Alien Long Pig

"Eating E.T." is a mock alien barbecue, because... well, I really don't know.
Eating E.T. is a hands-on exploration of our intimate relations to other species, real and fictional. A life-size, gluten replica of E.T. The Extraterrestial, roasted whole on a spit and eaten together at festive social events, provokes discussions and questions on what is a stake in our practices of eating.

Oh.  That explains... nothing, really.


In Which I Learn I Am Not The Flash

Youngest Daughter was home "sick" today. She was running a slight fever last night, and school rules say no attendee if you had a fever in the past 24 hours. Understandable, really - sick kids plus norovirus equals justifiable paranoia. Meanwhile, Eldest Daughter had a college visit scheduled for today, and while I can work from home, I can't work from a college visit... so the lovely Mrs. escorted the Alldaughter on her visit, while I stayed home with my poor, sick little kiddo fiddo puddin' pie.

Who, of course, woke up feeling just peachy keen. Sigh... kids.

Meanwhile, my team lead ran in the Boston Marathon today. While he's a hair older than me, he's in excellent shape, and enjoys running. In the time that I've known him, I think he's easily run probably a dozen marathons. Not my cup of tea - I struggle with a 5K - but hey, good for him, right?

So I was at home this morning, doing code reviews, and keeping track of the race results. Pulling for my boss, don'cha know. Around 11:30, I knocked off, and told the youngest we were going to head out, take the dog for a walk, and then go get a special treat. She loves Taco Bell, her sisters despise it, so she always gets outvoted when we get something on the go. So whenever I can, I try to take her out for her favorite fast food concoction: two steak quesadillas, which are apparently made with a grilled meat-like substance, spicy cheese, and a sprinkling of crack cocaine.

I admit that I tried to talk her out of her last slice. I have no shame.

We had a lovely stroll through the park, perhaps a mile and a half all told, with a very happy black lab who wanted nothing more than to stop and sniff all the sniffs he could sniff. Once we were done, he got to hang his head out the window as we took the back route from the park and headed for the Bell. A nice, leisurely eight mile drive there, a quick jaunt through the drive through, and...

You can see where this is going, right?

We get home, I check the race results, and... HE'S FINISHED THE RACE.

In under three hours.

OK, yeah, it was a long lunch break, and we weren't walking particularly fast, but... seriously?

HE RUNS MARATHONS FASTER THAN I CAN EAT LUNCH.

Ima go stuff another quesadilla in my face to comfort myself :-(

I Shall Perform The Happy Dance Of My People

Just in case you missed it, John Ringo is working on a new book in his "Troy Rising" series.  Rough ETA is 2018.  Ish.


QOTD

From Michael Z. Williamson:
When confronted with immediate, major violence, shooting the attacker is certainly AN answer, though beating him to death with a club might also be one, but it takes a lot more energy and lacks style.

I May Have To Lay Of The Politics Before Bed

Woke up from a dream where I was at the Republican convention. The Libertarians were there for some reason (mostly ignored in a small side room, of course), and wanted to nominate Wendell the Manatee. When objections were raised because he was from another dimension, they instead nominated Irving the Moray Eel, who actually turned out to be a cuddly cobra wearing a snorkel.

Rand Paul and most of the libertarian-leaning Republican attendees threw their support behind Irving. When I asked why, Paul told me, "Of course we're supporting the eel.  He's honest, principled, and doesn't have a chance at winning.  If that isn't a libertarian, I don't know what is."

QOTD

From a /. article on the latest git release:
I'd rather remove my testicles with a rusty hacksaw than ever use CVS again.
Not quite sure I'm at quite that level of loathing for CVS, but I do see where he's coming from.

You. Don't. Know.

Making the rounds on FB today is the "How I Feel Picking the Next President" image that shows different bags of disgusting-flavored Lays potato chips.

I am simultaneously amused and disturbed by how many friends have shared this image, since it seems to resonate with folks no matter what their political affiliation.

The Democrats aren't happy with their candidates.

Lord knows the Republicans aren't happy with their candidates, either.

Independents get to be doubly disgusted.

The only folks escaping complete disappointment would seem to be the libertarians (both big and little L), who by now are pretty much inured to the idea of seeing the American political process circle faster and faster as it heads down the drain.

