zondag, juli 31, 2005


I love this idea: BookCrossing - FREE YOUR BOOKS!: "bookcrossing
n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise.
(added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in August 2004)"

I think I'm going to look over my shelves, register me some books, then drop them off at the train station. And right after that, I'll finally be ready to study Dutch. I'm almost sure of it.

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Magical times

Ian handed in his book on Friday; 603 pages of comparative private international law on his current topic - European unification of the recognition of registered partnership rules. It's really a very good work. The topic is a Gordian knot that Ian's conclusions have managed to cut through. The conclusions are deceivingly simple; however, they appear simple only because of his clear and focused writing. What is as amazing to me, though, is that after working in on it for four years, he managed to hand it in a day ahead of his deadline. I'm incredibly proud of him.

Neither of us have had a break for awhile, so we've been ignoring friends and many of the other things that make life worth living. Over the past week, our very good friends Chris and Janine got engaged! Last night we finally got together with them at their house and celebrated Ian's good news along with theirs. We all agreed that this is a magical time that we'll all look back on as one of the best in our lives. Lots of firsts for all of us.

While we were there, Chris offered to loan us their snorkeling gear for our upcoming trip to the Black Sea. He probably should have done that before we started in on the wine...

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donderdag, juli 28, 2005

Someone finally said it.

From the Sunday Herald in Scotland:

For the government of a secular country such as ours to treat religion as if it had real merit instead of regarding it as a ridiculous anachronism, which education, wisdom and experience can hopefully overcome in time, is one of the most depressing developments of the 21st century. Religious people must be treated with the same respect as non-religious people, but their religions should quite properly be regarded with the weary contempt they deserve. Instead we have debates on TV news shows between hardline Muslim scholars and moderate Muslim politicians without any intervening voice of scepticism suggesting that the whole darned thing might be just as invented as virgin births and Mormon tablets. . . .

Since these are dark days, it’s time to stop all this polite tiptoeing around religion and harden up accordingly. Our elected leaders constantly bleating their respect for religion is not political correctness but a public declaration that intellect, tolerance, democracy, reason and enlightenment are of less value than dogma and delusion.

The complete article...

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zaterdag, juli 23, 2005

"I'm Lovin' It" ?

Is this something that is just happening at the McDonald's in Utrecht Centraal, or is Ronald McDonald now waiting, in McDonald's toilets all over the world, for us to pee in his mouth?


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Some leftovers

I haven't posted in quite awhile. Life.

I'm in those intensive Dutch classes I think I mentioned - 6 hours a day. Ian's finishing his book - he hands it in next week. Meanwhile, we've also been looking at houses - just to see how much stress we can take before cracking, I think.

We were doing pretty well. We found a house and sucessfully navigated through the maze of mortgages. We put a bid in yesterday and felt great about our chances. The house was a good one for us. No one had bid on the house yet, and it's been on the market now for almost 6 months. Two hours later we got a call that there was another bidder that put in an offer at the same time we did. On top of that, the owner might have cancer, so the house might be taken off the market.

After feeling guilty about our being depressed when the owner probably would have quickly traded her condition for a good, satisfying bout of depression, we were still left thinking we had about reached our limit. We decided to put in our bid and hope for the best, but we're both thinking that what they will probably do, given her illness, is opt out of the process and not go through the stress of moving. We can't begrudge them that, but if you completely forget that there are other human beings involved, we really would like to get the house.

So - that's why you haven't heard from us. Work and excitement and joy and depression and guilt. Like I said, "Life".

Anyway, I've got some leftover links I thought were interesting from many weeks ago. Since I don't feel like studying, I'll add them now.

This is a This is a personal world map. Let it know your info and it will show you where you can get to, given the time and money you're willing to spend.

"The Heterosexual Revolution" is a good reference article for those who insist that homosexuals are destroying "traditional" marriage.

Google Map Transparencies are a pretty cool mixing of sattelite views of where want to go and a street map that provides directions. Try it. You'll be amazed.

A9 Maps provide an entirely different, very fun way to discover places. They're taken pictures of the streets and streetfronts of major cities throughout the US. You can enter an address of a shop you want to find and see what it looks like before you go. It saves the hassle of fighting traffic while searching for a store you've never seen.

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