Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Victors: Project OSPREY
(No. 12) Purdue 80-57 Michigan
10-3, Big Ten 0-1

Sweet merciful crap! As painful as yesterday's drubbing was, 'twould be inaccurate for me to say it was no fun at all. The ill-starred Boilermakers beat the tar out of us at the top of the game, being on pace in the first five minutes to score a century, but this was followed by rising elation as the valiant Wolverines came roaring back & a moment of pure bliss when the score became, for one too-brief moment shortly before halftime, Michigan 26-25 Purdue. And then the roof of Crisler Arena might as well have collapsed. We were unable to muster any defense in the second half as Purdue scored an obscene 50 points; our offense output in the second half slightly exceeded that of the first half, but 'twas all for naught in the face of the ill-starred Boilermakers' onslaught. "Misery, misery, misery," compounded by my father's giddy cackling throughout the second half. (He is an alumnus of Purdue University.) I didn't expect the valiant Wolverines to triumph, but neither did I expect such a shellacking in our own facility. I'd rather such an embarrassment had taken place inside the "Black Hole of Calcutta" instead of the "House that Cazzie Built." Alas! Woe! Doom!

On the other hand, there's no time to dwell on the loss, for Big Ten play's just getting started. Next up: the valiant Wolverines host the ferocious Nittany Lions of Penn State on Sunday afternoon (2 January, 4:00 P.M.).

Go Blue!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Fifth Day of Christmas
Bing Crosby, "Hark! The Herald Angel Sings" from Christmas with Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, & Dean Martin (T.L.A.M.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Loot
…is late. Patience is a virtue. I've got a lot not going on right now; so, there is much sloth that must be overcome before a serious dent might be made in the backlog. In the meantime, here's a pretty interesting poster from the non-personal blog The Art of Manliness, based upon Kipling's timeless poem "If—":

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Fourth Day of Christmas
The Puppini Sisters, "O Holy Night" from Christmas with the Puppini Sisters (T.L.A.M.)

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Explorers Club
No. CCXV - Admiral Hyman Rickover, U.S.N. (1900-1986), "Father of the Nuclear Navy."

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Third Day of Christmas
Duvall, "Angels We Have Heard on High" from O Holy Night (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The Christmastide is now upon us & in jubilation all R.B.D.S.O.T.D. will be centered around the joyous Nativity of the Christ, the birth of our Savior, the wee baby Lord Jesus. In nominating songs to be the R.B.D.S.O.T.D., please check that they be of an explicitly religious character. Secular R.B.D.S(s).O.T.D. will return after the Epiphany. Rejoice, the Christ is born! Merry Christmastide!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Saint Stephen's Day
Mu330, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas" from Winter Wonderland! (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Words by Longfellow, from his poem "Christmas Bells."

"And in despair I bowed my head,
'There is no peace on Earth!' I said,
'The hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on Earth, good will to men."
And pealed the bells more loud and deep:
'God is not dead not doth He sleep!
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on Earth, good will to men.'"

Excerpts of the poem, not, alas, the Mu330 song, were read aloud by Father Steve at the end of today's five o'clock Mass, which I attended because I slept-in too late to make the eleven o'clock.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Christmas Day
Sarah McLachlan, "Silent Night" via iTunes, (free) Holiday Sampler (T.L.A.M.)


"Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born!

Jesus, Lord at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth."
Urbi et Orbi
I am newly returned from Midnight Mass, & as usual after such occasions I really with the Church would use incense more often throughout the year. The holy smoke adds quite a bit to the theatricality of the Mass; that is in no way a bad thing, as ceremony & ritual are central to any important occasion (& every Catholic Mass is important, as each features the miracle of transubstantiation). Midnight Mass: absolutely the best way to kick off the Christmastide.

Merry Christmas to all, the Christ is born!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Where's Teddy? cannot yet say The Squeak's given name (not her Christian name, because she's not been baptized), but he says a version of her name, & with great affection; he misses his cousin "Na." The K sound is yet beyond the lad, but he knows his favorite uncle's Christian name, or at least a version of it: "Mi." He knows my name better than most! It's adorable the way he so elongates the E sound at the end of "Mommeeee" & "Daddeeee," his parents.

