Home for the Festivities

Posted in Family on August 10th, 2008 by Дмитрий

44 years ago today the best thing in the world Happened. Happy Birthday, hubby.


Posted in Russophilia on August 11th, 2008 by Дмитрий

Doesn’t anyone in this country realize that something seriously grave and important is happening in the Caucuses? Russia and Georgia are at war, and it’s getting even less than the scantily-covered American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. Regardless of who or which side began the current aggressions, the fact remains that a couple months ago the US was actively pursuing membership into the NATO alliance of Georgia. Under the terms of the NATO treaty, this would have meant we would have been at war with Russia at this time.

I’m so sick of the persistent American need for a constant drip of militarism to keep its social cohesion alive. For years I’ve been watching as American administrations and politicians dive into the “problems” with Russia, consistently spouting a jingoistic lament at the “democratic deficits” and “authoritarian trappings” of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. All the while ignoring the fact that most of the elections in Russia in the past decade have been free and fair compared to anything that happened prior to them, and that regardless of the wisdom of specific policy decisions he may have made since taking office, Vladimir Putin has been the deftest handler of the Russian state in living memory and is easily the most popular Russian Leader in history.

America endeavors to clash with Vladimir Putin or to “contain” Russia at its peril. We need to look closer at the wider region and Russia’s ability to be an ally and stabilizing force, and stop letting balance-of-power rivalry lead us blindly to our doom. America risks the same decline Britain and Rome before it experienced: obsessed with leadership, we are spreading ourselves thin and failing to see the positive influence that can be had by letting other great powers manage their own near-abroad.

Georgia has been at war with Abkazia and South Ossetia for years. Trying to bring such a quagmire into the fold of NATO could prove fatal to the alliance. Trying to take sides in this current conflict would also be total folly for America. America must support the quickest end to the conflict that leaves the least casualties and then stay the hell out of the way. If that means accepting Russia as the governor and mediator of the matter, so be it (and I’m not the only one saying so). We need a strong, stable Russia that is at peace with its neighbors far more than we need the territorial integrity of Georgia. Besides, if we really cared about the territorial integrity of tiny European states, we would not have let stuff like this happen over the past 20 years…

The Fall of the House of Apple

Posted in Mac, Rants on August 13th, 2008 by Дмитрий

It’s been seven years since I bought my first new Mac. Over that time, I’m been a pretty intense Apple fanboy. For the first few years I was repeatedly amazed at the things Apple hardware and software enabled me to do that I didn’t even realize I wanted to do.

My oh my how times change. Just a couple weeks ago I wrote a missive about how pleased I was with the new iPhone. Now I must temper that enthusiasm with a sobering look at how Apple has changed, for the worse, since I started using the OS X suite of affiliated products seven years ago.

Let’s begin with my statement several sentences back: one thing Apple proved itself very adept at early on was opening new markets in useability. Not only did Apple make already-known application types easier to use, it offered up new applications and devices which created their own market. Its innovation was not necessarily in creating the Music-Computer linkup (it didn’t), but in making it usable and fun and creating an integrated and intuitive shopping cart on to of that application (iTunes). Apple’s innovation was not creating a digital music player, but scaling-down the feature set and user interface to make people actually want to use it all the time, and constantly adapting the hardware to complement their own music software, not to mention obtaining a market share which quickly dragged disparate industry interests together and forced them to come up with a new digital music market paradigm.

Read more »

The South Braces for Russian Invasion of Atlanta…

Posted in Russophilia on August 14th, 2008 by Дмитрий

Yep, Georgia’s quaking in it’s boots. This should solve the recruitment problems in the US army, I suppose, since so many rednecks are thoroughly convinced that the Russkies are marching on Atlanta.

As someone else noted, “Russophiles know they live in the matrix; Russophobes think they’re free and laugh at the poor Russians, not realizing that they’re laughing at their own ugly reflections.”

Never a better analogy, really - the idea of ‘acceptance’ took a long time for me. These days I like to think of myself as post-ideological. My Russian teacher often told me how she never liked capitalism because she equated it with American militarism/imperialism (a too-close-too-home similarity to what made her leave Russia in the first place). I told her America would be great - if it were really a capitalist country.

In fact, no philosophical ideal as detailed in the text of a great thinker has ever really impressed itself onto a state that has actually existed on this Earth. They try, but it’s always a bastardization, whether you’re talking about Von Mises capitalism superimposed on the pork-barrel state of America or Marxist communism warped into Stalin’s slave state.

The key is realizing that neither philosophers nor statesmen have yet figured out how to talk to each other - states are designed to impose a political order, not a philosophy, and philosophers are designed to develop ideology, not policy.

Worst Case Screnario

Posted in Russophilia on August 17th, 2008 by Дмитрий

Anyone wanting a fairly straight-forward explanation of what’s going on in the Caucuses without having it filtered through the propaganda machines at either end of the current mainstream press should read this.


Posted in Mac on August 21st, 2008 by Дмитрий

Today whilst exploring some past entries and my hubby’s new databasy site, I discovered that in addition to being buggy, resource intensive, and producing ugly web pages, iWeb apparently enjoys randomly changing the URLs it generates. At the urging of David (and his recent ease at using his new php of choice), I have decided that I am going to make the movement off of iWeb a priority of this time.

iLife is now free to suck my unhip big one.


Posted in Uncategorized on August 25th, 2008 by Дмитрий

That was fast.

David got me up and running with WordPress this weekend and I’ve back-populated almost the whole past years’ entries so far. Easy, since the past year has been one of my least entry-intensive.

Please alert me to anything not working well.


Posted in Uncategorized on August 26th, 2008 by Дмитрий

So what is it with those stupid little napkins they give you on airplanes?

It’s not like they ever feed you anything so mouth-watering that you’re gonna drool all over yourself and need something to sop it up - the snacks you find on airplanes these days are invariably some dry, salty piece of industrial waste which disappears in less than a bite. And that’s the First Class meal.

Nor, I presume, would they truly believe that such a little scrap of a napkin could help you if you happened to spill your expired Coke or the cold, weak coffee they try to sell you for a dollar.

No, I can only assume that they expect you to retain the napkin as a treasured souvenir; or dab the bitter tear from your eye as you reminisce about the glories of air travel long past…

Six Years of Domestic Bliss

Posted in Family on August 31st, 2008 by Дмитрий

It’s hard to exactly call my current lifestyle domesticity, but it is a fact that I’ve been sharing it lock, stock and barrel for six years with the only person I ever found who I actually wanted to share it with.

Hopefully someday soon I can share even more of it, more often, with him.