Thursday, November 30, 2006

Post-Rant Post...

Boy, I really had a lot of vitrol that needed to be expunged.

Well, enough about aircraft carrier names. Now we are coming to the topic that will strike fear into the hearts of shopping.

(Insert dramatic music here.)

Yep, it's time to shop for christmas. My list of people to buy for isn't very long. Family, Book Exchange victim, er recipient, and a few others. No girlfriend to shop for so that's a lot of planning that I don't have to worry about.

So my plan is to complete this task tomorrow after a doctor's appointment. Also I'm actually going to send out Christmas cards this year. Seriously, I've bought them and everything. So tomorrow I'll need to get stamps.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The sorry state of CVN 78...

I guess it's about time for me to rant about something. Now my first choice is how CVN-78, the ship that will replace the LEGENDARY USS Enterprise CVN-65 is going to be named after...Gerald R. Ford. Sigh. I'm currently having a rave-out over this BRILLIANT decision by John Warner (Senior Republican Senator from Virginia and now in my opinion, a schmuck) with a friend via email. He and I both feel that if there isn't a USS Enterprise as a Carrier in this nation's navy well, then this whole country is off track. And apparently, this whole country is off track if we're naming a ship after GERALD FRIGGIN FORD!!! (OK, I'm gonna rant about this now I guess. My blood is up.)
Seriously, the guy never WON A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION! NEVER! EVER! He was in for two years and all he did was pardon Nixon, fall down steps several times on camera and got shot at by Lynette Squeaky Fromme. He's a nice guy and all, but he DOES NOT DESERVE A CARRIER NAMED AFTER HIM! Certainly not the carrier that will replace the USS ENTERPRISE. For God's sake! It's the Enterprise! You cannot have a US NAVY without a USS Enterprise, it's like getting rid of Santa and still wanting to put presents under the tree. It's not right!
The name Enterprise has been associated with the US Navy since the early republic. She fought the Barbary Pirates, the Confederacy, and the Empire of Japan. (Talk about the big 3 foes in US Navy History, I'd put in France as a significant foe's France, they're not significant.) Heck, the WW2 incarnation of Big E made it through the entire war from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay. And SHE was scrapped! That was a travesty! Now they're going to name the replacement ship after Gerald Ford? Seriously we deserve to lose a war if we name a ship like that. Damn.

Ok, I've vented now. Back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

An Archivist's work is never done...

Saturday was a blissfully great day. Much sleeping in was done. And it was great! Oh man was I tired. The Terps lost to Wake Forest so no Orange Bowl for them. Ah well.

Today I'm doing laundry, cleaning my room and sorting through papers. Also I've got the master copy of a CD-Rom that will be released by the historical society containing scans of drawings from our archives. I've got to mail that out tomorrow morning.

Well back to work!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Stranger Than Fiction...

Just saw "Stranger Than Fiction" starring Will Farrell. It was very clever. I was happy to see Will Ferrell acting serious for a change and a movie that had a genuinely new idea. Not a run out and see it now movie, but go see it if Casino Royale is sold out. It's a good date movie.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I've been looking for this...

I am a huge fan of The West Wing. Not the schmucks running it now, but the Josiah Bartlett Administration. One episode back in 2002 called "Holy Night" had Toby meeting his dad again and the Yale Whiffenpoofs' cover of "O Holy Night" figured prominently in it. I REALLY liked that cover of "O Holy Night." (FYI any version of "O Holy Night" or "Silent Night" that makes me get a little teary at the flood of memories of the great Christmases past that the song brings up is a keeper.) And lo and behold what do I find on-line this morning than....A Very Whiffenpoof Christmas. And it has that version of "O Holy Night" on it.

Now...will it arrive in time?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My road, kid, and I don't give lessons and I don't take partners...

I shall listen to "King of the Road" and watch "Emperor of the North" in his honor.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Casino Royale...


GOOD FRIGGIN JOB! Excellent movie, great Bond, great villain, hot babes and another Astin Martin bites the dust. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My lords and members of the House of Commons...

Yes, I'm an Anglo-phile. Okay. I admit it. Happy now?

I spent my drive in to work today listening to this on C-Span Radio.
(Yes, there really is a C-Span Radio.)
(And yes, I am a nerd.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I forgot to mention, I saw "Flags of Our Fathers" this weekend. Excellent movie. Clint Eastwood did a VERY good job directing and Adam Beach who plays Ira Hayes is GREAT!

Next on the list: "Casino Royale"

Friday, November 10, 2006

Veterans Day...

November 11, 1918-The day the war ended.

Keep the Home Fires Burning

They were sum-moned from the hill-side,
They were called in from the glen,
And the Coun-try found them read-y
At the stir-ring call for men.

Let no tears add to their hard-ship;
As the Sol-diers pass a-long
And al-though your heart is break-ing,
Make it sing this cheer-y song.

Keep the Home-fires burn-ing,
While your hearts are yearn-ing,
Though your lads are far a-way
They dream of Home;
There's a sil-ver lin-ing
Through the dark cloud shin-ing,
Turn the dark cloud in-side out,
Till the boys come Home.

O-ver seas there came a plead-ing
"Help a Na-tion in dis-tress,"
And we gave our glo-rious lad-dies;
Hon-or made us do no less.

For no gal-lant Son of Free-dom
To a ty-rant's yoke should bend,
And a no-ble heart must an-swer
To the sa - cred call of "Friend".

Keep the Home-fires burn-ing,
While your hearts are yearn-ing,
Though your lads are far a-way
They dream of Home;
There's a sil-ver lin-ing
Through the dark cloud shin-ing,
Turn the dark cloud in-side out,
Till the boys come Home.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Oh wow...

