Monday, May 30, 2005

Happy Memorial Day, have a croissant.

In the news here at home, it's Memorial Day. So, happy Memorial Day everybody, and enjoy your holiday, if you're lucky enough to get one.

All the fun news is going on in Europe right now. In the E.U., there is a new charter up for approval. It was signed last October by leading officials, and is now must be approved by all 25 member nations in order to take effect in 2006 as planned. Its purpose is to "[unite] ever more closely, to forge a common destiny" for the organization's members. It includes many economic provisions that free up trade restrictions between member nations, and provisions that alter the legislative structure. It is a document that moves the union closer to the super-state it seemed, in recent years, destined to become. It has already been approved by nine countries. What brought all this into the spotlight was the vote in France. The nation that essentially founded the E.U. voted to reject the charter yesterday in a referendum election, with over 55% of a 70% turnout voting "non". The vote is making waves throughout France and Europe. President Chirac's opponents have called for changes in the government, the most radical of which have called for his resignation, and even dissolving the National Assembly. While nobody will be getting rid of the French parliament, Chirac has promised changes within the government to be announced soon. Perhaps the most significant result for Americans is that in the day since the vote, the Euro has fallen to it's lowest level of the year against the Dollar.

This vote makes sense for France, it seems. Employment is high there right now, and many have been dissatisfied with Chirac's leadership on economic issues. It seems there are varying reasons for opposition to this charter, depending on location in the French political spectrum, the proposal is opposed on economic concerns, such as loss of jobs and trade imbalance, sovereignty issues, or opposing Chirac issues.

Personally, I don't like the further unification of Europe. If the E.U. keeps getting stronger, more unified, it won't be long before it rivals the U.S. economically and politically. Look at the U.N. security council. The five permanent seats are occupied by the U.S., Great Britain, France, Russia, and China. That's two of five nations in the E.U. already, and if Russia eventually joined (which wouldn't happen for many years) that's over half, not to mention the European nations in the rotating seats. Now, I don't take much stock in the U.N. (that's for another post) but it's a telling example. Were I a citizen of one of these nations, I would probably opposed the E.U. on sovereignty grounds. I don't think, as a German, or a Spaniard, or a Latvian, I would be happy to be under the authority of a Frenchman, or an Englishman, or an Italian. This, thankfully, is not an issue for me, living in the United States, but it always seems to be in my mind when I hear about the E.U.

Back to the matter at hand, this vote in France is a major statement by the French people. While officials and commentators insist the charter is not dead, and there will be another vote, the French people have asserted their right to govern themselves, whether they're opposed to being governed by the rest of Europe, or by Jacques Chirac. It will be interesting to see where this goes in France, and in other important E.U. members, with votes coming up in Great Britain, the Netherlands, and others. While no one can call the charter dead, it is equally true that no one can deny that the political landscape has changed.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

A few interesting occurences

The most interesting occurence in my life in the last few days is the arrival of new registers at work. Yes, Albertson's now has shiny new cash registers, with big, sexy, plasma screen monitors. Also, the credit card/ check system is more efficient. Woo-wee, let's hear it for modern technology.

A historical realization: Al Gore did not invent the internet: the Civil War did.

I left a comment on Sean's blog that's longer than any of my blog posts to date. I'll give you three guesses on what the subject is. (No, this is not a cookie opportunity; too easy)

Shoes are in. They're blue. I pick them up tomorrow, before I get my brakes checked.

Papa John's All the Meats pizza is a wonderful replacement for NY Pizza and Pasta's pepperoni and sausage during their remodelling.

I'm being stalked by a Mexican. Se llama Miguel. He keeps calling me. I said he had the wrong number. Entonces, dije que tuve el numero incorecto. He didn't seem the least bit deterred by either. If he calls again, I'm going to attempt to explain to him that I don't know him. Poor Miguel. He's probably wondering around area code 209 (Dallas?) sin amigos o dinero. O drogas, if that's his thing, but you know, whatever.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Fun Music Thingy, and The Clunker

This Audioscrobbler business that Rodney speaks of seems quite intriguing. I think I'll jump in on some of that action....hopefully it doesn't make my computer freak out. Honestly, the clunker has held up surprisingly well since the October crash, and the subsequent revival...

"We can rebuild him; we have the technology."

...but, then again, the fourth incarnation of The Clunker is not exactly the world's first bionic man, and while XP has made it quite shiney, and a spot prettier, I wouldn't call it better, it doesn't seem any stronger, and it's most definitely not faster. It made a weird noise last weekend, and then it stopped. I thought it was going to die, and in truth maybe it is, but I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm going to work the hell out of this thing until it keels over and dies, then buy a new one, one that truly is better, stronger, and faster. So, until then, think hard, little Clunker, and Godspeed.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

My take on Star Wars: Episode III

Star Wars: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith might as well have been a large effort in damage control, and a fine effort it is. Lucas redeemed himself with this one; he gave the hardcore fans of the original movies the prequal they would have written in their heads. The movie started out somewhat confusing, (seriously, coughing robots?) which apparently would not have been the case had I watched the cartoon about the clone wars, or read all the books, or whatever. Thankfully, I was surrounded with people who knew what was up, and eventually got things sorted out. I'm not going to say this movie was a slow starter, because, in true Star Wars fashion, there was action right off the bat. What I will say is that the second half was about ten times better than the first. The fights were more exciting, the story was tighter, and, while it may even be my imagination, the dialogue was a little less cheesey. So, everyone should go see it, if anything, just for the light sabre fights. Plus, the movie's got Samuel L. Jackson, and everyone loves Samuel L. Jackson. (Thankfully, he still kicks ass in this one) Also, you get to see Yoda talk smack in this one, which, considering his sentence structure and stature, is really really amusing. The movie explains so much about the beginning of New Hope that even a mild fan of that movie would find this one interesting and informative, so eveyone should go see it.

In other news, I'm damn tired of eating two meals a day and sleeping through the whole morning. I definitely need to start going to bed earlier.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Yep, me too...blogging it up.

Like Berlin, 1945, I have capitulated.

Yes, I've started a blog, not because I have anything deep or profound to say to the deep, profound people on the internet, but because everyone else has, and damn it, it looks like fun. Baahhh, bahhh. Now I can argue with my friends about religion, give my opinions on movies, music, and other various entertainment, and whine and gripe about silly political and/or University goings-on, without putting on pants and leaving my bedroom. Hooray. So, we'll see where this goes. I don't know if I'll post all that often, but it may be everyday, you'll just have to wait and see where I take this. I just watched Star Wars: Episode III, and the last episode of Red vs. Blue season 3, and I've got a gift card for Hastings burning a hole in my wallet, so I'm sure there'll at least be something on that, if nothing else.

Oh, by the way, anybody who gets the movie reference (no, it's not to Star Wars) gets a cookie, because cookies are good.