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Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Rest in peace, grandma. Thelma Cora Nybo, Saturday, July 26, 1919 - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 29th, 2011 (10:49 pm)
sad

current location: Moscow, Russia
current mood: sad
current song: "Into the West" by Annie Lennox and Howard Shore

I love you grandma, give grandpa a hug for me wherever the two of you find yourselves.

Thelma Nybo
Thelma Cora Nybo 
Saturday, July 26, 1919 - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

OBITUARY

Thelma Cora Nybo, age 91 of Austin, died Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at Sacred Heart Care Center. She was born July 26, 1919 to Clarence and Tella (Evjen) Shervem in Rock Dell, Olmsted County, Minnesota. She faced many challenges at a young age, losing her mother when she was only 5 years old and her father before she graduated from Austin High School in 1938. Tragedy struck again when her only sister, Violet, died at the age of 23. On December 20,1942 Thelma married Clarence Nybo at St. Olaf Lutheran Church. After her marriage, she worked part-time at the YWCA and also checked coats at the Terp Ballroom. Thelma’s “main job” was taking care of her girls. Thelma will be remembered for the joy that she found in her family, dancing, golfing and bowling. She moved to Sacred Heart in 2009.

Survivors include two daughters, Donna Nybo of Austin; Linda (Donald) Lenz of Austin; three grandchildren, Anthony (Kira) Arndt, Angela (Joseph) Winkler, Lonnie (Holly) Arndt; three step-grandchildren, Laura (Chuck) Speltz, Jana Lenz, Mathew Lenz; 9 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Carl (Gloria) Nybo, and many cousins. Thelma was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence, in 2007; her parents and sister, Violet.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, January 29, 2011 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin with Pastor Ron Barnett officiating. Interment is at Oakwood Cemetery. Friends may call one hour prior to the service. Worlein Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.worlein.com. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the Mower County Humane Society, Paramount Theatre or St, Olaf Church.

This was written by my mom and Aunt Donna.

MOM

The beginning and ending of mom’s life proved to be very challenging.

She lost her mother when she was only 5, her father when she was 17 and her only sister when she was 28. She had to move to Austin to attend high school and lived and worked for Glen and Ethel Webber for her room and board.

The end of mom’s life proved to be equally challenging. In the last 22 months of her life she had to endure many bone fractures, including fracturing her pelvis twice. But she was amazingly resilient, fighting back each time.

However, it is the happy memories of the times in between which brings smiles to our faces.
  • Playing lawn darts. For some reason whenever mom would throw hers, it would always go straight up in the air and we would all have to run for cover. We fully understand why they were recalled for being too dangerous.
  • Trip to Norway. Mom had never flown before, so she was quite anxious about an 8-hour flight. Being the kind thoughtful children that we were, we solved the problem with a trip to Chi Chi’s restaurant and a pitcher of margaritas. It must have relaxed her because after she set off the metal detector at the airport and got patted down, she proceeded to pat down the security officer.
  • Trip to New Orleans. We were not along, but we heard that when they were at one of the clubs on Bourbon Street they started to dance and the other dancers cleared the dance floor to watch them. They could really kick up their heels.
  • The tale of the golf cart. Mom was out golfing at Ramsey Golf Course with some of her lady friends, and somehow ended up driving down into the creek. Luckily the water was only up to her hips, so she was able to hoist up the purses and golf bags from the cart. That didn’t put a “damper” on the day. One of the other ladies went and got her cart and a dry pair of socks for mom and they continued on, knowing that dad was playing a few holes back and would deal with the cart. Mom must have been wearing drip dry slacks.
  • Tabu perfume. Dad always bought mom Tabu perfume for Christmas and once we became older it became a Christmas gift for us too. When we heard that Dana was not going to make it any more, we bought out the town. It proved to be a false rumor and we still have plenty left.
  • Last outing to the fair. On the last day of the county fair this summer we decided to take mom to the fair. She had been craving a funnel cake and we thought why not just push her down there in her wheel chair. We lucked out and the D.C. Drifters were playing in the fair square, which provided some great music to eat a powdered sugar funnel cake to. She sat there bouncing to the music eating her funnel cake and covering her black slacks in powdered sugar.

Of course, we remember mom most as a mother and grandmother. She always made the holidays special, cooking our favorite foods. She would vacate the front room when we brought our dates back to the house. She would flick on and off the outside light, if we sat in the driveway too long with our dates.

She also provided emergency daycare. She came willingly into a house filled with flu germs. Many Friday nights she would take just one of the grandchildren, so they could have some only child time with the grandparents.

Mom we still are wearing Tabu and we will think of you every time we put it on.

Love,
Your “girls”

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Re: Survey Results, and Commentary @ The Political Pagan

October 25th, 2010 (08:42 pm)

Here's my response to The Political Pagan's Survey Results, and Commentary

I posted it there (I think) but a) blogspot has a 4000 character post limit for comments and b) it kept giving me an error "414 Request-URI Too Large"

So here it is, all in one:

My responses to the questions and suggestions on how to improve them.Collapse )

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Captcha.

September 29th, 2010 (04:38 pm)
annoyed

current mood: annoyed

Wow. It seems to be failing hard today. I've been trying to log in to Facebook and (though this is the only computer and the main connection I use) Facebook was telling me that I was using a new computer and had to go through all their security bull-shit to log on. Got so far as the captcha entry... which timed out. It would ask me to type the words and then go immediately to the submit button without showing me any words.

Livejournal? Logged in on the first try in under 5 seconds.

So, what the Hel happened to Facebook? Did it piss off 4Chan?

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Tolkien on Nazis.

April 13th, 2010 (02:13 pm)
Tags:

“I have in this War a burning private grudge—which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler … Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light.” - J. R. R. Tolkien in a letter to his son.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution?

March 6th, 2010 (12:21 pm)
Tags:

I've seen this floating around lately. Not a bad idea, it's nice to see something that I think most Americans of any party affiliation could get behind.

Subject: An idea whose time has come

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term; that they didn't pay into Social Security; that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Health Care Reform that is being considered...in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.

Have each person contact a minimum of Twenty people on their Address list, in turn ask each of those to do likewise..

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States".

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

ILM James B. Whitney, Odin's Day, 13 January 2010

January 15th, 2010 (01:34 pm)
sad

current location: Samsun, Turkey
current mood: sad

Photobucket


ILM James B. Whitney
Born in the too recent past in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Died on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

"When I can pick up chicks while bar-hopping in Mecca, I'll believe in the possibility of peace in the Middle-East."

This is what the Star Tribune had to say:

James B. Whitney Jr.

Whitney, James B., Jr. age 46, of Mpls., formerly of Glendale, OH, passed away 1/13/10. Survived by many uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. Graduated from Manhattanville College in New York. An accomplished linguist and extensive world traveler. Interested in American Diabetic Association and National Federation for the Blind. Memorial service will be held at a later date. Washburn-McReavy Davies Chapel 612-377-2203
Published in Star Tribune on January 24, 2010

This week, I've been wanting to call James to chat now that we've finally got some money on our Skype account again. I haven't talked with him since coming to Turkey. Wednesday night, our internet went out and it's still gone. It's now Friday morning, Freyja's Day, I come in to work and check my email to hear from Leann, a mutual friend, that James has died. It was a shock but not a surprise. Between his kidney transplant in 1996 and then loosing his leg in 2006, diabetes hasn't been gentle with James.

