August 2007

Great news from Iowa – a state judge has struck down the state’s version of DOMA. He issued a stay of his own ruling shortly after, pending review by the state’s Supreme Court, but there it is, another legal victory for marriage equality.

It saddens me to know the wingnuts of Iowa will undoubtedly get up in arms over this. What they don’t seem to realize is that political railroading and bullying as a tactic of religious and political control isn’t something they just invented for themselves; it’s a proud tradition that must be protected at all costs, preserved for future generations. We don’t need to sit back and take it when they try to stop us this time. If we don’t rise up and do something now, future generations may not have the inspiration required to act in their own best interests.

As such, a modest proposal: whereas it makes me sick to know that activist preachers are going to abuse their unelected positions to legislate from the pulpit, making demands and imposing their will on the progressive people of Iowa, I hereby call on all liberty-loving Iowans to act quickly and amend the Bible. Iowa is one short ballot measure from striking back at these power-grabbing, anti-democratic Family Values types. Isn’t it time the Freedom Values Coalition stepped forward to push back?

I am at this point only four chapters into book six, aka & the Half-Blood Prince. Some thoughts thus far:

  • The teacher in me really hates Dumbledore. He wants to shout into D’s ear constantly that they are children for gods’ sakes, that if they get caught doing whatever they’re doing every time Dumbledore encourages them to break every rule and most laws while he looks the other way, they are screwed.
  • The kid in me likes Dumbledore just fine.
  • The kid in me is weaker than the teacher; as such, I am in direct opposition to most fans of the Harry Potter books by virtue of basically hating Dumbledore.
  • At the beginning of HP5 I liked Harry and couldn’t stand Dumbledore. At the end of HP5 I hate Harry and I could almost-maybe like Dumbledore.
  • In case an odd-numbered page and one’s goldfish-level memory might lead one to forget, a reminder: no one can Apparate or Disapparate to/from Hogwart’s! If one forgets while reading this sentence, don’t worry; shortly one will have an even-numbered page to read, on which Hermione will surely remind one.
  • In case one finds one’s self too occupied forgetting and being reminded of the fact that no one can Apparate or Disapparate to/from Hogwart’s to remember this fact, fifth years have a lot of homework.
  • I have posited to Deadblob that – note: there is a subtle reminder in the next fragment – given one cannot Apparate or Disapparate to/from Hogwart’s it is highly likely that one cannot Apparate or Disapparate to/from Hogwart’s because one has far too much homework to do.
  • I’m actually really enjoying these books.
  • The end of HP5 is just unforgivable. I want to reach into the novel and choke Harry with my own two hands.
  • That I feel this way simply means JKR has very successfully made me care what happens.
  • Everything about the 5th year Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher – more accurately, both of them – is absolutely brilliant.
  • I really want a better understanding of how magic works. It seems like they point their wands and say their fake Latin wordsincantations and if they really want it then it just happens. Much as I like a lot of the plot points and story effects of magic in the books a part of me finds this a really dissatisfying technology of magic.
  • Gods almighty, has any setting cried out more desperately for 0th-level detect magic? Jeez.
  • If anything bad happens to Lupin in the long run I think I will probably cry my goddamned eyes out.

For now I’m taking a break. In part this is to “let” Deadblob catch up but truth is he’s already passed me. I needed to pull my head out of that world for a while after HP5. Right now I’m reading Boris Akunin‘s The Death of Achilles. Highly recommended; it’s Holmes meets Marlowe meets Bond in Moscow in 1882. The empire is just starting to look a little wilty around the edges and a Russian diplomat trained in martial arts and philosophy is solving murders with his Japanese manservant. It sounds terrible, I know, but it is not. It is quite good.

In case you’ve ever wondered, yes, you can install Checkpoint NG R55 for RHEL 3.0 on CentOS 3.9. Christ alive, it’s a good day.

The Boyf is out of town this week and that means that I am the cats’ only entertainment. As such, they get really, really bored when I’m not there. They have each other, yes, but as often as not they look to one another to find an accomplice rather than a playmate. They are not one another’s toys, they are in search of toys to use together.

Of late they’ve been getting intensely curious about door knobs. No, “curious” isn’t the right word. They know what door knobs do. They’ve no curiosity to satisfy on that front, I’m afraid. Rather, they’ve been working like the devil to try and figure out how to operate door knobs without human intervention. More than once I’ve turned a corner to find them stretched up, paws wrapped around a doorknob, doing their very best to turn it. I know that sounds like it’s fiction, like I’ve made it up to have a cute catblog to tell, but it’s absolutely 100% true. As a former co-worker used to say, here is my hand. I swear it is true. They have sought for weeks now to figure out how to operate doors.

To digress seemingly further, we tend to enter and leave the house through the laundry room in the back. One of the primary reasons for this is also what has given the laundry room its name: the Cat Lock, much like an air lock on a spacecraft. We can walk into the laundry room, shut the door firmly behind us, then leave through the outer door without having to ward off the cats should they try to check out the Big Blue Room on the other side of the house’s exterior walls. Now, the laundry room door doesn’t like to close all the way but we early on learned the simple trick of pushing it shut until we hear the click. As a matter of habit I tend to push the door, lift the knob slightly, hear the click and then tug on the door to make sure it’s entirely shut. I do this every time I walk through that door. I know I’ve done it for the last two days running.

And yet, when I’ve gotten home from work on both the last two days I’ve found said inner door, from the kitchen into the Cat Lock, just barely open and a furry face or two peeking at me through the crack.

One or the other of the cats – or both, gods help us – has learned to open a door with a regular, round door knob. No thumbs, people. No thumbs, but I swear they’ve learned to open doors.

I’m sorry, archaeologists of the future. Once you’ve translated this blog post you’ll know what happened to my kind. A terrible future is staring me in the face every night when I get home from work.