I freely admit that I'm in love with mine own voice, but it's not the only voice I love. Merry Christmas, Teddy! Uncle Mi(ke) is your favorite.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Christmas Eve
Séan McCann, "Merry Christmas, Everyone" courtesy Séan McCann's website, free download (The Watergirl)


"A child is born, forever,
A child is born, for everyone,
Lift up your hearts
And hear His laughter."
Not having a best friend rots, it rots profoundly.

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned."
—William Congreve

Pray forgive my whining.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

If I might indulge in the third person for a moment, Uncle Mike is gifting his wee nephew Where's Teddy? with a whale of a present. Behold! the Radio Flyer Retro Rocket (purchased at a deep discount because the box had been somewhat abused), appropriate for ages 1-3:

Remember, Theodore, Uncle Mike is your favorite!

The Squeak was gifted a stuffed animal bigger than her tiny person, a monkey, because there's no better word in the English language than "monkey;" that was her birthday present, mirroring the giant stuffed animal elephant Where's Teddy? was gifted when he turned one. For Christmas, The Squeak was gifted an adorably small pair of snow boots. Duly noted for the future: shopping for babies is more fun than shopping for adults.

Remember, Natalie, Uncle Mike is your favorite!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Fountains of Wayne, "I Want an Alien for Christmas" from Out-of-State Plates, Disc Two (Mrs. Skeeter, Esq.)

Commentary: The flood of R.B.D.S.O.T.D. nominations has been gratifying & overwhelming. Keep 'em coming! The Secret Base is my blog, but it doesn't mean anything without you, treasured readers. Let's make the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. as communal an experience as we can. I thank you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I acknowledge 'tis a scant three days 'til Christmas Day, but yesterday I finished all my Christmas shopping & today I finished all my wrapping, & by my standards both tasks were completed well ahead of schedule. Hip hip, for me!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Pogues, "Fairytale of New York" from The Best of The Pogues (The Guy)


"The boys of the N.Y.P.D. choir still singing 'Galway Bay,'
And the bells are ringing out for Christmas Day!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A fortnight hence, President Obama made a guest appearance on one of my favorite television shows, MythBusters. The president gave Adam & Jamie a special assignment to work with a group of schoolchildren to put a myth to the test. I found it deliciously apropos that the myth President Obama asked the MythBusters to bust was the Archimedes heat ray… a myth MythBusters had busted conclusively before, not only once, but twice! That is Barack Hussein Obama's presidency in a nutshell: neither the "hope" nor the "change" he promised, only a recycling of the same tired ideas that have failed conclusively & spectacularly time & time again. Of course, for the third time out of three tests, the Archimedes heat ray was busted comprehensively & thoroughly. I thank our charlatan president for such striking, if specious, proof of his own failures.

How are you liking the parade of horrors?

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Guster, "Donde Esta Santa Claus?" via iTunes (Mrs. Skeeter, Esq.)

Commentary: I'm persnickety, even during the holidays: the title should be "¿Donde Esta Santa Claus?", because Spanish requires an upside down question mark at the beginning of an inquisitive statement. I am also reminded of my Guster T-shirt, which is emblazoned (correctly), "¡Me gusta Guster!" At a deli in Old New Amsterdam, several years hence, the Spanish-speaking staff stared at the T-shirt in confusion & consternation until one of them asked me, in English, what "Guster" meant, or was supposed to mean, in Spanish. I explained that it was a proper noun from English, the name of a band.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I had the supreme joy of seeing both Where's Teddy? & The Squeak this past weekend as the clan gathered in the District of Columbia for a joint celebration of The Squeak's first birthday (a few days late) & Christmas (a few days early, because none of the three family units that converged will be together on the sacred 25th). Presents—both physical & from the heart—were exchanged, a great many laughs were had, & a gay, grand, & jolly time was had in the company of nine people (six of them Wilsons by birth, two by marriage, & one surnamed McCormack) very near & dear to my heart. This is my family, distinct from my kin, which consists of my dear aunts, uncle, cousins, & sole remaining grandparent; my family once consisted of five members (yours truly included), but has now expanded to nine (same), with this weekend including much joyful conversation of when The Squeak & Where's Teddy? will have siblings. Being an uncle is astonishing, & I look forward eagerly to having even more nieces & nephews.