So here's to my friend a fellow Odhinnist, a loving but far-from-gentle Freyja's man.

We first met in 2000 after moving back to Minneapolis from Ireland (and a brief and rather unpleasant stay in Duluth). We were introduced by Joseph Amara (formerly Norman) through Magus and the University Pagan Society. James and Kira had a common interest in Elves, Alfar, or the Fae and their relation to Celtic and Nordic cultures and mystical practices.

James had a colorful reputation. As the quote above indicates, some of it was fully deserved. Some described him as an effective and competent Ceremonial Magician with a talent for languages. Others described him as an Evil Sorcerer wantonly cursing his foes. We were warned off by some of our friends at the time. Of course, curiosity won out. Which was for the better. For almost ten years now, James has been a close friend. His most vocal detractor, on the other hand, has since turned out to be rather mentally unstable.

James grew up among punks, skinheads, and a lot of working class folks back in Cincinatti. It certainly left an impression but he couldn't get out fast enough. He lived abroad before coming to Minneapolis, mostly in Europe and he talked most about Germany. But that was all well before we knew him.

By the time we met, he had calmed down considerably from his youth. He was now a personal trainer and had been teaching Tai Chi and studying Kali in Minnesota, as well as learning whatever he could about ancient Heathen mysticism and more modern Western Ceremonialism and mystically-inspired art. While having a strong foundation of Hermeticism, a lot of Ceremonial thought and theory was strongly influenced by German mystics.

For many years, we'd get together on Saturdays at the Espresso Royale in Dinkytown. James and his friends would be finishing their Tai Chi training, just in time for Kira and I to be waking up and wanting some coffee and pastries for brunch. This would usually be about 3 in the afternoon. It was a very mixed group of Pagans, Heathens, Spiritualists, Mystics, Martial Artists, Buddhists, Agnostics, and probably even some Abrahamic folks over the years. Many of the coffee crowd weren't neatly pigeon-holed and the conversations reflected that.

James was also friends with some local Gregorian Witches who were hosting "Ecumenical gatherings" a few times each year at Crow-Hassan County Park just outside the Metro area. It was a similar mix to the weekends at the Royale but an entire day with a fire-pit, a cabin, a barbecue and beer. People would arrive in the afternoon and drink, eat, and talk until nightfall when there would be a brief ritual to "officially" start the gathering. The idea was to have as many points of view as they could and to discuss things from as many perspectives as we could. All while sitting around a fire and sharing food and drink.

In between the Royale and the Ecumenical Gatherings, there would be many late nights at his home, drinking, chatting and listening to a wide variety of music from all over the world. To get just a sample of what we'd listen to, you can read James' reviews on Amazon.com but it's just the tip of the iceberg.

James was also one of the many friends who braved the weather and the "wild" to join us for our wedding on 21 June 2002. It was a camping event on Kira's family farm. He and our mutual friend Joe Lapadat, drove up from Minneapolis together. The weather throughout Minnesota was heavy storms, pounding rain, and high winds. They decided not to camp with us.

Of course, everyone who was at the wedding knows that while the rest of Minnesota was deluged with rain, Barnum, where the wedding was, had clear skies, bright sunshine, and a gentle wind.

By this time, Joe had taken over the Ecumenical Gatherings. Some time after our wedding, he and James asked us to do the opening ceremony. We did what in American Asatru is usually referred to as "Blot" or blessing (it's really more of a Sumble, but that's another discussion). It was simplified to allow everyone to take part regardless of preference of Pantheon and focused more on the spirits of the place. We got a lot of compliments on it and James and Joe wanted to look at adopting something like it as part of the regular starting ceremony because of the way it drew everyone together.

But then on Wednesday, 26 May 2004, as Joe was driving in Minneapolis, his heart gave out. He lost consciousness and his car gently rolled to a stop at the side of the road. The Ecumenical Gatherings died with him. Joe's wake and memorial hosted at the home of Joseph and Mela Amara was the last gathering of many of those folks.

This wasn't the only thing to end for James this year. His diabetes and health problems culminated with an infection in his foot. It left him housebound and tied to a machine. This ended his time as a physical warrior to say nothing of his job.

The Spring of 2005 was a crazy time. Kira was still unable to find work, I was priced out of continuing at the University of Minnesota and we had decided to make the jump and move to Moscow, Russia to start teaching English abroad. Once we were abroad, we talked to James by phone occasionally but rarely made it back to the US. Eventually, the infection in his foot worsened. He lost his foot, then his leg. The one time we were back in Minnesota, we weren't able to visit since the combination of my broken leg and my Grandfather's funeral kept me out of Minneapolis.

But then we moved to Berlin for a contract that turned into a disaster. This brought us back to Minneapolis for a time since our families didn't want us moving further away without at least some time to see us.

So we reconnected with James. We had lost his phone number but he still lived in the same house. We met up with Leann and Jon, two of the old Royale regulars and were able to get in touch with James and visit him for an afternoon sitting in the yard drinking beers and chatting like we used to. James is one of those friends that you can see every day for years, then life takes you away but then years later you are brought back together and it's like nothing has changed.

James and I continued to meet throughout the Spring and Summer. Most days, we were just talking and sharing a few beers. Then his uncle bought him a home-gym. James wanted to start getting back in shape so that when he was healed enough for a prosthetic leg, his muscles would be good to go. We would get together a few times a week to train. I had a hard time making it as regularly as I would like since James was now a pretty solid morning person, often awake by 5am. Some days, I would just be getting home from work at 5am and would sleep through my alarm and miss out on our training sessions.

He was looking forward to the prosthetic. Once he got his new leg, he had plans to go to a big Football match in Australia in 2011 with one of his friends. He and I talked about going to Iceland with Kira and Michael. We would visit many of the old sacred spots and drive out to the Icelandic Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery. Who doesn't want to see a real pair of nábrók?

Then this past Summer, the job offer from Turkey came and it was a race to get everything ready.

James and I were never big on good-byes. "See you later" was better. As stubborn as he was, it seemed like the only parting wish needed since there would always be a "later".

I'm happy that's he and his leg are back together again but the world seems a little less colorful now. Toasting his memory in Reykjavik won't be the same as sharing a pint.

See you later brother.

James B. Whitney

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Brief update of sorts.

June 26th, 2009 (01:03 pm)

Hey Maxee, my dad and the rest of my family made it through the tornadoes. Dad was actually in St. Louis visiting my sister when they hit. He said you could see the accompanying electrical storm from there. The sky was a bright as daylight but green.

Now, the guy who was sitting in the port-a-potty that was picked up and rolled five times... He's not technically "injured" but I think there might be some trauma.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Video: In-game LOTRO interview

March 25th, 2009 (08:14 pm)
Tags: ,

current location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Todd Kenreck of MSNBC interviewing Live Producer Aaron "Rowan" Campbell of Turbine in-game about Lord of the Rings Online.



http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/29839867#29839867

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

All Snakes' Day at our place.

March 17th, 2009 (04:08 pm)

We're broke and First Ave's security has become abysmally unprofessional in the past 6 years. Still, sad to miss All Snakes' Day with Boiled in Lead.

For those of you also weary of First Ave's behavior, we'll be having folks over for All Snakes Day. Boondock Saints and Finnegan's. Gather at our place around 9 or 10pm.

If it's more than bringing_light we'll need more munchies.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Gun control?