We've seen better days, here in America. We're got some problems these days, and some serious disagreement on how to address them. Fortunately, I don't think any of those problems are insurmountable...

... unless we elect leaders that profit from exploiting those disagreements and divisions.

Understand this, though: they can only do that if you let them.

My wife's a registered Republican, and she genuinely cares for the future of our country. It makes me furious when I see Democrat cheerleaders talking about how all Republicans are racist, misogynist, stupid, and vile. (Hint: if you're going to explain to me that you can accuse the Republican party of being all that, but not imply anything about my wife, then you're part of the problem, bucko.)

I've got friends who are Democrats, and they genuinely care for the future of our country. It torques me off to no end when I see Republican cheerleaders talking about how all Democrats are ignorant, deceitful, delusional, and vile. (Hint: see above hint.)

Not to mention the Libertarians, who are disdained by both the Democrats and the Republicans, because we don't know where roads come from, or something. But, hey, news flash - we care about the future of the country, too.

If you're one of those folks that think that Fox News, or the Huffington Post, or the Washington Post, or the New York Times or CNN or Breitbart or Mother Jones or Red State or... whoever is the font of all evil, then man (or lady, or whatever pronoun you prefer).... you are part of the problem.

You're trying to make excuses in your head, now. "But, but, but..." Trust me, I know. I've been there.

DON'T DO THAT.

I know, you're a little scared. The advice is the same.

DON'T DO THAT.

Don't give in to the fear.

Here's the truth: the guy that you know at work, at church, at your social club? The one that you don't agree with on politics at all? That makes you see red every time he talks about how it's all the fault of those racists, those freeloaders, those "other people"?

He's a little scared, too.

You're not all that different, really. You're both worried. You're both concerned. Not just about yourself, but about your fellow citizen as well. You both want the best for each other, really.

You'd both rather, just, you know, get on with life than have to worry about who's going to be Chief Doofus of the Free World next year.

Just... you know, keep that in mind.

This time next year, you'll either be part of The Establishment, or you'll be a part of the Loyal Opposition. Right now, you don't really know which group you'll end up in. Might be one; might be the other.

YOU.  DON'T.  KNOW.

What you DO know is that a year from now, you and your neighbor will still get along, because... well, neighbors. You'll still get together for a beer after you're done mowing the yard, or your kids win (or lose) the local baseball championship.

What you DO know is that a year from now, you and your coworker will still be working together. You'll still feel bad for them when they tell you about their latest problems and worries. You'll still get together and curse about the devil-spawned end-user, and how you wish people would just think before they did something, right?

What you DO know is that a year from now, you'll still be in church with that fellow who had some ideas about how the country should be run that seemed odd to you. He'll still come to you and ask you to pray for his brother, because cancer sucks. And you'll say yeah, and when you get home, you'll break down and cry, because your mom fought that black beast and lost, and who the hell cares what his politics are when he's going through that particular patch of misery.

All of which is to say: your brother is not your enemy, dude.

Your sister is not your enemy, girl.

We are all in this together, we are all searching for solutions together, and if you hear anybody - anybody, on any side - telling you that your brother or sister doesn't deserve to be listened to because THEY ARE THE PROBLEM...

... then you should back away slowly, and understand where the REAL problem is.

Two Shades of Gray

A comment on a friend's FB post, where she was asking for advice on which particular shade of gray was appropriate for a certain part of her home:
Dear sweet merciful heavens, I am aware - reluctantly! - of two grays: "Haze", and "That Kind Of Faded Driftwood Gray, You Know What I Mean, Right?" 
The first is only appropriate when applied to the hulls of warships, and the second is preferred for any application in the home that calls for something akin to the color "gray". I, along with pretty much every other male in the world, have absolutely NO desire to determine the providence of any other shade, warmth, saturation, or other adjective of gray. 
Which is to say, you should listen to those non-male friends of your, and ignore us color-illiterates who look at periwinkle and say "That's, like, blue. Ish. Sorta."
Guys, feel free to point to this post whenever your spouse, significant other, girlfriend, or acquaintance asks for your opinion regarding anything that isn't clearly a primary color.

[Edit: having read the above, I am convinced that I was unconsciously channeling Charles G. Hill.  Which is not a bad thing, I don't think.  But it was certainly unintentional.]