It is flabbergasting how much Where's Teddy? has changed in his nineteen months since birth, & how much The Squeak has changed in her twelve. Compared to his immobility o this time last year, Where's Teddy? seems more like a little kid & less like a baby. However, present at The Squeak's birthday party on Sunday were three of her cousins, three siblings, a four-year-old girl & two-and-a half-year-old twins, a boy & a girl, & compared side-by-side with their strength, speed, dexterity, & independence Where's Teddy? is skill very much a baby. The Squeak's development since I met her last spring boggles the mind. She's a baby, but she moves so well & is tremendously interactive, very much more then the adorable little lump I first met. These are rare & precious occasions, for soon, very soon they will be babies no more & never again. It is fascinating watching them grow, & their Uncle Mike cannot wait to meet the people they will become & are already becoming.

Damnatio Memoriae
I saw the stand-up comedy special Out of England 2 this weekend, & was appalled by the lack of hilarity therein. As a result, Ricky Gervais is dead to me. I've not yet taken the decision to divest myself of The Office & Extras, but never again will I support any of his endeavours, neither monetarily nor by word of mouth; it has been my habit, when mention is made of the American television series The Office to pipe in with a plug for the British original, but this is now at an end. There's no coming back from something like this, & to that rat bastard's ill-begotten work I say good riddance!

The Last Angry Mane has been growing wild for almost four months now, restoring it to much the same condition seen in the latter days of the Banzai Beard Bonanza II: Bonsai's Revenge. But it must soon be tamed, for two reasons. {a} The lack of ease of maintenance. One of the great benefits of growing a beard is an end to the tyranny of shaving. Yes, I must still abate the few misfit hairs on my cheeks that mock The Last Angry Mane's inability to provide full coverage, but this is as nothing compared to the wearying routine of shaving my entire face in the morning. But at its present length The Mane must be combed to look its best, & combed again & again throughout the day to keep it looking its best. Avoiding just that type of constant maintenance has been the paramount reason I've kept my hair as short as I have for the past decade and a half. I shall have to experiment to find the ideal length, but I know that it is shorter than the current state. I am curious to see what The Mane would look like with six or eight months of growth, but not so curious that I'm willing to endure the maintenance demands that would surely accompany such additional growth. {b} The untamed power of The Last Angry Mane is overshadowing the magnificence of The Last Angry Moustache. The handlebars are really coming into their own now, the natural curl is taking full effect, but The Mane remains the primary conversation piece. This cannot stand. In the immortal words of The Dude, "This aggression will not stand, man." So, The Mane must be trimmed back while The Moustache grows to preposterous proportions. Onward & upward!

The Queue
I ran into Ska Army last week whilst shopping at a local chain bookseller & was pleasantly waylaid for several hours as he treated me a hot chocolate & we talking about nothing at all & everything under the Sun. Despite my loud denunciations of the rubbish that is the Star Wars Expanded Universe, he insisted on purchasing for me Star Wars: Darth Bane: Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn as a Christmas present. Ska Army vouched for Karpyshyn's powers as an author, citing him as the principal writer of the seminal video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Path of Destruction is either further subtitled or at least badged as "A Novel of the Old Republic," possibly to foster a connection to the game). I've no wish to read Path of Destruction, but I feel obligated by Ska Army's action; I cautioned him that the queue is quite long & it might be some time before I got to read his gift.

After the "Hook, Line, & Sinker" trilogy I'll take another break from Deighton before reading the third of his Bernard Samson trilogies. Already in line for after Spy Sinker is the third Tattoo Shop Mystery, Driven to Ink; possibly more Kipling (I've on hand two volumes of prose, The Jungle Books & a collection, The Man who would be King and other Stories), possibly some Saki (specifically, When William Came), possibly some non-fiction. There is so much to read & so little time, alas. Alas! Alas!

Len Deighton, London Match
Karen E. Olson, Pretty in Ink
Rudyard Kipling, Kim

Len Deighton, Winter: A Novel of a Berlin Family

Len Deighton, Spy Hook
Len Deighton, Spy Line
Len Deighton, Spy Sinker

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Aimee Mann, "Calling On Mary" via iTunes (Mrs. Skeeter, Esq.)

