Monday, December 30, 2002

Random Notes

National Review Online has up its predictions for 2003. Generally they are a hoot, although some of them are disconcerting this year. Let's hope Mark Steyn isn't right on his idea that there might be a need for mass smallpox vaccinations somewhere in the next 12 months.

Speaking of Mark Steyn, he has an interesting column up over at the Sun Times this week: "GOP underperforms but Dems are laughable"

Why ask us to look for these five particular men? Why now?

A FoxNews columnist has up his top movies of 2002. I do think there were a lot of interesting films this year -- it's a pity that I haven't had time to see half of them. I saw Catch Me If You Can this weekend. A bit slow in the plot department, but the movie is a treat. I definitely thought it worth the money -- Frank Abagnale is a fascinating character. To his credit, Leonardo DiCaprio does a fabulous job portraying him and seems to break out of his Titanic sappy-acting mode here. At least once during the movie, my husband thought he was Matt Damon. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Josh Claybourn has up a rather lengthy, interesting piece on the college dating scene. Worth a read -- although I'm more interested in judgment on the matter myself. I'll be offering my own take on this topic later in the week if time permits.

Not sure if I'll be by tomorrow, so have a nice, safe New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Supreme Court Resemblances

If you haven't seen the quiz on "Which Supreme Court Justice Are You?", I found it highly entertaining. My results seemed in-line with my ideology:

#1 Rehnquist
#2 Scalia
#3 Thomas
#4 Kennedy
#5 O'Connor
#6 Breyer
#7 Souter
#8 Ginsburg
#9 Stevens

FYI, I found this link via a Yale Law School blog to which Instapundit had linked recently. Check out the Kitchen Cabinet and Steven Wu's Legal Ramblings if you are interested.
What Santa Brought (inspired by Josh Claybourn's list):

Assorted Clothing
Two CDs full of my favorite 80s music (thanks to Target's Pure Gold Hits collection)
Rowenta iron (Far too excited about this gift -- I've gone domestic)
Various DVDs (from Ya-Ya Sisterhood to a full season of Buffy)
An autographed copy of Sean Hannity's Let Freedom Ring
An Unlikely Conservative: Transformation of an Ex-Liberal by Linda Chavez
U2's Greatest Hits Vol. ???: 1990-2000
Bruce Springsteen's The Rising
Extra place setting of wedding china
Republic of Tea: Ginger Peach Tea
A Zoppini modular charm bracelet
All sorts of food, candy, and restaurant gift cards
Time with family & friends
And we're back

After a few weeks of rest and recuperation, I felt a desperate need to stop by and blog tonight. Life, my dear Internet friends, has been keeping me busy the past few weeks. Where to begin?

The honeymoon was wonderful. Nevermind that we were greeted at the New Orleans cruise terminal by a somewhat frightening sight. A sign that read something along the lines of "Greetings Carnival passengers, we regret to inform you that 240 of the 4200 passengers on the Carnival Conquest last week developed a gastrointestinal illness. At this point we are treating this as an outbreak of the Norwalk virus." They offered us a full refund or rebooking on another sailing. However at this point, we had already spent several hundred dollars to fly down to New Orleans and stay overnight -- we were getting on that boat!

So we boarded armed with several anti-bacterial soaps and sanitizers that Sunday afternoon. We took a few minor precautions and finished out the week Norwalk-free . To Carnival's credit, they took a LOT of precautions while we were on-board. During our cruise, 80 people developed a Norwalk-like virus; however, crew members accounted for forty percent of that number.

We got back into Illinois on December 23rd and have spent the past week shuttling back and forth around the state to see various family members. I also worked a couple days and spent most nights battling a nasty sinus infection that I developed while in Cozumel around the 20th. Never fly with a sinus infection if you can help it. Never a good thing.

Suffice it to say that I am back, and I will be returning to my regular blogging habits as of this week. Very sorry for the extended absence, and thanks for checking back. (FYI for future cruisers -- shipboard internet access currently runs at least $60 for 100 minutes!) For any interested parties, I am working on a description of the trip that I will try to post in a few days, as well as a few comments about my first Christmas as a married woman. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, that you enjoyed the holiday with friends and loved ones, and that you were able to reflect on the true significance of Christ's birth.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Interesting conversations...

It really is a shame that I've been so busy lately, because I feel like there are some interesting conversations occurring out there. Just going to point out a few interesting conversations here -- hopefully I will have time to chip in my thoughts on a few of these tomorrow night.

Suzanna Cornett echoes my thoughts on the Trent Lott fiasco. He just says stupid things regularly, okay? I think both the blogosphere and Democratic politicians are making mountains out of molehills here. Similar props to Central-Illinois native Jim Bowen over at No Watermelons for his comments on the matter.

However, I will give Kevin Holtsberry that these comments are bad for the general public's perception of Republicans as racist good ole boys. There is some irony in the whole situation though. Who would have thought fifteen months ago on September 11th that one of our biggest worries would be the implied meaning of a bad joke at Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party?

