May 262007

Apparently satisfied that we have suffered enough, the demons of gastrointestinal chaos have departed our domicile. “This house is clean.” – Tangina, Poltergeist

So we’re headed to Nathan’s soccer game in a little while. It’s the last one of the short spring season. I’m impressed with how much better the games are now than they were six weeks ago. Our coach Paul has done a great job with the team, as has Leigh, one of Nathan’s teammate’s dads, who has coaching experience and has stepped in when needed/asked.

Nathan’s enjoyed himself, though he was a little disappointed to learn that he wouldn’t be a Blue Dragon forever if he decided to play soccer again. It’s been fun to watch him develop some understanding of team sports mechanics (little things like listening quietly when the coach is talking, stopping when the whistle blows, and the like). I do wish I had video of the ball hitting him in the back of the foot when he was turned around chatting up (pretty, blonde) teammate Katie during a game.

Finally, Palmer Park has been a nice place for the games, but I tell you, I never could find a beer tent. I also noticed that none of the other dads did the full face and body paint thing. Don’t these guys have any team spirit?

Updated: Here’s a shot from the final game. That’s Nathan, Katie, and Caleb left to right.

We don’t keep score at this level. But if we did keep score at this level, they won this game 4-1 and finished the season 6-1, losing only their first game.

 Posted by at 1:05 pm
May 252007

Charles and I were digesting our Bandito last night on his porch, and we started talking about music, as we often do. I lamented that the two-albums-on-one-CD release by The Producers that had come out in late 2000 went out of print nearly immediately, and was fetching over $100 on Amazon and eBay.

Well, that was the right thing to idly complain about, because he just happened to have it sitting in his rack. So now I’m joyously swimming in some of the best pop music ever recorded! Woohoo!

Atlanta-based The Producers are usually classified as power pop, and that’s a fitting label–but there’s something more to their music than that. They remind me of Buddy Holly in that their songs are so simply structured (yet infectious), and of early rock in general because their songs are usually pretty short. There’s almost nothing to them; touch them, and they vanish. But, if a riff is good enough, and you’re talented enough to flesh it out properly with the right balance of precision and rawness, it’s all you need to carry a song strongly. They prove it over and over again.

If you don’t remember them, check out these YouTube videos (and go quickly before there’s another predatory lawyer pass, and never mind that you can’t buy this stuff anywhere and watching it on YouTube isn’t taking any money out of anyone’s pocket with that being the case; not that I am bitter):
“What’s He Got?”
“Certain Kinda Girl”
“She Sheila”

Great stuff. My boys come running whenever I’ve got any Producers cranked, even if it’s a song they’ve never heard before. There’s something that excellent and that pure about this music.

Charles and I are going to try to catch a date this year. We’ve got golden opportunities next weekend–in Nashville Friday, and home in Atlanta on Saturday–but he’s already tied up both days. Oh, well. It’s something fun to keep a lookout for.

Thanks to for the image.

 Posted by at 11:29 pm
May 252007

Now Nathan’s sick; all the same symptoms. To Lea, earlier tonight: “But I don’t want to be sick!”

The boys couldn’t have it together at any point, of course. Nathan’s just coming down with it right as Aaron’s getting over it.

Nathan and I had planned to go to the lake this weekend. He hasn’t been talking about it today, and I really hope he’s forgotten. I’d be just fine with skirting that particular disappointment.

 Posted by at 3:46 am
May 242007

The United Nations’ Committee on Sustainable Development has as its stated purpose: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

What better country to chair this committee than Zimbabwe? Really. Just happened. Swear. Look it up.

When tyrant Robert Mugabe came to power in 1980 following Zimbabwe’s independence from Great Britain, he inherited thriving manufacturing sectors, a robust economy including a substantial tourism component, and a well-oiled agricultural machine.

Today Zimbabwe is a place in which private property is routinely seized, and police officers violently squelch political dissidents. The economy has shrunk 40%. Half the country will need food assistance this year. Inflation is 3,700% annually. The average life expectancy is 34 for women and 37 for men. That is the lowest in the world. More in this excellent column by Brett D. Schaefer and Marian L. Tupy.

From a “sustainable development” standpoint, Zimbabwe is broken just about every way a country can be broken. What better choice to chair the committee on such?

What’s next, UN? Oh, I know. Let’s put North Korea in charge of human rights!

 Posted by at 4:55 pm
May 232007

A coworker friend and I took our lunch break at the pistol range today.

We shot a Glock 23, which is a Glock 19 modified to shoot .40 S&W ammunition. I’m mostly a revolver guy, but I’m warming up to semiautomatics quickly. This gun felt like an old friend from the first shot, with natural action and moderate, eminently manageable recoil.

I’m pulling to the right a fair bit, though. I need to work on that.

I may suggest moving our occasional range outings to the end of the day. It’s not easy to go sit back at your desk after such a shot of adrenaline.

 Posted by at 10:47 pm