Commentary: Nominate an Advent/Christmastide/"holiday season"-themed song today & it might just be tomorrow's R.B.D.S.O.T.D.! Nominate any old song & it might be the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. once we return to normal programming after Epiphany concludes the Christmastide. Nominate early & often!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Explorers Club
No. CCXIV - Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr., U.S.N. (1918-2002), skipper of the U.S.S. Triton during Operation SANDBLAST & best-selling author of both non-fiction & novels such as Run Silent, Run Deep.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Sufjan Stevens, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" from Songs for Christmas (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: 'Tis the fourth & final Sunday of Advent. The Christmastide is nigh! Today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D. is the 4:00 version of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," an exceedingly beautiful rendition of an already beautiful song.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Sufjan Stevens, "Get Behind Me, Santa!" from Songs for Christmas (T.L.A.M.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Eartha Kitt, "Santa Baby" from Elf: Music from the Major Motion Picture (T.L.A.M.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Puppini Sisters, "Santa Baby" from Christmas with the Puppini Sisters (T.L.A.M.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Birthday!
Happy first birthday to The Squeak! The most important lesson learned during my wee niece's first year of life is that Uncle Mike is indeed her favorite. No matter how many times I have to tell her that. Happy birthday, Natalie!
I'm at an awkward size vis-à-vis my belts, my girth falling between two eyelets. The eyelets I've been using no longer afford proper support of my trousers, leaving me constantly to hike up my waistband lest my boxer shorts be exposed, & yet the next smaller-size eyelets makes the belts' fits too tight, especially in a seated position. The solution for this is to tough it out until I shrink down to that next eyelets, but the holidays are upon us, & along with them ample opportunities to snack. Hard as this may be to believe given my elephantine bulk, but I always put on weight between Thanksgiving & the New Year. So, caught between active efforts to shrink & the inevitable reality of growth, it seems I'll be caught at this awkward size at least until sometime in the latter parts of January, or February. Still, I will harness all of ÖSTERREICH's energies towards arresting that annual swelling & not only continuing but accelerating the CADMUS-mandated reduction in my person.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
K. Steeze & the Brothers Mace, "Santa Baby" courtesy of K. Steeze (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Truly one of the worst recordings ever made. Just horrible. A time-tested dictum of B.T.W. is "Alienate the audience;" with this precept in mind, I shall be lobbying for "Santa Baby" to be included as a bonus track on the forthcoming Real Can of Yams E.P. If this awful rendition of "Santa Baby" doesn't alienate the audience, nothing will.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Eddy Arnold, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" from Elf: Music From the Major Motion Picture (T.L.A.M.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Susan Egan, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" from Winter Tracks (T.L.A.M.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Explorers Club
No. CCXIII - The U.S.S. Triton SSRN-586 & Operation SANDBLAST, the first underwater circumnavigation of the globe.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Sufjan Stevens, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" from Songs for Christmas (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: 'Tis the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, and just as the rose-colored candle differs from its three violet fellows, so too shall the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. differ from Sufjan Stevens's three brilliant versions of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." I hope one & all are enjoying a jubilant, strengthening Advent, & looking forward to the Christmastide with joyousness & mirth.

Samstag, 11 Dezember
The University of Michigan Marching Band, "I Can't Turn You Loose" from A Saturday Tradition (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I'm not complaining, but at one point during The Big Chill at the Big House the Michigan Marching Band had played "I Can't Turn You Loose" for so long I turned to my companion & asked if he thought they were trying to set the day's second Guinness World Record, for longest continual performance of "I Can't Turn You Loose." As if on cue, they then ceased, leaving me somewhat chagrined.

Freitag, 10 Dezember
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "You Can't Win" from A Jackknife to a Swan (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: What an altogether awful day!

"You can't win, no, you'll never win!"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This week has pummeled the ever-loving piss out of me. And the hits just keep on coming.

The Queue
Just a wee bit of housekeeping: As Winter—an in-universe-but-not-direct prequel to the Bernard Samson trilogy of trilogies—was written & published before the "Hook, Line, & Sinker" trilogy, I've decided I should read it before embarking upon Spy Hook. Thus far, Kim is fan-bloody-tastic!

