Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You may never understand...

No, seriously, if you're not vegan (or lactose intolerant), you may not understand the excitement inherent in the following clip:

(the librarians among you can argue whether the use of a live version of das Scorpions "Rock You Like a Hurricane" in this instance falls under fair use, but do it somewhere else. K-thnx :) )

As a bit of background, the folks at Chicago Soy Dairy are the geniuses behind Temptation vegan ice cream, which is frankly the best product of its kind on the market. They've now taken on the challenge of a vegan cheese that actually melts easily and well. And I, for one, can't wait to taste the results.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wait, what?

I just saw this story on the wire:

Turkey Plans to Invade Northern Iraq

ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- The Turkish military said it is setting the ground work for a large-scale ground invasion into northern Iraq targeting the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

The military said the ground operation is the final strike against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Kurdish language initials of PKK. The operation follows airstrikes on the group in late 2007 and military officials said the operation is scheduled for mid-March, the English language Turkish daily, Today's Zaman said Monday.

Military sources told the newspaper that the operation would be on two fronts; one along the Turkish border with Iraq and one inside Turkey in its southeastern provinces.

Israel gave the Turkish military unmanned surveillance drones that military officials said will provide key intelligence about PKK activity.

The Turkish military deployed about 50,000 troops along the border with Iraq and the newspaper said military officials will keep the same amount of troops in the region for the March operations.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
I'm sorry, did I miss something? Shouldn't the invasion by a sovereign nation of a country we are occupying be bigger news? I can't be the only one who sees a high likelihood that US or coalition troops will accidentally get in the way here. And incidentally, isn't one of our main missions in the middle east to defuse and keep under control sectarian conflict???

I can't even begin to understand the vagaries of middle eastern politics, I admit it (and if some of our elected officials had admitted it seven years ago, we wouldn't be in this mess, but that's a whole other story). But I feel as though 50,000 troops amassing on a border aren't just poking their nose in to see if there's any naughty terrorists lying about. The secular Turks hate the Kurds, and the Kurds hate the secular Turks, regardless of whether they're part of the army or a "terrorist organization". And hate makes people trigger happy.

We really don't need more innocent people killed in Iraq, or Turkey, or anywhere. I long for the day when we have a government who realizes this and has the moral fortitude to step in and mediate these disputes without guns and missiles.

Wishful thinking, I realize.


Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm finally ready.

A full week has passed and I'm finally prepared to face my feelings about Super Bowl XLII. But since I think cursing a blue streak in a blog is in poor form, I'll let Fitzy from Townie News do it for me:

(TOTALLY NSFW, but f**kin hilarious and dead on)

His last point is especially apt- no, not the part about "Go f**k yourself", before that- the part where he thanks the Pats haters for giving us a way to get back to our old self-hating, waiting for the other shoe to drop, chip on the shoulder, Aaron F**king Boone, Bucky F**king Dent, Ulf F**king Samuelsson selves.

We're not winners by nature, see? Raised in a fickle climate, with soil inhospitable to farming
and drivers inhospitable to pedestrians, there is something about a New Englander that loves the underdog, that needs to approach all situations from the position of being disregarded instead of favored. We're just not comfortable any other way. We like our wins to be pleasant surprises, not ho-hum forgone conclusions. I could go on, but you get my point.

Anyways, Super Bowl XLII will go down in my memory as just another game. The same way Super Bowl XX, Super Bowl XXXI, game six of the 1986 World Series and losing to the Lakers in game six in 1987 are just games- filed away in the back, although you always know they're there.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Manny being Manny.

This, friends, is Manny Ramirez lifting weights. Yes, that Manny Ramirez, the Red Sox outfielder. The one who wears uniforms fifteen sizes too big and is known for not hustling when it might be called for.

And if seeing a picture of him lifting weights that big a few weeks before a contract year starts doesn't make you a little bit giddy, then you're probably not a Red Sox fan. :)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Election ennui.

I promised an election post on Tuesday, but to be frank, the whole night ended up being humdrum and boring. But I am excited about how the rest of the primary season will break out- it's not normal for the Dems to be in the state they're in- two candidates that their base can be excited about, running neck and neck.

My only concern is about Clinton's electability; the Repugs are licking their lips at the prospect of bringing all the Clinton mud to the surface and scaring the hell out of the middle of the road electorate. I think Obama has a much broader appeal- if you watch him speak, he gives you (good) chills no matter how you feel about his policies. Don't hate me for saying this, but I feel like it's the same sort of charisma that Reagan had- you end up trusting his leadership skills and feeling comfortable without knowing any of the details. And I feel like the general public is ready for that feeling again. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, but I'd much rather someone with his charisma be on my side than the other.

One thing I did come out of the Super Tuesday race realizing- not only is John McCain batshit crazy, but he can't read a teleprompter with anything approaching a natural style. This is a few minutes of his speech from Tuesday. If that was my first introduction to the man, I'd think he had just won an election for city comptroller, not a presidential primary. Yikes.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Because we all need a laugh.

I know, I know, it's Super Tuesday. I've already voted, and I'll probably get something election related up later today. But more importantly, I'm still in grief after Sunday. So I thought I might post something to lighten the mood a bit. It's moderately NSFW- you might want to use headphones.

I'll be honest, Sarah Silverman is very hit or miss for me. But this is comedy gold.

I feel a little better now.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Like a punch to the gut.

There are few things that can be said after the Pat's crushing defeat last night. Few positive things, at least; few things that aren't loaded with expletives. But I'm taking two things, two things that I will cling to until the Pats can start on their next tear through the NFL:

1. Now all the bandwagon jumpers who have only experienced the three Super Bowl wins and an undefeated regular season know what being a New England sports fan really feels like, felt like for all those years before 2002- you put all of your hopes and dreams on the backs of your team, and they inevitably, horribly, collapse under the weight. The days and weeks to follow will see an inevitable thinning of Pats fans in North Dakota, Nebraska, California. And that's probably a good thing. You've got to have strong stomach to put up with this stuff.

2. As of this writing, pitchers and catchers report to Red Sox training camp in 9 days, 23 hours and 39 minutes. I'm ready for that.

Oh, and Chili con Chocolate is amazing- we made some for our gathering. I'll post pictures later.