January 20th, 2009 (07:35 pm)

"Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” - Gandhi

Minnesota averages seven guns per household and that's just counting legal firearms. That's pretty heavily armed, even by US standards. I've also spent most of my adult life working in law enforcement and safety related fields. So I tend to pay attention to crime and weapon control.

For the record, I support no form of weapon control. Period. In the history of the world there are have been two basic classes of people, freemen and slaves. The distinction was the right to own weapons and defend yourself. Knives, swords, guns, etc. are details a free people have the right to own all of them, without restriction, for the purpose of their own defense.

I happened across an interesting article here.

It discusses the phenomena that I've noticed while traveling. Weapon ownership is fairly consistent across all Western countries. The variation is that the more tightly weapon ownership is regulated the greater the number of them are owned "illegally". The result is an increase in weapon related violence. As the weapons trade slips deeper into the black market the tendency seems to be toward more powerful military grade weapons used in crime.

This should surprise no one who has studied any period of Western history. Prohibition leads to bootlegging, black market trading, and increased criminality. A common saying is that "when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns". This is only technically true. History (and current ownership trends) indicate that weapon restrictions don't decrease weapon ownership, they only increase the number of "illegally" owned weapons. The real effect seems to be that it makes it criminal to defend your neighbor (and in some extremes, even yourself).

Living in Minnesota, I know from experience that gun violence is a symptom of cultural problems not the problem itself. Most families have a large collection of guns in a range of calibers and configurations. Rifles, shotguns, handguns, automatic, high-capacity, single-fire, antique, and military. We also have concealed-carry. And a significant rate of seasonal depression.

If gun-control propaganda truly reflected reality, my home state would be a blood-bath.

Also, it illustrates that there's nothing innately "Democratic" in gun-control. Minnesota has voted Democrat in every Presidential election in my lifetime and the Green Party often outperforms the Republican Party. And yet, although I know they exist on the "lunatic fringe", I have never personally met a pro-gun-control member of any party in Minnesota.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

In God We Trust?

January 19th, 2009 (06:23 pm)

No. Not really. Convince me that the god of Abraham is real and there's no way I'd trust him.

MSNBC is running an online poll here:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10103521/

"E Pluribus Unum", while recognized only by and act of Congress and not an actual law, was the de facto motto of the United States from 1782 to 1956 when "In God We Trust" was adopted by another act of Congress as explicitly anti-communist propaganda.

"In God We Trust" was used on some coinage going back to 1864 but was always controversial, even among devout Christians, Theodore Roosevelt is thought to have considered it sacrilegious.

Many Americans object to the obviously religious and unconstitutional motto. When not traveling abroad and having to change money, many choose to redact the motto from their currency. I prefer the simplicity of a single line from a black marker. I've been doing it for years. While in Russia, I saw an interview or video post from Penn Jillette where he mentioned that he does it too.

Some people believe it to be illegal, which is untrue. It's only illegal to deface currency in an attempt to defraud (that is, change the denomination). However, I know people have been hassled for doing it in public. Jordsvin, a fairly well known American Heathen writer, has a friend who was arrested by someone who claimed to be an off-duty Sheriff's Deputy. Who was working as a barrista at a coffee shop? I sense a volunteer reservist.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

New Year's Eve at the SoundBar.

December 31st, 2008 (02:34 pm)
Tags:

current location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Started working security at Sound downtown. Good gig, good co-workers, very European feel. Especially reminds me of ArteFAQ and Karma in Moscow.

Tonight is their New Year's Eve Party. Kira gets in free and I can get five friends in for $30 each. Normally it'd be $60 advance/VIP or $75 at the door.

The theme appears to be a New Orleans-style New Year's titled: Debauchery: Excessive Indulgence in Sensual Pleasures"

Premium open bar, hors' devours, gifts, masks and feather boas.

It sounds like it'll be a trip.

Let me know if your interested. First come, first serve on the cheap tickets.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Quiz: The Cultural Identity Test

December 18th, 2008 (06:51 pm)
current location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

An interesting quiz. Getting ready to head for a Todd Menton concert at the Cedar.

Your result for The Cultural Identity Test...Collapse )

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

An amusing quote regarding peace and progress.

December 17th, 2008 (09:38 pm)

"In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."
- Simone Weil (French social Philosopher, Mystic and Activist in the French Resistance during World War II. 1909-1943)

Not entirely accurate but amusing. I heard it last night while watching The Third Man. Orson Wells, had read the quote and decided to use it in his scene.

Reminded me of one of my other favorite movie quotes. K talking to J before he's recruited to the MIB:

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Gay Marriage? Not a Hard Concept.

December 7th, 2008 (02:55 pm)
current location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
current song: Penn Says on Crackle.com

Viked from mister_bitters

gay marriage,russia invades USA,judgement day,families destroyed,ice-caps melt,consequences of gay marriage

(Who viked it from graphjam)

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Arrived and update for Kierians at 9PM

November 19th, 2008 (10:04 am)

We're here. Our connection in New York was over an hour late but otherwise everything went smoothly.

The session at Kieran's tomorrow (Wednesday, 19 November) at 9pm, not 7 or 8 like I posted before.

I don't think we'll be able to make this week's Minnesota Heathens Moot since we're going down and saying hey to the wights with Michael. But we'll be back up soon enough...

Crashing now.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Moving again. Back to Minneapolis this time.

November 17th, 2008 (09:57 pm)
current location: Berlin, Germany
current song: Kenny Rogers - "The Gambler"

Berlin has run its course for now. What we've discovered being here is that in Berlin teachers get jobs in September, January, and June. Other times you're out of luck.

We got here in time to search in June but between thinking we had full-time work lined up for the fall and trading off being sick we never found anything concrete.

In September, there is lots of work and lots of schools are hiring. But Berlin school administrators are lazy and don't want to bother with the paperwork of hiring a freelance or a full-time teacher. Instead, they hire inexperienced and unqualified American and British college kids (who already have student visas).

January is apparently one of the best months for getting new contracts since so many students (and some teachers) go home to visit relatives for the holidays and decide not to come back.

But as it is, even if January would likely be great, right now our expenses exceed our income and it's gotten old.

We were making some connections with agencies that needed teachers and governors in Tunisia and Korea and things were starting to look pretty promising.

The big downside being that another relocation would make it unlikely that we could have come back for a visit before December 2009, at the earliest. We weren't looking forward to that, we haven't been back to visit since August 2007, but it was better than the money sink Berlin had become.

Kira was talking with her mom about jobs and possibly relocating and while they were chatting, Mary went and found a cheap ticket to come back in November and offered to buy it as a gift.

We looked into it a bit and talked it over. The demand for ESL teachers and also for professional photographers has gone up in Minneapolis recently. Mary bought Kira's ticket that day. We figured out what we could sell (computer, lights, some furniture, etc.) and were confident we could make up the cash for my ticket too. We talked to my mom to see if I had enough in my Austin savings account, but I didn't. Mom offered to loan me the money so we could get the ticket right away. Mary made the arrangements, mom bought the ticket and Kira and I ended up on the same flight from Berlin to Minneapolis via New York. Also, we probably saved about $300 on the ticket.

We fly tomorrow.

So, at 8am on Tuesday, 18 November, 2008 we leave our flat here, head for Tiegel Airport NW of the city and will be in Minneapolis around 11pm that night.