The History Club, to which I am secretary, held a used book sale over the last two days. For a monetary cost of $6, I acquired nine books (in order, alphabetical by author):

Jim Clark, Jim Clark Behind the Wheel
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
Allen Dulles, The Craft of Intelligence
Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Perjured Parrot
Orrie Hitt, Summer Hotel (smut!)
Michal P. O'Bryan, editor, The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, Volume VI, Number 1
A. M. Pennell, A Hero of the Afghan Frontier
Emily Post, Etiquette
Joseph Newman, editor, Famous Soviet Spies

Len Deighton, London Match
Karen E. Olson, Pretty in Ink
William Stevenson, A Man Called INTREPID: The Secret War (abandoned, XPD)

Rudyard Kipling, Kim

Len Deighton, Winter
Len Deighton, Spy Hook
Len Deighton, Spy Line

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Creedance Clearwater Revival, "I Put a Spell on You" from Chronicle (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Because tonight on Conan She & Him performed "I Put a Spell on You," & it seemed too easy to pick a random She & Him song.

Mittwoch, 8 Dezember
Christina Perri, "Jar of Hearts" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Tuesday's musical guest & performance on Conan. Thanks, Conan!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings" from Barenaked for the Holidays (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I don't want to deluge you, gentle readers, with Christmas music, but this rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings," one of my absolute favorites, was featured on tonight's episode of the delightful Raising Hope & I felt not the slightest inclination to resist the temptation. (Fair warning, next week is Santa Claus week for the R.B.D.S.O.T.D.)
Operation AXIOM
Sixty-nine years ago to the day, 7 December 1941, "the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." The United States did not spark the Second World War. Our lamentable & persistent isolationism being then in full bloom, the United States wanted no part of the Second World War. But once the Second World War came home, once it could no longer be ignored, the United States harnessed the energies, talents, & industry of her people to forge the most powerful fighting force the world had yet known, a martial colossus that beggars credulity. "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory." The United States has never again retreated from the world stage as before that "date which will live in infamy;" the world we know is unimaginable without the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

Addendum—8:12 P.M.: I was shocked & outraged by how little attention was paid to Pearl Harbor Day at tonight's History Club meeting. It's nothing short of scandalous.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Victors: Project OSPREY
Michigan 86-65 Concordia
6-2, Big Ten 0-0

At various points during tonight's contest, the valiant Wolverines couldn't buy a basket. The Cardinals pulled to within five one at least two separate occasions. Despite the eventual twenty-one-point margin of victory, the game was much closer than it ever should have been. What's life without a little excitement, eh? Here's hoping that the boys in Maize & Blue were simply playing down to the level of their competition, not signally that the close loss to (No. 9) Syracuse & the solid victory over Clemson were aberrations.

Go Blue!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Susan Egan, "Cold Enough to Snow" from Winter Tracks (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The cold in "Cold Enough to Snow" is metaphorical. The cold of this morning, this afternoon, & this evening was all too gloriously real. And, hooray, it was indeed cold enough to snow!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The publication of this post was delayed by failure of our home's internet access. This is what I've never understood about the appeal of V.O.I.P.; our house's internet access fails with far greater regularity than the house's landline ever has. If in this age of mobile telephone ubiquity one of the arguments in favor of retaining a home telephone is reliability, how could anyone be fool enough to trust the internets to be there in an emergency?

The Explorers Club
No. CCXII - The U.S.S. Nautilus SSN-571, the world's first nuclear-propelled submarine.

The Victors: Project OSPREY
Michigan 65-62 Harvard
5-2, Big Ten 0-0

I don't bear Harvard's head coach Tommy Amaker any particular ill-will over his largely unsuccessful tenure as our men's basketball head coach from '01-'07, but it is important symbolically for a team to best a former head coach's new team. Kudos to the valiant Wolverines for doing just that against the annoyingly-nicknamed Crimson. Also, I've written this before & assuredly I'll write this again: any win Michigan can walk away with is good enough for me. I wished I'd recalled earlier that the game was on, because by the time I flipped over to the Big Ten Network half of the second half has already elapsed. Still & all, I was satisfied with what I saw.

Go Blue!

