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Archive for March, 2006

The crazies are on campus

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

I just went to the Student Union to grab lunch and go to the bank.  As I’m flying down the big bicycle way next to the SU I see large signs, fences and small crowds of people.  I tried to figure out what the signs said, but stopped when I saw they were equating something Hitler and his SS.  It seemed to be abortion related, but I’m not sure which side.  I think it was the pro-life side.  It doesn’t matter, it’s stupid.  Then I noticed 2 police officers posted (they weren’t just standing around) back a bit, but certainly there to keep order.  You know you’re probably going about things wrong when they post 2 police officers.  This is OSU.  We’re mellow.  Preacher Bob is our version of free speech vs religious advocacy controversy and he didn’t get police officer protection.  Anyway, times are a changing…

Eminent Domain Abuse Affects Someone I Know

Saturday, March 25th, 2006

So, it’s late and I’ve got Fox News going as background noise and I see a little preview for a Hannity and Colmes segment on eminent domain. I try not to watch that show as Hannity really gets on my nerves. Anyway, the preview included a little clip of a woman that looked an aweful lot like my Mandarin professor. It even sounded like her, but they mention it being in Kansas. Well, I was curious to find out if it really was her, so I watched the episode to see what it was all about. Sure enough it is my old Mandarin professor. Apparently she owns a store up in Manhattan Kansas that is being taken under eminent domain. Well, it turns out she is still in Stillwater too (and still teaches here), so I don’t know the logistics of how she has a store almost 300 miles away. Looks like she’s fighting a losing battle, but I wish her the best. Here’s some quick things I found about it through Google.

http://www.kstatecollegian.com/article.php?a=9337

http://manhattanfreepress.com/freepressissues/2006/March-06/March-9-06.pdf

http://www.ci.manhattan.ks.us/documents/Agendas/…/EminentDomain%7DDowntown.pdf

Homework Break and Rant

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

So, I’m sitting here taking a break from my killer night of homework.  I decided I needed some icrecream to make me more hyper (not that I get that hyper with it).  I walked over to Twenty Something to get a pint of cookies and cream.  It’s snowing.  The weather people said that it’d come after midnight, but it’s already coming down now.  I hope it isn’t too bad.  I want the moisture, but it would suck to get just enough to cause us traffic headaches tommorrow.  Of course it would be nice if we got enough snow to get school cancelled tommorrow.  I could go for that.

Another thing.  So, I was driving earlier today.  I was on the highway going the the speed limit in the right lane.  The roads were rather crowded.  A semi was in the left lane also going the speed limit, about a car length behind me.  I believe that the truck would have moved over into the right lane behind me, but was waiting for a bit more clearance.  Depending on the grade of the road, I would inch away from the the truck and it would inch back up on me.  We’re talking 1mph differences here.  Well, I check my rear-view mirror frequently to keep a heads up on the traffic all around me.  I see this Acura coming up on me pretty fast, weaving back and forth between cars.  Then the idiot uses that barely-a-car-length space between me and the semi to whip around and between us at least 20mph over the speed limit.  I’m sitting there silently wishing ill-will on that driver when not a minute later, somebody else, in a much larger and older car goes and does the same thing.  Had there not been such a gap between when those cars went by I would have thought that they were racing.  I hope they don’t take anybody else in their future fiery demises.  It might be nice if I could see it happen on TV.  I know, I’m evil.

Ultraviolet

Sunday, March 19th, 2006

We caught Ultraviolet on Thursday.  You know, I was surprised.  It was much better than I thought it was going to be.  On a purely subjective level I would have called it crap, just another miserable action flick.  On the otherhand, now that I’ve studied a bit about film and filmmaking, I have to say that this was a remarkable movie.  It provided interesting shots, great composition, thematic relational elements, and a philosophical dialogue about the world.  I am particularly taken by the visual references to Nazism, Fascism, and their relation to progressiveness.  The temporal setting is a moderately futuristic, involving technology that obviously doesn’t exist now.  IMDB’s entry says it’s set in the late 21st century.  I suppose that could be.  If that’s so, I don’t understand why everyone is using H&K G36′s and Sig 550 series rifles.  Maybe the prop guys didn’t want to create something new.  The “style” of the future is directly referencing of the WWI trench soldier and the WWII German soldier with an added touch of modern SWAT operator.  Silhouettes are dead ringers.  The mix of that and the overly bulky gas masks are clear references.  I recommend giving it a look if you are wanting to watch and action movie.

Sam’s Town Great Buffet

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

I’ve been to the Sam’s Town Great Buffet half a dozen times over the years.  They used to have all you can eat half lobsters, but now only have all you can eat seafood (shrimp and crab legs), and steaks (low quality beef). The last time I went will probably be my last.  The food quality sucked.  The service sucked.  The variety sucked.  The value was minimal.  It’s not worth the drive, especially with the Epic Buffet across the street.

