with the hypocrisy on the right and the left. So why is anyone surprised that he sides with Ward Churchill? Speaking of Ward Churchill, my great-great-grandfather was Cherokee. So maybe I should take even more offense at Ward Churchill than I do, if that's possible.

How 'bout those Illini? Here's an article that lists Derron Williams as the 2nd highest rated point guard in the country for the next NBA draft, though the ESPN headline blurb and link only mentions Chris Paul and Raymond Felton. But far be it from me to point out any particular ACC bias at ESPN. One question for ESPN's RPI though, how many games would Kansas have to lose for Illinois to pass them in the RPI? After all, Oklahoma State just lost to Kansas and that vaulted them ahead of Illinois. For some of you that know me personally, with my latest haircut "PERSECUTED" is becoming quit visible, even in broad daylight. Oh yeah, can anybody get me Final Four tickets? You'd think living in St. Louis would help, but apparently it doesn't.

So Sammy Sosa got tossed in the second inning of his second game in pres-season as an Oriole. I think the Cubs deserve a lot of credit for cutting this metaphorical cancer from their team.

I saw a clip of Kobe Bryant on ESPN the other day that caused me to lose a lot of respect for him. He pushed a player out of the way (no foul since this is the NBA) and then made a nice move to execute a reverse slam. Then he looked at his opponents and brushed his jersey as though he was knocking some loose ash of his jacket. Such class.

Is this format better than multiple posts? I apologize for any typos. I'm well into a nice Chianti Classico and I've noticed them popping up with a ridiculous frequency, but I'm not sure if I caught them all.

Posted by Charles Austin at March 5, 2005 10:51 PM

"Is this format better than multiple posts?"

Umm, bluntly ... no.

Posted by: Lynxx Pherrett at 11:29 PM

Hmm. I guess I'm just not that anal retentive. Looks okay to me. I didn't have to adjust my medication or anything. I must be relaxing in my old age. Just do whatever's eaieiest for you. We'll figure it out if we want to read it badly enough.

Posted by: greg at 10:31 AM

I'll take the posts any way you can dish them out, especially when it has to do with the Illini.

I won't look at your typos if you don't look at my typos.

I read somewhere that Japan has the technology to build a nuclear warhead in 1-2 weeks. They already have the launch capability. If I had to guess Kim Il Sung would target the US (watch out CA) and try to rally support from all the US-hating countries it could muster.

Any desire to move away from the cold to Fla.?

Posted by: MarcV at 01:01 PM

I lived in Florida for two years. I like it, but hopefully the kids can all finish school before we move again.

As to the format, well, we'll see.

Posted by: charles austin at 09:23 PM