Saturday, August 16, 2008

Viva la vida (Coldplay)

I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it. Just the sound of it makes me happy, despite the decidedly odd scansion of some of the lines. And I found myself pondering the lyrics, trying to figure out the backstory.

I finally decided that it was an elegy for christianity. The biblical references are obvious, of course, but the story just didn't come together for me until I cast the voice telling the story as the institution itself and the story itself covering more than a thousand years. Everything made sense to me then.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hickman's horse, Peter Rabbit

The Yahoo! odd news feed today brings up a touching story of an old horse in a pasture and a cruel town being inflexible and unfeeling. Fortunately, the story also included a link to the town's website.

I'm guessing that Hickman, NE has been inundated with inquiries about the situation. Somebody intelligent took the initiative to turn their city's homepage into "The Rest of the Story".

The rest of the story is...the 1988 ordinance wasn't applied until now because that land wasn't part of the incorporated city until 2006. That answered my first question - why was this just now happening?

More of the rest of the story...after incorporating the land, the city immediately began dealing with the livestock issue with the owners who, it appears, intransigently refuse any compromise whatsoever, no matter how reasonable. For example:

City Council discussed options of allowing Harleys Horse to stay but to require the Horse Owners to have a Certified Veterinarian perform a Annual Health Checkup and present the findings to the City Offices along with a licensing and processing fee, similar to the ones required by dogs in the city limits. This solution was not acceptable to the Scotts who voiced their intent not to comply with any such regulation.

Numerous other properties in the area, outside the incorporated area, have offered to give Peter Rabbit (the horse) a home, so I have to hope that when the Scotts lose their battle, they relocate the horse properly.

I was going to email the city council in Hickman to thank them for "the rest of the story" but they've disabled "Contact us" for the time being -- I don't blame them.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Die Hard: a quibble

I'm at the scene where the initial squad of keystone cops are trying to enter the building. When the lock-picking fails, they pull out the blowtorch. These are huge glass doors, in a huge glass wall. Glass breaks, dude - easy entry.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Well done, China

I watch very little of the Olympics in any year, but I enjoy the parade of athletes, so I'm watching this year's opening ceremonies. The 2008 drummers were incredible. Even more so were the grey boxes which whipped up and down in hypnotic patterns, at one point forming the Great Wall. I was so impressed by their technology that my jaw literally dropped when the boxes opened up to reveal the people inside who had actually been performing those amazing patterns. What precision! Well done, China. (Now, back to the show...)