Looking forward to seeing you all! Not sure how long we'll be there this time, probably a year or two, who knows.mo

We'll probably be a bit jet-lagged but Kira and Michael had already planned a get-together at Kieran's on Wednesday before we even had the forwarded emails from Mary with our flight info.

I'm not sure exactly what time we'll be at Kieran's on Wednesday but we will be there, I would guess around 7 or 8.

Thursday Mary is meeting us and we're heading up North. The deer are heavy this season and Roy and I are going deer hunting this weekend (he just got back from Africa).

Sometime early next week, preferably Monday or Tuesday, I'll need to figure out how to get down to the Cities again. Then I'll be meeting up with my mom when she gets done with work and heading down to Austin for Thanksgiving. It'll be the first time since, I think, 1994 that mom has had all three of us home for the holiday.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Article: Hubble finds unidentified object in space, scientists puzzled

November 12th, 2008 (02:22 am)
contemplative

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: contemplative

Highly interesting article from Current.com.

"This is exactly why we send astronauts to risk their life to service Hubble: in a paper published last week in the Astrophysical Journal, scientists detail the discovery of a new unidentified object in the middle of nowhere..."

"...Apparently, one scientist at the LHC declared that the object is similar to the flash that an Imperial Star Destroyer does when reaching Warp 10. Who Knows??"


Ok, so they're mixing their metaphors a bit but I understand their meaning. Interesting.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Video: Olbermann on Prop 8

November 12th, 2008 (01:19 am)
annoyed

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: annoyed

I haven't commented much on politics lately. A bit of an overload with the election. That, and with Michelle Bachman making a public ass of herself nationally, instead of keeping it local.

Kira found Olberman's Special Comment on Prop 8 for us to watch. It sums up my feelings on the matter rather nicely.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVUecPhQPqY

Thanks to joshuwain for supplying the links so I didn't have to track it down again.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

For folks in the Berlin area: We're having a Moving Sale

November 12th, 2008 (12:43 am)
Tags: ,

current location: Berlin, Germany

Saturday and Sunday, 15-16 November 2007, 1100-2000.
Other times by appointment.

Some of the stuff we're getting rid of.Collapse )

For once, we're moving but we don't need help moving the stuff. What we do need help with is finding folks to buy the stuff we can't take with.

Also, recommendations for a good company to ship things with, (UPS, DHL, etc) would be great. Some of my Viking stuff is just too large and heavy to take on the plane.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Modeling

October 24th, 2008 (02:59 am)
optimistic

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: optimistic

While Kira was in Romania, our friend Shakti invited us to an Artists Salon here in Berlin. One of the people I met there was a video director filming a documentary about the Berlin arts scene. We spent a good amount of time chatting and he said that if I was going to be in Berlin I should register at Model-Kartei.de.

I forgot about it for a bit. But then it came up in coversation the other day and i referred someone else to it.

So, Monday I sat down with Google Translate and worked my way through the application process. It was all in German but it helped that I could anticipate the type of questions. It was a lot more work than Model Mayhem's application process, it's much more detailed. Anyway, I worked through it and submitted it. Tuesday I had a moving gig and when I got home there was an email from MK saying they had my app and now needed a copy of my ID (proof that I'm a real person). I don't have a German or EU ID but my passport info was fine.

My application was approved this afternoon.

By evening I had a private message and two comments, all from other models, welcoming me to the site. Two networking group invites too. My german is still horrible but I'm learning the site better. There were a number of the standard groups (tall, long-hair, etc) but they also had some more amusing genre groups, Metalheads and Medieval Fantasy in particular. Steam Punk too, which isn't something I've done but is something that amuses me greatly.

It's already giving Kira and I new ideas for shoots to do around town. Business, Viking, Professional Artist, etc. Berlin is an odd city. Even after hurting her knee, Kira made more from photography so far this month than from teaching. I've had a few leads now about possible paying gigs. Modeling gigs, not moving or teaching gigs. If they start panning out, I can't say it'd break my heart if I had to give up teaching because modeling was bringing in more money.

Now I'll need to get Kira registered with the site.

Once she stops "decorating" Dave's house in Second Life.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Quiz: Should You Be Allowed to Vote?

October 23rd, 2008 (05:42 pm)
Tags: ,



You Should Be Allowed to Vote



You got 14/15 questions correct.

Generally speaking, you're very well informed.



If you vote this election, you'll know exactly who (and what) you'll be voting for.

You're likely to have strong opinions, and you have the facts to back them up.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Article: 6 Saints Who Could Kick Your Ass

September 26th, 2008 (06:40 pm)
amused

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: amused

I don't typically post stories about saints. But Kira brought this to my attention as two of the six are some of the most notable relations on my mother's father's side of the family. Harald "Hardrada" Sigurdson, a social-climbing bastard, is probably one of my most famous ancestors. His half-brother was Olaf the Stout, and his wife's grandfather was Prince Vladimir.

I must say, were I a Christian, I would certainly favor the coat of arms of the state church of Norway:

Coat of Arms, State Church of Norway

On to the article.

Cracked.com

6 Saints Who Could Kick Your Ass

So how could the world possibly stop a badass God-fearing Viking king? With another one.

Along came Knut the Great, also known as the Viking King of England (and Norway, and Denmark, and Sweden, and a bunch of other places he probably couldn't get to fit on a business card). Knut promptly handed Olaf his own ass at the Battle of the Helgea.

Two years later Olaf came back with an army to show everyone who the real King was. Sadly, it wasn't him. Olaf was killed, in the way that all badasses should be killed: with an enormous ax.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Stephen Colbert handles puppets much better than John Stewart.

August 28th, 2008 (06:27 pm)
amused

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: amused

Cookie Monster Defends His Honor Vs. Colbert

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Should health care providers be allowed to refuse service? Is birth control abortion?

August 28th, 2008 (06:26 pm)
aggravated

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: aggravated

Is there something in the water?

First, the articles:

Proposed HHS Regulation Could Still Be Used to Block Access to Contraception, Other Health Services

HHS: Doctors can refuse abortions

HHS: "health care provider conscience" proposal.

And from the post at dark_christian here:
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2008pres/08/20080821a.html


I find it horrifying that this is even a consideration.

Most legislation I've seen fails to even distinguish between miscarriage and abortion. Now there are religious fanatics pushing junk-science only acceptable in countries ruled by sharia to attempt to classify *birth control* as abortion? With proper birth control and education, abortion can be all but eliminated. Defining birth control as abortion will reduce or restrict many families access to birth control and therefore *increase* the rates of abortion.

Even the Irish aren't this stupid when it comes to sex and reproductive health care and as recently as the '90s it was commonly believed that drinking olive oil could cause a woman to abort.

If you think that birth control = abortion, then regardless of training, you are no doctor, no scientist and not qualified to comment let alone craft legislation or policies influencing other citizens.

Birth control is not abortion, not according to medical science, not in a democracy, not anywhere outside of archaic, outmoded, abusive, dogmatic theocracies.

And to "allow" medical "professionals" to follow their "conscience"? To quote Penn & Teller, "BULLSHIT!"

That is the equivalent of an alcoholic becoming a cop so he can let drunk drivers off with a warning, or a stoner becoming a cop so he can ignore drug dealers.

Being a doctor is hard, emotional, and messy. He is there to care for his patients' health, let their priests worry about their souls. If he is worried about his soul, he should find a different job. Abortions, miscarriages, and birth control have been a core part of medical practice since people started eating edible plants. Sweet gods! These are not new and controversial developements making one reconsider their vocation.

