Friday, June 29, 2012


We had a derecho, which in this case was a windstorm which came from the Chicago area to the DC area and caused a lot of damage, somewhat like the occupant of the White House. No significant damage here but fallen trees and power outages through much of Virginia, with 100° temperatures.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was more or less upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, with John Roberts, usually considered a conservative, casting the deciding vote. Some are saying Roberts bowed to pressure from the Administration; some are saying this is a brilliant political ploy by Roberts--which sounds to me like wishful thinking, although it's true that immediately after the decision, Romney's campaign was receiving so many donations that the website couldn't keep up. As for me, I think this quote sums it up:

It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.
--John Roberts. Chief Justice, SCOTUS

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'll see you in a few days

Just got the electronic Advanced Reader Copy of Captain Vorpatril's Alliance and Monster Hunter: Legion.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

International Father's Day

An odd Father's Day. Josh in Australia, me here in Virginia, my dad in Zambia.
It's also my grandmother's 91st birthday, so we called her.


First strawberry from our deck garden today.

Are you better off?

Mark Steyn, in the Orange County Register:

"Ask yourself – are you better off now than you were four years ago?

But, in fact, you don't need to ask yourself, because the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances has done it for you. Between 2007 and 2010, Americans' median net worth fell 38.8 percent – or from $126,400 per family to $77,300 per family. Oh, dear."

As the Professor says, read the whole thing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

On this day

In 1864, a few days after the Battle of Trevilian Station, Union forces under Grant withdrew from the Battle of Cold Harbor.

In 1987, speaking in Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate, Ronald Reagan challenged the Soviet Union to "tear down this wall".

Monday, June 11, 2012

Declaration of Independence

On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston as a committee to draft a declaration of independence for the Thirteen Colonies.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Battle of Trevilian Station

Dad is off to Africa again, and on the way to Dulles he stopped at Chris and Tabitha's place, so we drove to Palmyra VA to see him off, and also see the nieces and nephews.
On the way back, we went to Louisa where they were having a recreation of the Battle of Trevilian Station, which was the largest all-cavalry battle of the Civil War. The recreation had perhaps 100 horse, plus a cannon or two
and quite a crowd spectators and vendors.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Casting Crowns

Dentist said I needed a crown, should take about 40 minutes. Except I'm very special. Normally she gets the casting done in one take; about once a year, she needs two tries. She couldn't recall ever having needed three tries, until me. The "40 minute" procedure took a bit over two hours, and when I got to my office, first thing on walking in the door was to grab the bottle of acetaminophen. Fun.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

D Day

In 1944 on this day, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50 mile stretch of German-occupied France.

In 1918, the United States Marine Corps took its heaviest day of casualties, in the Battle of Belleau Woods.

And in 1984, Tetris was released.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Walking the mutt down by the river and saw two guys fishing there. Nothing unusual in that, except that one of the guys had just caught an eel, about two feet long. It hadn't occurred to me that we might have eels in the Lynnhaven River, but we do.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I removed the old, battered lock set from the front door and installed a new set. This turned out to be a more arduous process than I'd bargained for. Schlage's instruction sheet was unintelligible; I could cope with that--indeed it seems to be standard on instruction sheets any more--but it also failed to mention that the installation required a 5/16" drill bit and a 1" hole saw. That meant two trips to the hardware store. Had to drill out one of the screws holding the old handle in place, and hacksaw off another part. Metal shavings all over. The most frustrating part, though, was trying to figure out the right place for the strike plate to go in the door jamb. Eventually I realized it was okay in the left-right axis but needed to slide down a pinch, so I got out my trusty chisel (which looked almost exactly like a flat head screwdriver) and chipped away. But now we have a shiny new lock.


"Love is its own thing," he said, shaking his head in helpless wonderment. "And it, uh, really messes with the dice."

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hampton Pirate Festival

I went to the Pirate Festival in Hampton as a way of getting out of the house. There were about thirty vendor tents, ranging from face painting and tee shirts, to The Leather Lair (with their $375 vests and $600 coats--I was tempted to get a vest but resisted), up to a couple of small sailing ships.
Quite a few people were in costume. A couple of guys clearly were looking to Jack Sparrow, and some of the costumes were more steampunk than piratical, but nobody ever said they have to be strictly historical; it's a chance to wear some fun clothes that you don't get to wear to the office, so why not?
I stayed an hour or so and saw all the area by the waterfront; there were also supposed to be some skirmishes in the street, between pirates and militia, although I didn't stay long enough to see any. Plenty of people but not overly crowded, and I accomplished "getting out of the house".