Project OSPREY
I vaguely wanted to see the (No. 1) Duke-Butler game, but for efficiency's sake I combined the running of some errands with my partaking of confession, fetching my dry cleaning & returning some bottles & cans for deposit before going to church & getting right with the Lord Almighty. Consequently, I missed Duke's 82-70 victory; worth a "rats," but not a "drat." Rats!

Both of the games mentioned above were played on Saturday, 4 December.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Sufjan Stevens, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" from Songs for Christmas (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: 'Tis the second Sunday of Advent; I hope your season of penitence & preparation continues apace. The R.B.D.S.O.T.D. is the 1:04 rendition, which contrasts with both last Sunday's instrumental "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" & the upcoming highly vocal "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" by featuring but a single vocal line:

"Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel!"

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Gump" from Bad Hair Day (T.L.A.M.)

Freitag, 3 Dezember
Less Than Jake, "All My Best Friends Are Metalheads" from Hello Rockview (T.L.A.M.)


"Do you know about his strength and conviction?
Or how she puts all her faith in religion?
Dis you take the time to really discover
How little we know about each other?"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Fountains of Wayne, "Chanukah Under the Stars" from Out-of-State Plates, Disc Two (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I know that Hanukkah began yesterday at sundown, & I apologize for the tardiness of this R.B.D.S.O.T.D., but I could not allow the first snowfall of the year, especially on so auspicious a date as the first of December, pass without commemoration. I hope for a happy & holy Hanukkah for all concerned.

"And have a swingin' Chanukah under the stars!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Too Sly & Sugar were quite insistent that after debate practice we go, along with Sugar's boyflesh, to a relatively late IMAX screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I. We stopped off for a quick bite at a chain restaurant (wings & sports bar) near the cinema, where our waitress recognized me by my moustache from the last time we were all there as a group (which must have been during the Malarkey [Wayback Machine says June]). I've seen the first five Harry Potter films, but not yet the sixth, …and the Half-Blood Prince; compared to …and the Sorcerer's Stone, …and the Chamber of Secrets, …and the Prisoner of Azkaban, …and the Goblet of Fire, & …and the Order of the Phoenix, …and the Deathly Hallows, Part I was really rather dull & lifeless. I see exactly what K. Steeze meant when he described the book as little more than one hellaciously long camping trip. You would have to be enormously emotionally invested the characters, as are Sugar & Too Sly, not to have been bored to distraction.

Project OSPREY
I saw a little bit of the Purdue-Virginia Tech game at the chain restaurant prior to the overpriced cinematic boredom; I wish I could have seen more, bu the rules of Project MERCATOR are strict. There are two important things to note about this year's A.C.C./Big Ten Challenge: {a} The Big Ten won, 6-5! That's two in a row for the Great Lakes over the Eastern Seaboard! Woo hoo! {b} The dastardly Spartans, nominally of the Big Ten, lost, overcome by the A.C.C.'s Duke Blue Devils! Learned humility triumphed over prideful ignorance! Huzzah!

I love Project OSPREY.

The 38th Parallel
The Republic of Korea's (R.O.K., South Korea) intelligence services believe that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K., North Korea) is likely to strike again, a week after the bombardment of the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong: The Amazing Kreskinlink. Wow! That's an astonishingly bold prediction in light of the aforementioned shelling... & the sinking of the Cheonan (which would have been an act of war if the two Koreas weren't already formally at war)... & the North's long history of belligerence. Predicting that North Korea will launch more unprovoked attacks against South Korea is about as bold as predicting that the Earth will continue turning. Of course North Korea will attack again! The only thing that will prevent continued North Korean aggression is a preemptive attack by the United States & South Korea (supported, it would be hoped, by long-standing U.S. allies like Australia & Japan). The D.P.R.K. is the most rogue of all rogue states, a Stalinist nightmare where black is white & day is night, a monstrosity as surreal as Airstrip One from Nineteen Eighty-four. There is no way to reason with the D.P.R.K., it must be isolated, weakened, & in time overthrown, in order for its population to be liberated &, 'tis hoped, reunified with the liberal & capitalist South.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Meghan Smith, "It Snowed" via iTunes, (free) Holiday Sampler (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The first snowfall on the first day of December. Perfect.