Cap'n Arbyte's

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Yes, I'm Still Here

Hi everybody. I took a week off from blogging. You should feel fortunate.

With Hurricane Frances headed for the Florida coast all week, I was thinking about doing a "FranceIs Attacking Florida" story with a little animation of a shrunken map of France spinning toward Florida. It would have included predictions from meaty urologists, etc. You get the idea. Don't you feel glad?


My price gouging article generated a lot of comment at Catallarchy you may be interested to read.


It has been a very bad time for Russia recently, with two airline bombings, several smaller attacks, and over 300 dead after terrorists took schoolchildren hostage.

I don't have anything to say about it that hasn't been said better elsewhere. But I wanted to mention it as a reminder that the war isn't the United States against the Terrorists, it's Civilization against them.


In somewhat better news, diplomacy carried the day in Iraq when al-Sistani returned to the country and gave al-Sadr a deal he couldn't refuse. Al-Sadr had been, among other things, running a Sharia court near the Imam Ali shrine, torturing his victims.

Yeah, I know. I said "somewhat" better.


In my only piece of genuinely happy news, I've been spending a lot more time practicing piano, and I can now play roughly half of the 18th variation of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini. It's the first serious piece I've tried to learn, although I'm learning a simplified version. (I have the "real" version also; different key, more notes, looks very hard…)

It sounds great.

Good enough for someone who's had substantially more piano training than myself (which isn't saying much) to ask me to give them lessons. I rather think it'll be the other way around, but either is fine.

Tiny Island