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Another View

If you would be interested in how the situation in Lebanon is viewed by a German ex-pat who has lived in Beirut for several years, check out EDB’s lastest post at Anecdotes from a Banana Republic. She expresses sympathy for Shi’ia based mainly on their social status in Lebanon, and is not impressed with the power sharing electoral system in the country that divides the parliament based on religion.

As for the major players, without regard to their religion, she thinks they are all a bunch of wankers, including the Shi’ia politicians. To be honest, I don’t think she likes politicians of any kind or nation.

December 21, 2006   Comments Off on Another View

Ding Dong Niyazov Is Dead


In the CNN report you will learn:

Niyazov had led the desert nation since 1985, when it was still a Soviet republic. After the 1991 Soviet collapse, he retained control and began creating an elaborate personality cult and turning Turkmenistan into one of the most oppressive of the ex-Soviet states.Statues of him were erected throughout the nation. He is listed as the author of the “Rukhnama” (Book of the Soul) that was required reading in schools, where children pledged allegiance to him every morning.

Earlier this year, the eccentric leader announced he would provide citizens with natural gas and power free of charge through 2030. But he has also tapped the country’s vast energy wealth for outlandish projects — a manmade lake in the desert, a cypress forest to change the desert climate, an ice palace outside the capital, a ski resort and a 40-meter (130-foot) pyramid.

Surprisingly Saparmurat Niyazov, President for Life, Turkmenbashi [Father of all Turkmen] has reportedly died of a heart attack. The smart money would have doubted the existence of a heart or brain. Niyazov was on the same level as only one other leader in the world, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il, in terms of human rights and sanity.

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December 21, 2006   Comments Off on Ding Dong Niyazov Is Dead

Happy Solstice

At 6:22PM CST the winter solstice occurred marking the longest night of the year. If everyone has been good, the days start getting longer tomorrow. Locally, the sun rose at 6:39AM and set at 4:50PM for a total of 10 hours and 10 minutes [the seconds work against that extra minute] of daylight, but tomorrow will be a whole second longer.

This also marks HogWatch, so don’t forget to put out the turnips.

December 21, 2006   4 Comments


It’s official the last book in the series will be called: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I was successful in locating two Englebert Humperdinck Christmas CDs my Mother wanted [although Amazon.com will never permit me to forget it] as well as the Chia Cat and Mark Martin NASCAR T-shirt. I would note that the CDs are for her, but the Chia thing and T-shirt are gifts for a neighbor whose has been very helpful. I might even get to finish my shopping before Sunday.

The battery in my UPS died Tuesday, so I had to buy a new UPS because you can’t buy just the battery locally, and I can’t run a computer without a UPS. Then the new database software I had to buy to comply with a client’s preferences refused to install until I updated to Win-XP service pack 2, something I have been avoiding because it is a resource hog and flaky when first released, so I have been crawling under tables and watching mindless update screens for hours.

In dealing with sheetrock repairs in the rehab project I discovered that there is 3/8-inch sheetrock in two rooms and 1/2-inch in two others. The joy of old construction.

Everyone wants things finished before the end of the year, but they don’t mention it until after Thanksgiving.

December 21, 2006   7 Comments


Until further notice you can find Duncan / Atrios / Eschaton at eschaton08.blogspot.com.

Apparently the plan to update a major blog to the Beta model didn’t work quite as easily as the techs at Blogger assumed.

Terry at Nitpicker provided the link.

December 21, 2006   4 Comments