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©2001 Andy J. W. Affleck
Thursday, March 28, 2002
Back on Tuesday. Have a great weekend!(9:41 PM)

Ann forwarded a link to a CNN story about Raggedy Ann being inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame. As some of you know, comes, in part, from the "Ragged Ann and Andy" moniker our friends have been known to torture us with.

Well, I just learned that Raggedy Ann and Andy are brother and sister. I'm deeply disturbed by this.(4:37 PM)

Some amazing pictures from ENVISAT.(11:14 AM)

Wednesday, March 27, 2002
Well, I won't be dying today. At least, not through my own stupidity. I just had my physical and it's nice to hear that I am doing just fine. Sure, I need to lose weight (so do you, by the way, I didn't want to say anything but let's be honest with ourselves, okay?) and start exercising for real but there's nothing wrong with my body that requires a doctor to look at me sternly, yet compassionately, across a desk and start discussing options. And, I suppose not surprisingly, this clean bill of health has inspired me. We're going to go out and get some healthy food and get on the diet and exercise bandwagon.(5:20 PM)

The Solar System Simulator is an incredible website. I could lose hours there...(2:38 PM)

Dealing with PWCs when sailing...(2:27 PM)

Kathy directed many of the plays I was in during high school (including the one I was in with Jennifer Lopez -- really!) She took some interesting risks with me including casting me as Jud Fry in Oklahoma (I also played a background dancer in some scenes and I danced with j.Lo in one of them -- she was 12 or so at the time) and as the Boy in the Fantasticks. I've only talked to her once since I graduated high school in 1986. Despite the distance of years, I am incredibly sad today. Her brother, a New York Fireman, was finally found in the wreckage at ground zero. He was buried yesterday.(12:50 PM)

Tuesday, March 26, 2002
Andrew in response to yesterday's musings here: "I think that the more important thing isn't how fast the shit detector works, it's that it works at all and what you do about it. When it comes to detecting the really important shit in our society, better late than never."

Ok, I feel better now. :)(11:08 PM)

Andrew in response to yesterday's musings here: "I think that the more important thing isn't how fast the shit detector works, it's that it works at all and what you do about it. When it comes to detecting the really important shit in our society, better late than never."

Ok, I feel better now. :)(11:07 PM)

Monday, March 25, 2002
It's still cold in the evening and our family room/tv room gets VERY cold at night. So, we've been using the fireplace almost constantly. Tonight, on a whim, I bought one of those Duraflame multi-color fire logs. For most of the night, it was pretty normal. But now it's got these wild blue and teal flames on the bottom and a mixture of blue and normal orange above. I suspect that as the log burns down the colors will get stronger as it seems to be the less high flames that carry the colors. It's a nice way to end a long day.(11:06 PM)

Debate? Dissent? Discussion? Oh, Don't Go There! "What are the consequences of students' growing reluctance to debate? Though it represents a welcome departure from the polarized mudslinging of the 90's culture wars, it also represents a failure to fully engage with the world, a failure to test one's convictions against the logic and passions of others. It suggests a closing off of the possibilities of growth and transformation and a repudiation of the process of consensus building. "It doesn't bode well for democratic practice in this country," Professor Anderson said. "To keep democracy vital, it's important that students learn to integrate debate into their lives and see it modeled for them, in a productive way, when they're in school.""

A fascinating article that ties in with what I was talking about in this weblog a few weeks ago about the way students in one English class were reacting to Shirley Jackson's story The Lottery where they were far less willing to condemn the practice of the people in the town but, instead, considered themselves not able to judge another culture.

What's even more interesting is that this article underscores some of the culture clash that we have at home. Ann was a high school debater and, later, did a lot of debate coaching. She values debate and cares passionately about issues. I, on the other hand, am often very reluctant to have an opinion. Sometimes its because I do not consider myself as informed as I want to be and sometimes it is because I honestly believe that there are too many facets to certain situations for me to take a definitive stand on a given issue.

Why were some people able, on September 12th, to immediately see where the Bush administration was going and then start to condemn it as a bad plan? It took me months to reach that point. I do not agree with how the Bush administration is hanlding a great many things related to the events of the last six months but it took me until January or so to feel that internally. I have often felt that I lacked something that other, more fiery people have possessed. But now that I think about it, I see how I am much more a product of this new type of thinking than people like my wife.

So, what is to be done? I fully believe that active, vigorous debate is essential and I generally have no problem stirring the soup. Maybe I need to be much quicker to put a stake in the ground and risk being wrong rather than waiting until I am absolutely certain of a given belief.

Andrew Pulrang (who I have been referring back to a lot lately but he exemplifies the type of person who appears quick to form strong opinions which, it so turns out, I generally agree with) describes his weblog as the home of shaky opinions. He, too, isn't fully sure of his beliefs but he is far more willing to go out on a limb and speak his mind. And, really, isn't that one of the points of a weblog?(9:30 PM)

Women Fought in the Civil War"Ms. Cook already knew, however, that some women had disguised themselves as male soldiers during the war, including women at Antietam, where, on Sept. 17, 1862, 22,000 Union and Confederate troops were killed; it was the bloodiest single day of the war. But she had no idea how many women there were. So she set out to document the full story of women who went into combat.
"(9:18 PM)

Sunday, March 24, 2002
Redneck Neighbor"In case you're wondering, this Web page is about my next-door neighbors. Since my neighbors have been driving me crazy since the day they moved in, I have decided to dedicate a small corner of cyber-space to them. My family and friends are constantly asking me to tell them the "latest" thing my neighbors have done so this page will save me from repeating myself. Besides, I thought it would be fun. Everything you read here is entirely true, that's what makes it so funny."

If we ever have neighbor troubles again, I'll read this and feel so much better...(6:20 PM)

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