Thebastidge: 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
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    ********************Southwest Washington Surplus, your prepping supply store********************

    Saturday, June 28, 2008


    Made it to London, got checked in to my hotel. It seemed closer to downtown on the map. and I didn't realize they'd want 15 GBP (almost $30) for 24 hours of internet access. That's just ridiculous.

    But even riding the tube left me cheerful. It's kind of humid compared to where I've been, but much cooler. In every sense of that word.

    I'm off soon to figure out what to do with myself for the evening. But first, a shower to wash the Middle East off me.

    Friday, June 27, 2008

    Stuck in Kuwait

    ...for another day. Yes, it still sucks. You wouldn't think it would take over 14 hours to get your visa stamped, and you'd be right, unless the military were involved. So my flight was supposed to be at 8:30 this morning, and I got my stamped passport back at 9:15. Sweet.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008

    Good ideas and bad ones

    We hear a lot these days about government funding research, as if it is the only possible method for scientific advancement. Well, that irks me plenty, but if government is going to fund something like this, an X-prize is not a bad way to go about it. (But really, I'm no journalist nor am I a grammar nazi, and I do write in a conversational mode on this blog, but how the F does "gasoline prices of more $4-a-gallon makes it" make it into a "professional" news article? Doesn't anyone know how to write any more? Don't editors have standards?)

    However, being in favour of a flat tax and vastly simplified tax structure, personally I'm not so happy with McCain's idea of a $5k tax credit for buying hybrid cars. This is not a subsidy for the environment, it's a subsidy to automakers, and I don't think the government has any business subsidizing industry. The only money government should be paying to business is that strictly necessary for purchasing items and services that government needs to fulfill its well-defined and limited role in defense of the nation, and governing with the consent of the governed.

    Spotty Internet Access...

    ... for the next few days while I am traveling.

    I leave Baghdad tomorrow afternoon and get to London on Friday. I'll be in Delhi the 6th, (inshallah) and should have more or less constant internet from then until the 14th of Agugst, when I head back to the UK for a couple weeks.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    In the category of...

    ... emails you wouldn't anticipate sending:


    Ever since the server room door got jacked up by the overpressure from that explosion, it doesn't really do a good job of keeping out dust- you see a lot of daylight along the top.

    Aside from needing to eventually fix it so it can be opened without being unable to close it, we need to look at something to seal it up a little better in the meantime.



    Monday, June 09, 2008

    Mmmm... vino

    Perhaps my tastes have grown more sophisticated as I've grown older. Perhaps I've just killed enough taste buds with whiskey to not care. But recently I have developed the ability to appreciate Scots whisky, someI never really did before. I now see what they're talking about when they ramble on about the complexities of a fine single malt.

    Likewise, with wine, I've finally moved past the white zinfandel stage, I guess. I find myself tonight enjoying a glass of wine from a bottle I opened and first tasted a glass from last night. I have no idea if it is considered a good wine or not: it's average cost here. But it is a cabernet sauvignon, something which the enjoyment of has always eluded me in the past. I can see some of the complexities, though this particular cab sauv seems a bit fruitier than I remember them being.

    Hayes Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore, CA, 2001.

    Thank you California, in some ways you are still quite a credit to the Union.

    {Edited to add:}

    That one was quite nice, and led to a second bottle, this time of French derivation. "Louis Eschenauer, Syrah- vin de pays d'oc" 2004. ("Eschenauer is French? I guess since WWII...)

    Described in French (of course), English and Deutch as "Red wine from the south of France, produced from the Syrah grape variety. Drink at 15-16°C with red meat and cheese.

    Mighty nice of them to explain what should go with red wine for us barbarians.

    Not too bad. A bit blander (I must confess liking Australian Shiraz much more) and a quite off-putting bit of gritty, distasteful sediment (seedy, actually) at the end of the bottle, despite the natural cork stopper...

    Tag: Patriot's Journey (with JimK, Scott, Lil, Doug, Moorewatch and our fearless leader Drumwaster)

    Monday, June 02, 2008

    I've been a bit remiss...

    ... in my Patriot's Journey posting so far. At the moment, the only thing I have to say is that I am looking forward with great joy, to seeing the beautiful land of my birth on or about September 1st.