November 8th, 2005

Vote Six

Voting, Schmoting

Well, it's state election day again, so laurie_robey and I get to step over to the South Lakes school and cast our ballot for Moe, Larry, or Curly for governor, and which of the Keystone Cops we want to install in various other offices. The problem is, no matter who wins, we still get a Stooge. Kilgore is slightly more noxious than Kaine, however, so I guess I'll vote for Kaine. Why isn't Abel on the ticket?

For the most part, the candidates all have the same shpiel, which is, "I think exactly what everybody else thinks more than my opponents -- and they're all dinks!" The problem is, most of them don't think what I think -- even the one libertarian on the ballot (running for delegate) doesn't seem to have much of a platform beyind "The other guy is a dink." On the other hand, the other guy claims to be against all the stuff that the libertarian says he's for, and also volunteers as part of his shpiel that he opposes legislation discriminating against gays -- which is a gutsy stance in Virginia and one that nobody else is taking as far as I can see.

So it looks like except for the bonds referendum ("I keep voting NO and they keep coming back!"), I'll be voting Asses instead of Elephants this time. Yay.

One bright spot in this election: Virginia, adopting a great British tradition, at least has a Silly Party candidate!

-The Gneech
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Hello, All You Happy People :)

Hmm ... my "friend of" list has grown again since the last time I looked ... with some people I know, some people I don't know, and very likely some people I know but don't know that I know.

Well, hello out there! :) Hope you're enjoying my LJ. To welcome you aboard, here's Today's Forgotten English!

One who deserves hanging; a scamp, rascal; one who would fill a "widdy," or [hangman's] halter. Attributively, deserving to be hanged, scampish, rascally; Scotland.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1928

London's New Gibbet
On this date in 1783, the place in London where public executions were carried out shifted from the infamous Tyburn Scaffold to Newgate prison, ending a tradition that had dated back to 1196. A "Tyburn tulip" -- a prisoner convicted of a capital offense -- enjoyed an odd benefit at a hospice known as St. Giles-in-the-Field. There, John Stow's Survay of London (1598) reported, "the prisoners conveyed from the City of London towards Tyburn, there to be executed for treasons, felonies, or other trespasses, were presented with a great bowl of ale, thereof to drink at their pleasure, as to be their last refreshing in this life." Since 1851 the monument known as Marble Arch has stood in a corner of Hyde Park as a reminder of these gallows. Nearby, at what is today Speakers' Corner, it was customary for the condemned to make a last penitential speech, called "preaching at Tyburn Cross."

-The Gneech
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Greg sat, hands folded on the table, looking around the room in a state of expectant readiness, with a stack of copies of Retrograde Maneuvers at his side. He was still less-than-thrilled about the cover, depicting as it did a stylized cartoon man sitting backwards on a stylized cartoon motorcycle, pointing as if to say "Go that way!" Yes, it fit the title of the book, and yes, the main character of the book rode a motorcycle ... but there wasn't any scene like that in the book, leading Greg to the conclusion that it was misleading at best.

He'd been at Big Book Barn for at least half an hour, so far, and aside from a few friendly inquiries that hadn't gone anywhere, his attempted signing was something of a flop. Of course, he hadn't been able to talk-up the event properly -- his agent had simply called up at four and said, "Get ye to Big Book Barn tonight at 7:30!" and so off Greg had get ye'd.

"Um ... how's it going?" said a familiar voice off to his side, causing him to make an extremly undignified squeak. Yvonne, wearing a lanyard with some kind of electronic key around her neck, stood there in a manner that could only be described as "perkily."

Greg stifled his first intended response, which was "Good lord!" and instead managed to reply with a civilized, "Oh, hello! What are you doing here?"

"I work here!" she replied, shaking the electronic key on its lanyard. "I didn't know you were going to do a signing here. It wasn't in your blog!"

"Oh, yes, well, it was very short notice," said Greg. "You read that, do you? Fancy that."

"Yup! Ever since I read the book and saw the URL down on the bottom of the back cover. If it hadn't been for the picture on your blog, I would never have realized that you lived across the hall from me! I was like, 'Hey! I know that guy!'"

"Aheheheh ... amazing, isn't it, how you can feel like you know someone from catching glimpses of their public face ... when really that person's just a total stranger. They may lead a totally different life from what you expect!"

"That's so insightful," Yvonne replied, beaming. "I bet you have layers of wisdom that your book only begins to hint at!"

"Er," said Greg. That wasn't at all the response he'd been hoping for.

-The Gneech

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Hong Kong Phooey

The Tuesday Workout Report

Inspired by kylet's continuing efforts, bauske and I pledged to keep each other appraised of our continuing workout progress. Anybody else who is interested, is welcome to keep score at home as well.

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laurie_robey and I have been discussing the idea of switching to a later schedule (like 9:30 - 6:00); if we do that, I will probably try to take up jogging in the morning again. When I first got serious about getting into better shape, jogging was one of the most effective routines I did, and getting back to the endurance I once had (jogging for a solid 1/2 hour on a very hilly course) would make a future return to Kung Fu a lot more likely to be successful. So we'll see!

So, bauske, how about you? ;)

-The Gneech
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