Mark Byron has an interesting post on the possibility of Northeastern RINOs breaking away to start their own Centrist party. My reaction as I read this post: until you get to the hypothetical platform for the party, Mark gives a pretty good description of your average Republican. With a few notable exceptions -- I would buy that your average Republican is more likely to be religious and centrists would likely be more in favor of environmental restrictions -- I am having trouble determining which centrist qualities in this description are not really Republican-lite ideas. Mark or anyone else -- want to take a whack at it? Convince me.

Josh Claybourn has an interesting post up on greed. I am in agreement with him here on most everything he says. This post immediately made me think of the excellent Sopranos finale that I had the pleasure of viewing last night. I hope to tie these two together in a post later this week, so check back soon!

Free at last...

As Josh Claybourn recently noted, college bloggers are going to be quite busy this week. This also applies to lunatics like myself who decide that it will be great fun to put in a 40-hour workweek and THEN take masters classes part-time. I spent most of my weekend slaving away on a 10-page single-spaced paper on Internet2 technologies, and then finished a rather large group e-commerce project tonight.

My husband finished his exams this evening as well. Between that and the fact we are taking off on our belated honeymoon this weekend, we definitely have cause for celebration tonight! We'll be traveling to the Big Easy on Saturday and exploring the Western Caribbean the rest of the week. We'll get home just in time to celebrate Christmas with both our families. Between now and then, blogging may be limited. The ship is rumored to have an Internet cafe though, so don't be surprised if I stop by to say hello from the road.

Monday, December 09, 2002

Thursday, December 05, 2002

FYI, Benjamin Kepple has up a great post about the sorry state of network programming and what should really be considered degrading to women on television. And Ben, my husband is a "short skirt, long jacket" type of guy as well. He knows just where you are coming from...although I'm not sure how my stock dividends are doing at the moment. (Hoping the 401K had NO United stock in it!)
Illini linx

My boys are back in town! Not sure if I have mentioned it on the blog before, but I have an unreasonable attachment to the Illinois men's basketball program. Last year was suppsed to be THE year, but things just didn't come together for my boys Frank Williams, Robert Archibald, Damir Krupajlia, and Lucas Johnson. Now the team is left to "rebuild" with Brian Cook, Sean Harrington, and one of the best freshmen recruiting classes in the country. Alas, Tuesday evening's 92-65 whomping of the North Carolina Tarheels proved that this team has been underestimated. Looks like it could be an interesting year in Big 10 basketball.

Liam over at Hey Listen has linked to a controversy I hadn't even realized was happening. The Daily Illini last week published an ad from the One Truth Foundation. It apparently hit a little too close to home for some of the thought police, and Illinois has a great big freedom of the press controversy on its hands. I particularly liked Liam's vote for how the paper should have handled the situation -- check it out.

The Daily Illini also has an in-depth profile on Erika Harold, Central Illinois's own Miss America 2003.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Diversity and Debate

World Net Daily last week reported that a Kodak Eastman employee in Rochester, New York was fired because he replied to a company memo instructing employees on how to be supportive during National Coming Out Day. What hurtful and unacceptable comments did he make that led to his dismissal? He replied over e-mail "Please do not send this type of information to me anymore, as I find it disgusting and offensive. Thank you, Rolf Szabo" This doesn't seem to be a smart career move on Szabo's part. At the same time though, I doubt he ever realized he would be fired after 23 years of employment because he expressed his disagreement with a company policy.

I've gone into this on the blog before, and I'll do so again. I don't hate gay people -- I've always held a hate the sin, love the sinner attitude towards homosexuality. I have co-workers who are gay -- people whose friendships I valued long before I realized their significant other was of the same gender. I don't begrudge homosexuals anything in the workplace -- they deserve to be treated with the same level of professionalism and respect afforded to any co-worker. But I still believe homosexual acts are sinful, and I don't think such issues should be forced down everyone's throats as "diversity" in the workplace. If corporations were truly celebrating all types of diversity equally, they would be holding an annual "Celebrate Heterosexual Relationships Day" as well. I really don't see that happening anytime soon.

Everytime I consider shedding my mask of anonymity and "going public" with Illinigirl, I stumble across an article like this. This one in particular hits close to home, as I have encountered similar situations as of late. Situtations where I felt like I couldn't say what I really thought, no matter how much I wanted to. The subject was already out-of-bounds, beyond the limits of debate. Question our love of diversity and you may not be here much longer! I have pondered the fact that perhaps I shouldn't be working for a company where I can't express my viewpoints, Christian, political or otherwise. It makes me a bit more reticent to put my own ideas out there -- at work or outside of it -- for fear of potentially impacting my career/employment. I am sure that Kodak was probably within its legal rights as an employer, but it just seems to me that in a society with freedom of expression, employees shouldn't have to deal with these sorts of concerns.

Peggy Noonan's Opinion Journal column last week was titled "Stand Up and Take It Like an American: In a free society, sometimes you pay a price for your beliefs." She was discussing the Daschle/Limbaugh feud, and basically explaining why she thought Tom should quit his whining. When you stand up for something you believe in, there are going to be people who disagree with you. Occasionally you will have to deal with people criticizing you and with idiots threatening you. In this case though, the price that Rolf Szabo paid for standing up for his beliefs seems to be a bit too high. Here's to hoping that Kodak realizes it and makes amends. In the meantime, I'm considering switching to FUJI film.