And even if I supported the idea policy (I don't), I am concerned with the (intentionally?) sloppy wording. Because of how loosely worded it is, if the secretary at Planned Parenthood had a heart attack, any paramedic could refuse to go on the call because they obeject to Planned Parenthood's services on a moral or religious basis. I am not saying this would happen, I'm just saying this is how poorly(?) worded this policy is. Assuming it is just sloppy and not done intentionally to offer legal protection to harrassment and denial of service.

So, if you're fed up by the American Taliban, here's the address to write (I was a touch more diplomatic in mine): consciencecomment@hhs.gov

(Style note, I use masculine pronouns when ranting about reproductive health issues because a) English lacks a sutable neutral form, and b) most of the "doctors" being "oppressed" by being forced to do their job are male. I can't even say "men" because they're not, they're worthless geldings on a power-trip.)

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Facebook: D&D Tiny Adventures

August 24th, 2008 (09:15 pm)
amused
Tags: ,

current location: Berlin, Germanz
current mood: amused

Ok, WotC has a new app, "Dungeons & Dragons: Tiny Adventures". scrwtape tried it out and recommended it.

This was my very first roll:

While slogging along in the swamp, Alfrodul came upon a strange looking patch of wet sand.
 
Alfrodul made a Wisdom check with a difficulty of 9 . . . and rolled 2
 
Thinking nothing of it, Alfrodul stomped right on through -- only to find himself waist deep in quicksand! Alfrodul knew better than to panic and get himself further mired. He relaxed and tried to float. Luckily another adventurer happened along, threw Alfrodul a rope, and pulled him to safety.
 
Alfrodul received 16 XP.


I got 16xp for failing a wisdom check?

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Last post? Probably. Two Quizes: Elemental and Supervillain tests

August 23rd, 2008 (01:59 am)
amused

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: amused

Kira took these so I thought I'd see what I got.

The Elemental Balance TestCollapse )

The Supervillain Archetype TestCollapse )

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Article: On "Saxon English"

August 23rd, 2008 (01:53 am)
amused

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: amused

Another one from lwood. She posted it on her LJ and on badheathens

On Saxon English Collapse )

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Another Article: Why Norwegian is the easiest language for English speakers to learn

August 23rd, 2008 (01:39 am)
thoughtful

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: thoughtful

Kira found the article:

Why Norwegian is the easiest language for English speakers to learn



The raw text is here in case the website ever disappears but it's just the text, not as readable as the originalCollapse )

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Article: Blowback From Bear-Baiting by Patrick J. Buchanan

August 23rd, 2008 (01:35 am)
busy

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: busy

An interesting take on the conflict between Georgia and Russia buy none other than Pat Buchanan. You can read the original here on Truthdig.com and get the comments.

Or click here to read the article below the cutCollapse )

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

The truth about children and violent video games.

August 23rd, 2008 (01:27 am)
geeky

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: geeky

mister_bitters linked to a good article in his LJ post here.

Simply put, if you believe there is a link between "the rise in youth violence" and "violent video games", you're an idiot.

Fear-mongering media reports aside, even in the USA, this is the safest time to be a child in the history of the world. "Youth violence" is at its lowest level ever. There is no evidence that "violent video games" have an effect one way or the other but while there's no proof of causation, you can show a positive correlation between the increase of violent video games and a decrease in youth violence.

I see it as business rivalry. Traditional media (news, television) is competing against interactive media (internet, video games). It's no different than the fear-mongering hysteria against rock music fifty years ago. It was stupid then, it's stupid now.

To end on a humorus note (albeit one that demonstrates what a sad nation of weak-kneed geldings Australia has become*):

Ctrl Alt Del: Fallout 3 Censorship

(C) Ctrl+Alt+Del by Tim Buckley 9 July 2008 CE


*Fascist censorship like this doesn't "protect" anyone from anything and it certainly doesn't keep media out. This is the 21st century. People will buy safe, legal, licensed copies if they can. If they can't... they won't think twice about pirating it. Ar!

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Gmail security vulnerability.

August 23rd, 2008 (01:04 am)
accomplished

current mood: aware

There's an easily fixed hole in Gmail's security. lwood has more about it here. If you use Gmail at all, check it out and check your settings to make sure you're secure.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Quiz: What Kind of Libertarian Are You

August 18th, 2008 (03:06 pm)
Tags: ,

current location: Berlin, Germany

No shockers here. I do find it odd that "Objectivist" came in so highly since my view of Rand is that her ideas are a emotional reaction to her experiences with the Soviet Union and are the economic equivalent of modern-day Russian neo-nazis. The enemy of your enemy is not always your friend. Often they are a second front.

Now if only someone with a brain and a conscience like George Phillies would actually get nominated, and not a fruit chained to a middle-eastern cult like Bob Barr, we could have an interesting race...

Thanks to btripp for pointing this one out.

What Kind of Libertarian Are You?
Your Result: Classical Liberal
 

Classical liberals agree with the words of the Declaration of Independence: That all people have basic human rights, and that the sole legitimate function of government is to protect those rights. Most of the Founding Fathers, and most of the European philosophers who influenced them, were classical liberals.

Geolibertarian
 
Libertarian Partisan
 
Objectivist
 
Paleolibertarian
 
Neolibertarian
 
Anarcho-Capitalist
 
Anarchist
 
What Kind of Libertarian Are You?
Make Your Own Quiz

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Quiz: The Perception Personality Image Test

August 16th, 2008 (05:21 pm)
current location: Berlin, Germany

Your result for The Perception Personality Image Test...

HFDS - The Coach


You perceive the world with particular attention to humanity. You focus on what's in front of you (the foreground) and how that is affected by the details of life. You are also particularly drawn towards the shapes around you. Because of the value you place on humanity, you tend to seek out other people and get energized by being around others. You like to deal directly with whatever comes your way without dealing with speculating possibilities or outcomes you can't control. You are highly focused on specific goals or tasks and find meaning in life by pursuing those goals. You prefer a structured environment within which to live and you like things to be predictable.








The Perception Personality Types:


16715388163861827773.gif___1_500_1_2000_7fa54554_.jpg

Take The Perception Personality Image Test at HelloQuizzy

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

One of the most awesome presidential quotes ever.

August 14th, 2008 (06:26 pm)
amused

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: amused

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
---Abraham Lincoln

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Cool new tech toy: OCZ NIA Brain-Computer Interface

August 8th, 2008 (04:08 pm)

I found out about this from the head of the Kinship Kira and I are part of in Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO). He's actually ordered one to try it out.

It's not at the level of completely replacing your keyboard and mouse yet but developing this tech for gamers is excellent. Gamers will adopt this much faster than the handicapped, especially the micro-second-counting, over-clocking FPS gamers. It will be interesting to see how it works in the less speedy environment of a fantasy-based MMORPG.

I think a middle-market between speed-freak gamers and seriously handicapped, these NIA units will probably be great for anyone working with computers in a way that puts them at risk for repetitive stress injuries (carpal tunnel, tendinitis, etc).

After reading the full review, I'm tempted to get one eventually just to experiment with it. It sounds like it takes months to get used to (you start training yourself to use it by playing PONG against the computer) but it's a fascinating direction for human-computer interfaces.

(But there are other more urgent priorities: our own flat, a parrot, new sunglasses, two bikes, an Acer Aspire One mini-notebook for Kira to use when teaching, pretty much in that order...)