They pulled it off! The Democrats got the House and the Senate! Jim Webb has been declared the winner of the Virginia Senate Race by 7 networks.

I had a feeling they would do well, but...dang!


"This race is tight like a too-small bathing suit on a too-long ride home from the beach."

"This race is as tight as the rusted lug nuts on a '55 Ford."

"It's the American way: if you don't vote, you don't get to whine."

-Dan Rather

UPDATE-11/08/06 1pm Eastern
Montana's Senate Race has gone to the Dems according to

The Associated Press is reporting that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is stepping down.

Well, it's over...almost. Montana and Virginia's Senate Races are too close to call but the democrats have a thin lead in both. Expect recounts and court challenges. If the Dem's hold on to both leads then they have the Senate.

They already have the House, sweeping through it like Germans through France.

Maryland's races have been called, but things could get squirrelly with the absentee ballots that need to be counted. Right now Ehrlich is out and O'Malley is in. This was not what I expected as Ehrlich did exactly what I thought he needed to do, not screw up too bad over four years, to win. And for the most part he did. However, the college tuition increase, the PSC flap, the slots fiasco and the close ties to Bush were used effectively by O'Malley to win.
(Personally I was going to vote for Ehrlich until I got a spam email from his campaign. It's bad enough I had to see it on TV and hear it on the radio. That was the last straw. I resolved to vote for O'Malley at that point.)

Cardin has enough of a lead over Steele right now that Mike can probably deliver the concession speech and start working on his resume.

Bartlett won MD6 as expected.

And of course Fenty won DC. Shocker.

So, that's the political landscape as of 11am November 8th. Two big unknowns that need to be filled in but right now have a nice blue tint to them. Should be interesting.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day...

It's Election Day. Huzzah!!!

Well most of the pundits are giving the Dems the House and a gain in the Senate but not enough to take control. We'll see how that pans out. Locally here are my picks:

Ben Cardin beats Michael Steele.

Bob Ehrlich just barely hangs on.

Jim Webb and George Allen's senate race is too close to call. But I'll give the edge to Webb because of early reports of high turn-out in Northern VA...that and I think Allen is a schmuck.

Stone-Cold Lock (Insert CLUNK sound effect here): Adrian Fenty wins the Mayoral Race in Washington, DC.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett keeps the MD 6th firmly in his grasp.

Nationally...I have this feeling the Dems will take both Houses of Congress. The key senate races that will tip the scales are awfully close. This could be a long night. (Somebody get their Dan Ratherisms ready.)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Train Day...

It is finished. I am tired, I am sore. But the Historical Society is richer for the experience.


Props to DASRT for coming down today! Thanks!!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

No Mister Bond...

I expect you to die!

"Casino Royale" is coming out soon and I'm psyched about it. It's a spy movie not an explosion movie. To celebrate it's pending release, here are my top 20 things in the James Bond series.

20. Jump-suited goons. The best entries in the series seem to have armies of nameless jump suited goons who run around with submachine guns waiting to get killed or run away in the last 20 minutes of the movie.

19. Felix Leiter. Gotta love the guy who gets to bail out Jimmy when things get tough. It helps when he brings the Marines/Navy/Army/Seals/etc.

18. Tuxedos. If I ever wear a tuxedo, you know what I'm going to say within the first ten minutes of putting it on.

17. Jaws. Yes, some people aren't Jaws fans, but he's just so damn menacing...until he turns to the good side in Moonraker.

16. The faceless Blofeld. Before "You Only Live Twice" Blofeld's face was never seen. He was much more...sinister that way.

15. General Alexis Gogol. Played by Walter Gotell, Bond's sometimes nemesis and later more consistent ally as the films became more homages to Detente rather than "let's stop the commies!"

14. Valentin Zhukovsky played by Robbie Coltrane. Bond's later ally in the post-Soviet Bond films. Dies heroically in "The World is Not Enough."

13. SPECTRE. Dangerous and without any convictions save their own code of conduct. Truly a threat to the world.

12. Kerim Bey. The last role for Pedro Armendiariz before he committed suicide (after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer) was of Head of Station T. Kerim was the most resourceful and well-equipped of the local Station Cheifs Bond ever has worked with in the series. He dies on the Orient Express in "From Russia with Love."

11. Oddjob. See "Goldfinger", you'll know.

10. "Tiger" Tanaka head of the Japanese SIS in "You Only Live Twice" who just happens to have a company of Ninjas handy when Jimmy needs to raid an extinct volcano-turned SPECTRE base. I wish I had a company of Nijas handy. He puts Felix to shame with that. (Yes the marines are great, but DAMN! Nijas? Dude, they'll kill you before you even know it!)

09. And based on that...The Company of Ninjas from "You Only Live Twice." If ever I get put in a position where I'm an evil genius and the hero has brought a company of nijas, I'm just gonna give it up right there.

08. Two words "Pussy Galore" Thanks. Nuff said.

07. The James Bond Astin Martin...various models.

06. Donald Pleasance as Blofeld. "KILL BOND! NOW!!!" Perfect.

05. Moneypenny (either Lois Maxwell or Samantha Bond) I think we all need a Moneypenny sometimes in our lives.

04. Dame Judith Dench as M. Best successor to Bernard Lee yet.

03. Bernard Lee as M. The epitome of what I expect the head of a group of secret agents to be. Flinty, irascable, smart and outwardly dispassionate...but he cares a lot for his people. Sometimes that side shows itself at important points in the series. (see "On Her Majesty's Secret Service")

02. Q. How can you not put Q in the top 5? I miss him. (RIP Desmond.)

01. Everything in the movie Goldfinger. It is the standard by which I measure the other films.