EDIT: I forgot to include the link to the review. Here it is:
http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/OCZ_NIA_BrainComputer_Interface/

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Quiz: Which Changeling Are You?

August 6th, 2008 (05:02 am)

Kira wanted to know my results but it's too big to post in her comments...

Your result for Which Changeling Are You?... The CourtlessCollapse )

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

MMORPG Review: Age of Conan

August 4th, 2008 (08:43 pm)
amused

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: amused

Perhaps the most awe-inspiring Age of Conan review ever. Maybe even the best MMO review. Well worth the watch. If you don't swallow before clicking, I am not responsible for your keyboard or screen.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/138-Age-of-Conan

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Article: Struggling College Students Turn to Food Banks

July 29th, 2008 (08:37 pm)
irritated

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: irked

I saw an article on ysabetwordsmith's LJ talking about an increase in US college students going to food shelves to avoid starving.

Can't say I'm surprised.

Struggling College Students Turn to Food Banks
WhitneyMalkin, of The Associated Press, reports: "Just blocks from theUniversity of Washington, a line of people shuffle toward a foodpantry, awaiting handouts such as milk and bread. For years, the smallUniversity District pantry has offered help to the working poor andsingle parents in this neighborhood of campus rentals. Now rising foodprices are bringing another group: Struggling college students. 'Rightnow, with things the way they are, a lot of students just can't affordto eat,' said Terry Capleton, who started a Facebook group called 'IAin't Afraid to be on Food Stamps' when he was a student at BenedictCollege in South Carolina."


By the time I left the U of MN (both as a student and as an employee) there had been three years of wage-freezes plus 11-27% tuition increases. I added up the expenses based on what my friends, co-wokers, and classmates were actually paying, and for a single-person (most college students are) it would cost about $20k to attend the U of MN paying in-state tuition, books, food, and rent.

Most students worked either retail or food-service nearby or they worked for the U of MN. Working 40 hrs/week as a student employee you will make about $14-16k per year, before taxes. So, working one full-time job, you'd be at least $4k in debt every year. And that's if you're studying liberal arts where you can buy used text books and get away with cheap lab fees.

I can't honestly say that I wasn't well-off as a kid. Both of my parents were teachers and we always got by. We always had a house, we always had food. I know that puts me in pretty good standing world-wide.

My parents helped when they could, my sister was two years younger than me and my brother was four years younger. My mom had saved up enough to put about $6k/year towards my college for the first four years. There's no way I could have made it as far as I did without my mom's help. I was able to go full-time for the first two years (living at home going to community college) then up to half-time for the next ten. My brother started college when I was 22 so my parents just couldn't afford to keep helping significantly. They helped where they could but it was his turn and he needed the help more.

Of course, I couldn't get any financial aid until I was 25 because until then I had to claim my parents' household incomes and they made too much money (not enough to help but too much for me to get loans). I don't know if they've changed it, but in the '90's the Federal forms counted my mom's and step-dad's incomes, plus my dad's, plus mine but didn't count the fact that between the three of them, they had 6 kids and a grandchild.

I could get Credit Union loans to help with car payments, they could repossess a car. Loans for tuition, I actually had loan officers laugh. Being $4-10k short every year for school, there weren't a lot of options. So I worked 40-60 (and sometimes 80-100) hour weeks just about every week from 1996 until I left Minnesota in 2005.

I remember many paychecks where I'd deposit the money, pay the University (my sole-employer), and have about $14 to make it to the next paycheck in two weeks. Food, bus-fare, everything. I biked when I first moved up there but then it got stolen. I walked a lot after that, it was only 5-6 miles to campus. And that was back when I was living in a part of Minneapolis that in 1996 was being referred to as "Murder-opolis". Lots of ramen and spaghetti. I'd only use half the flavor packet from the ramen then save it for the noodles. I usually couldn't afford sauce.

By 2005, I had been going to school part-time for almost nine years, it was all I could afford, and the University was going to start charging students for full-time enrollment regardless of how many of the classes that they needed were actually offered that term. As a senior, there were semesters where there was only one class to take (about 3-5 credits) but I would have to enroll for 13-16 or be expelled. So, one semester short of my BA, I left because I realized that I could now get the loans but that my cumulative debt from ten years of college would double in just that last one. If the classes I needed were offered and if they weren't canceled.

So, right now, it's hard to get in, harder to pay, impossible to get loans (granted, if you qualify for loans, you're probably too poor to be living in America legally...), and it just gets more difficult and more expensive the longer you are in. Really, if you want to go to college, decide what you want to study, and find a private college that specializes in it. Preferably in Europe. A BA from the Univeristy of Oslo (Norway) costs about the same as an AA from an American community college... for an American. It's cheaper if you're a local.

Bah. Water under the bridge.

I think I need a beer.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

And another thing...

July 1st, 2008 (10:06 pm)
current location: Berlin, Germany

Even well-intentioned programs end up as soft-core missionary programs. I was involved in prison ministry when I lived in Minnesota so the whole issue was something we followed fairly closely. The money's given out almost exclusively to dominionist evangelical groups, the American Taliban. Even liberal christian groups have trouble getting approval.

If it weren't for the fact that the groups that openly abuse it get the funding while the groups that at least try to maintain religiously neutral get denied...

Not sure if there's been any personnel changes in the last few years but, at least when I was involved in a (privately-funded) faith-based initiative the head of the federal program openly mocked the idea of giving money to non-christian groups.

These groups already get enough of a hand-out from the government by not having to pay property taxes like the rest of us do.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Possibly NSFW rant: Obama and "Faith-based Initiatives"

July 1st, 2008 (09:37 pm)
recumbent

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: recumbent

Well fuck. Looks like Obama is just as willing as McCain and the other fundie wingnuts to fuck us and the Constitution for the sake of pandering for votes.Collapse )

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

My crepes recipe

June 28th, 2008 (06:37 pm)

It's the weekend so it's time for crepes. Here's my recipe:

per person:
1 egg,
1/2 cup flour,
1/4 cup water,
1/4 cup milk,
1 tbsp melted butter,
1/8 tsp salt

Optional:
1/4 cup powdered sugar and/or 1/4 cup granulated sugar (demara is much better than white).
dash of vanilla
rum
nutmeg/cinnamon

Instructions:

1. Beat egg(s),
2. mix in flour and sugar
3. Slowly stir in water and milk until smoth.
4. Add melted butter until smooth
5. Add salt
6. add optional ingredients
7. grease skillet (preferably cast iron) with butter, use just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer. Brown, flip, brown, serve hot.

Toppings, butter, sugar, cinnamon, honey, peanutbutter, jam, etc.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

DailyKos: The McCains' little alcohol problem

June 24th, 2008 (07:53 pm)
irritated

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: irritated
current song: George Carlin Defragging the 10 Commandments

Now, the DailyKos is usually an interesting read and I'm usually somewhere between neutral and agreeing with the various writers.

But this Miss Laura is a nut. "Liberals" like this don't deserver the label or affiliation because they can't understand simple English.

Of course, while being liberal, I tend to see myself as more of a Constitutionalist, and from that point of view, most modern "Liberals" and "Conservatives" are neither, they are nanny-state fascists, I just get screwed less often by the "Liberals" than by the "Conservatives".

So anyway the inspiration of this post was Miss Laura whining about Cindy McCain being the head of a Beer Distributing company.

Boo-fucking-hoo.

Here's snippets of the post (found here if you want to read it):

Cindy McCain's company opposed MADD by fighting against "proposed federal rules requiring alcohol content information on every package of beer, wine and liquor." And I say, good for them. MADD started as a good idea, drunk driving is bad. I my uncle was killed by a drunk driver when he was in high school. But the US has ridiculously restrictive, anti-liberal, liquor laws. And alcohol already is labeled quite clearly, from a teen standpoint that's probably not a good thing since teens when buying illicit substances tend to buy the cheapest, strongest product available.

If the USA was a civilized country (it may have been once, but not in my lifetime):


  • Alcohol could be consumed in public, with your parents, regardless of the age.

  • Alcohol can be consumed in public with your friends once you sixteen, but your friends, eighteen or older, need to buy for you.

  • Alcohol can be consumed in public freely once you are eighteen at the latest. Younger depending on the age of military service or age of consent for marriage. If you're old enough to kill or die for your country or to get married, then you can have a beer. Seriously.

  • And if a shop sells soda, juice, or milk, you could at least buy beer and wine there too. Preferably by the crate.


I've lived in other countries: Ireland, Iceland, Russia, and Germany and I've traveled in France, Wales and England, and in these more civilized countries where there is no stigma or taboo to alcohol they don't seem to have the problems with alcohol that the US does with its culture tainted by ridiculously diseased puritanical inanities. They do have alcoholism and alcohol abuse but it is typically symptomatic of some other social problem, not acohol abuse for the sake of abusing alcohol like you have amongst many (most?) American teens.

And then Miss Laura closes with this:

"Then there's the religion question. The LA Times article notes that 1/3 of Americans abstain from alcohol altogether, and that for many (including members of the Southern Baptist Convention and of course the LDS), that's a religious issue. This ties into the lobbying Cindy McCain's company engages in, because so much of that lobbying has been to keep regulation of beer at the absolute minimum. I know Southern Baptists who, when their town went wet a few years ago, boycotted any store that started selling beer, even if that meant going twice as far for a gallon of milk. Imagine those people's feelings about voting fora man whose eight (or so) houses are paid for by his wife and children marketing caffeinated, fruit-flavored malt liquor to teens."

No, there isn't a religious issue here. Read the Constitution some time. I will just as readily take up arms in defense of beer as I will religious liberty, freedom of speach, or any other inalienable rights.

If 1/3 of Americans abstain from alcohol, good for them but unless they're chemically sensitive recovering alcoholics, they're missing out. Beer and other alcohol in the US is already over-regulated in most ways except the important one: what you can put in it and still call it beer. The "Odin's-Drink" beer I'm enjoying now contains water, malt, honey, and hops and it is good. Most of the stuff I've seen connected with Cindy McCain's company isn't worth drinking and isn't worthy of being described as "beer" but if they're fighting the prohibitionist extremists, good for them. As for those Southern Baptists religious extremists, I don't care. They are no better than the Somali Muslim religious extremists in Minneapolis who tried to refuse giving taxi rides to anyone suspected of carrying alcohol.

"Imagine those people's feelings"?

Thanks, I will... as I'm cracking open another beer and gleefully quaffing a bit of a local Strawberry Porter (water, malt, sugar, hops and 5% strawberry syrup for flavor). More for me I suppose.

And "Oh, no! think of the children! They're marketing it to teens! They're EVIL!"

No, they're not marketing it to children and they're not evil. Adults like fruity drinks too and variety increases market share.

There needs to be something similar to Goodwin's Law.

Something like:
"Once you're argument becomes so weak that you resort to: 'b-b-b-but, think of the CHILDREN!', not only do you loose the argument and any credibility as a rational adult, but your opponent gets to stake you down and use you as a target in a good old-fasioned game of lawn darts. The real kind, with pointy tips and the nice satisfying "schunk!" that they make as they penetrate the ground (or your underused, virgin liver)."</a> I'm tempted to call it "Odin's Law" but that might be the Odin't-Drink talking. (And sadly, the name seems to be in use by a bunch of Canadian white powder neo-nazi wankers who aren't even fit to be Loki's bottom).

Edit: Maybe it could be Poppin's Law. That doesn't seem to be taken and then if the offender survives, you could use an umbrella like a Venitian pear.../blockquote>
It takes a bit for me to support corporate practices but that is insane. Teens who are raised to see alcohol as natural and just another beverage choice are less likely to abuse it. Just like teens who get real sex-ed classes (like in every civilized country that isn't the US or Ireland) teens manage to have sex but most don't get pregnant. Contrast that to the US where a lot of high schools have day care now. Mine did, and I graduated in 1994 and I don't think they've closed them down in the last 14 years.

This really drives home that the greatest threat to the USA, foreign or domestic, is American puritanical religious extremism from both the "Left" and the "Right".

Both of which are wrong

Both of which are enemies of the Constitution.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Update and a Quiz: What Middle Earth race do you belong to?

June 20th, 2008 (11:43 pm)
current location: Berlin, Germany

Kira and went out wandering to one of the larger parks nearby. Followed a rather labyrinth path up to the top and had a rather laid back picnic. Bread, cheese, and some Odin-Drink honey beer. The hill used to be an old military bunker but if the hills natural, we wouldn't be surprised if it was one of the local hot-spots for religious/magical/folk practice. We poured some of the beer out for the land-spirits and wandered home.

Now I'm sitting down and having a beer.

Here's the quiz I took while drinking, behind the cut for those that don't care.

Read more...Collapse )

Not too surprised. Unless they've broken "Man" down into Men of Numenor, Men of Gondor, and Men of Rohan (and perhaps Men of Dale, and the Beornings)... In which case, Kira will get a giggle out of the results.

(Now if she takes the test and gets "Men of Rohan" as a result... that would amuse me.)

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Model Mayhem

June 18th, 2008 (09:00 pm)
accomplished

current location: Berlin, Germany
current mood: accomplished

"I'm just thinking the APM you wouldn't be modeling."

So, I think I've crossed a certain line in Leo-ness. I have just been approved by Model Mayhem for my account there. You can see it here. The photos are all work safe, although if you start clicking around, I take no responsibility for where you end up.

For the portfolio, Kira took some new shots of me using her studio lights so I have a new icon, ok, really a new set of photos for all my online profiles. LJ, Facebook, and MM down... not really sure how many left to go.

So, if you have a Model Mayhem account, feel free to friend me. If I know you have an account, I've probably already friended you. If I haven't, it's probably just because I didn't connect your user name and the name I know you by (I was going to say "real name" but I'm not always sure if they name people use bears any relation to the one on their passport).

I also got the news that Kriho is the new APM back at the SMP, which is what prompted Kira's comment above. Which, truth be told, I wasn't getting near enough exercise in the SMP at the end as I needed to work off the beer, mead, and Arby's chicken sandwiches... So congrats to Kriho. That's got to be an interesting trio to work with.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Safe and Sound

May 2nd, 2008 (03:33 pm)
current location: Berlin, Germany

We're here! The train ride was long, the compartment was small, and we had lots of stuff..

But we're here and while not settled in, we've met the room mates, had cappuccino and pastries at the bakery half a block down and are now heading out to explore a bit and get key copies made.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

And we're off (to Berlin).

April 30th, 2008 (12:08 pm)
busy

current location: Moscow, Russia
current mood: busy

It's just past noon. I've finished my last training session in Moscow. I stopped out to Mir Drevnostey to pick up my Birka boots. They're done! After just a short... 14 months...

(Ok, they would have been done earlier but the cobbler put late medieval Russian buckles on 10th Century Nordic boots. Ooops.)

Now I'm at the office with coffee, chocolate and OJ. My going away party is at 1300 then back home to finish packing. Our train is at 2100 tonight so we'll probably leave about 2000, board at 2030 and settle in. We'll be on the train for about 25 hours and arrive in Berlin about Midnight Thursday.

Yesterday was a good day, too. Woke up after almost enough sleep. Had did my usual morning executive coaching session. Matt, our IT guy, came by to take pictures for use on our website and in our promotional materials. Then I headed in for my last official day at Parlex.

It was pretty uneventful. Not all projects were finished but instead of trying to do anything quick and dirty, I wrote up a guide to what my official and unofficial duties have been and what my replacement can expect.

At the end of the day, Suzanne and I met with Loren for a debriefing then I rushed off to my last class with Mari, my Georgian high-school student. We only did a short lesson, 1 hour, she was feeling fried and Nadarik, her 5 year old brother was busy playing outside. She was excited when I gave her the BBC Dinosaurs DVD (for Nadarik) and the stack of books. Graded readers, the unabridged Robin Hood, and a hard-bound Complete Works of Shakespeare. Then she asked how much she owed me for all of them missing that they were a gift. Then she was even more excited. Then I told her that Nadarik could keep the Mr. Bean videos and she could keep the first season of Buffy. More excitement. Her mom was quite happy too. Nadarik came in in time to say good by and liked the DVDs, he understands "my DVD".

Always good to end on a high note.

Then I rushed off to Nasyedie Predkov.

At the produkti near the school, I ran into Pavel... who had cut his hair down to a nearly military buzz... It was Alexei's birthday so they had come down to get food and drink. Many of the regulars were there. Luckily, this included Kolya/Gorislav and Sasha/Godoslav, the ones with the best English. It was good to catch up. Pavel/Tur, the cheif was no longer the boyar (sp?)("war leader"). He and his girlfriend had gotten married and had a son. Leif (our club's war leader at last year's Vapnating) was now the official Boyar.

It was great seeing everyone again. Sasha remembered there being some well trained reenactors from Germany at Wolin (in Poland) three years ago. I hope they train to a good Russia standard.

But then I had to run to meet Kira at a cafe on Arbat. Kolya announced to everyone that I was leaving for Berlin (just to make sure everyone caught it) and that it was great training with them. They then told me that tradition dictated that I drink one last time with them. They found the biggest stein and poured a bottle of Hoegarden beer in and then handed it to me to down in a single draught. I did it, although it was on the verge of quaffing towards the end.

Then I rushed off to Old Arbat to meet Kira, she had ordered me a mocha when she got her chai so we headed straight for the restaurant and I drank on the way. We headed for the Ostrojenka (sp?) Genatsivalye. The Georgian restaurant owned my Mari's uncle. I had been to the Arbatskata Genatsivalye but the other was closer to her house and I'm glad we went. Even though I never say her father, I liked the atmosphere of this one better.

And then there's the wine and food. We ordered a German semi-sweet kadarka. Very nice. Kira had a mutton stew with kinzamarul sauce. I ordered a shoulder of mutton with a Georgian style of barbecue sauce. We had appetizers of aubergines with a filling of nut and pomegranite. Quite good, and I don't praise non-meat lightly. Then our main course arrived with a plate of Georgian style flat-bread with baked cheese. It was all excellent. Genatsevalye's reputation is well deserved.

We were stuffed as we made our way home. We took the metro and did our best to get more cleaning and packing done but we were stuffed. Around 2am we decided to take a nap for a few hours, slept until about 6am then continued on.

And that brings everything up to date. It's a quarter past one, the party hasn't started so I'll have to schmooze and run, I'm afraid. Still a lot to be done.

Then we board the train and arrive late tomorrow night. We have a flat arranged for the first two months so we're basically settled. We hope to have SIM cards sometime Friday and be able to relax this weekend.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Morning coffee and quizes: Which Discworld Character

January 27th, 2008 (01:10 pm)
current location: Moscow, Russia
current song: The Hedgehog Can't Be Buggered At All...

This amused me seeing as Kira and I got the same results. When I first came to Moscow, having just left the SMP, Carrot was a bit higher... I imagine Carrot's lack of experience caused him to drop in the rankings a bit.



Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Gytha (Nanny) Ogg

You are Nanny Ogg! A talented witch, able to make yourself at home wherever you are, and insist that Greebo is just a big softie. You enjoy drinking, a lot, and singing about a hedgehog. You have a huge family, and get your daughters-in-law to do most of the housework. You are kind and gentle, and help put people at ease.


Gytha (Nanny) Ogg


75%

Carrot Ironfounderson


69%

The Librarian


69%

Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax


69%

Commander Samuel Vimes


63%

Lord Havelock Vetinari


56%

Greebo


56%

Cohen The Barbarian


50%

Death


44%

Rincewind


38%


Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Yes, I do own a suit.

January 17th, 2008 (07:48 pm)
current location: Moscow, Russia

Since it has been pondered and/or questioned twice this week... not only do I own a suit, but I wear it voluntarily and even enjoy doing it.



I might not be able to maintain a proper wardrobe of five-suits per season, five sports-coats, five trousers, and and a collection coordinated shirts, ties, pocket-squares, belts, tie-tacks, tie-clips, cuff links, socks and shoes but that's really more due to circumstance than preference.

Two years of "special needs" students did a number on my wardrobe and a summer of limited mobility (and employment) did a real number on our budget. Once our work visas are finished and we've settled down in our new flat, I think one of the first things on the agenda for Kira and I will be shoe shopping.

Anthony "Tony" Arndt [userpic]

Should Zoos require IQ tests and breathalyzers before granting entry?

January 3rd, 2008 (07:43 pm)
aggravated

current location: Tallinn, Estonia
current mood: aggravated
current song: Alan Silvestri's Beowulf Soundtrack

Apparently.

Thanks to Lupa, I saw a doubly depressing article:

Men attacked by tiger had been drinking vodka and had a slingshot with them

That starts out with:

"Two brothers who were injured when a tiger attacked them at the San Francisco Zoo had slingshots on them at the time, a source said."


I think the saddest thing about that story was that they had to include a photo of a slingshot. Not the slingshot found on the "victims". Just an example of a slingshot?! How the fuck stupid has the English-speaking world become that they need a picture of a slingshot?

If it turns out that these two kids were taunting it with the slingshot (while drunk?) and the guy who got killed was just someone caught in the crossfire, I hope they get brought up on manslaughter or negligent homicide charges, something. Getting a bill from the zoo for the tiger would be a good start too.

Too many cases of people being stupid around animals in recent years and the only ones who really pay are the animals and the zoos.

Really, if any parent ever catches their child being disrespectful to a tiger (or any great cat really), they should beat the kid until that little brat has nightmares about tigers. Not because I like cats and not for the tigers' sake but because if you piss off a tiger it will eat you, and your friends, and any innocent bystanders between it and you.

You are a skinny, hairless little ape and the tiger sees you as a snack. You don't want it paying attention to you.

I still remember Marjan, a lion in in the Kabul, Afghanistan Zoo, who died of old age in 2002 after much mistreatment by the locals. He survived much and at least took down one of filth that tormented him.

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