Hollywood Casino Epic Buffet

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

We’ve driven to Tunica several times to go to the Hollywood Casino’s Epic Buffet. On Friday nights they have all you can eat whole lobster. It isn’t the best buffet in the world, but well worth its value. For about $45 2 people can eat all the lobster, shrimp, crab, salmon, etc that you can stuff down. Naturally, this means you need to get there early as the line can get rather lengthy if you arrive late. Also, it gets the touristy environment. It definitley isn’t fine dining. The waitstaff also seem a bit overworked. Still, the value is outstanding considering that you can eat way more than $22 worth of lobster before getting full.

Texas de Brazil Memphis

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

We’ve gone to Texas de Brazil at Peabody Place in Memphis several times over the last few years.  It is quite a good restaurant.  It’s quite a bit different than most restaurants one might go to.  You come in and decide what level of eating you are willing to pay for.  The first level is a quality buffet.  It is nice.  The size of the buffet isn’t large (at least in my measure), but the quality of the food available is quite good.  There are is a wide variety of flavors.  I enjoy the salad bar and lobster bisque the most.  The second level includes the buffet and a round cardboard “dot” (my word choice).  This “dot” is two-sided, one side red, the other side green.  Basically, roaming around the restaurant floor is a plethora of servers carrying a wide variety of meats.  If they see you’ve turned your dot to show the green color, they come by and offer whatever meat they have.  Think dim-sum with only meat and you display whether or not the servers stop at your table.  The variety of meats they offer is quite good.  It ranges from rack of lamb, to filet mignon, to free-range chicken.  All are superbly cooked and the flavors are wonderful.  The ambiance of the restaurant itself is also quite good.  The decor is stylish and tasteful.  The uniforms of the wait staff is neat.  The tables are set nicely with perfectly white table cloths and the lights are very dim.  Each table gets a candle for extra light.  If you aren’t stuffed when you walk out of there something is wrong with you.  The only real drawback is the price.  It isn’t cheap, but then again I’d rate the value as quite high considering the quality and variety of the meats that are available.  The waitstaff is also quite good.  I highly recommend it for anyone looking to try something new (and has some extra bucks).

Isaac Hayes Nightclub & Restaurant

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

In the big ice storm of December 2004, we went to Isaac Hayes Nightclub and Restaurant. This really isn’t the place to detail this, but Memphis basically has no cold weather road conditioning. Memphis so rarely sees harsh winter weather that they don’t have the setup to handle it. Well, near the end of December 2004 Memphis was hit with a really cold winter spell that put a lot of ice down on the roads. We didn’t have much to do (or eat) at home so we headed out to Peabody Place. It’s just a couple miles away (direct line), and we thought that they were the closest place that would be open for sure. After slipping and sliding there on the couple inches of ice covering the roads we caught a movie and then decided to eat at Isaac Hayes Nightclub & Restaurant. Shinta had never eaten any soul food, and this was as good a time as any. Well, when we entered it was obvious that it was not a busy night. We were seated in one of the booths and the place was desolate. Talking with the waiter we found out that several of the staff hadn’t even made it in to work, much less customers. Seems like a nice place, friendly staff, nice layout, good value. I don’t remember exactly what we ordered, but it was good. The cornbread was outstanding. I recommend it to anybody coming through Memphis that will be around the Peabody.

Houston’s

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

In February 2006 we went to Houston’s in Memphis, TN. Several of Shinta’s co-workers had recommended that we try it out sometime. We went for an early dinner. Upon arriving we put our name on the waiting list. We were a bit surprised that there would be a waiting list so early. Anyway, we waited in the growing crowd for about 15 minutes for a table to become available. The ambiance was quite nice. All the servers are dressed in black. The color of the carpet and furniture were dark. I’d say black, but I don’t recall for sure. The lighting was very very low. To the point that I’d suggest that the only real lights were on each table. The net effect is that as the servers move around they almost appear to come out of nowhere. Neat. As we were seated we ordered our drinks. Another server appeared quickly to tell us about the specials and ask if we were wanting any appetizers. When the server came back around for our order I ordered their New York Strip special, and Shinta had the Swordfish steak. We also go Caesar salads. The Caesar was okay. It was certainly a lot better than many places, but for me there was something that it was missing, I just don’t know what. Shinta seemed to like it quite a bit. When the main course arrived they were well prepared. The steaks were both large and well presented. My New York Strip was fine. It was cooked about right (I ordered it “medium”). The quality of the meat was very good. It was quite lean and the cooking was pretty even. The taste was great. Shinta gave me a piece of her Swordfish. It was quite good. I tend to want steaks more than fish, but I would have been plenty happy ordering either dish. Then came the only negative — the ticket. The cost was rather high, without dessert we spent about $85. I’d rate Houston’s about on par with what Steak and Ale used to be several years ago, but with a significantly higher price. In terms of value, I’m not so sure Houston’s stands up to the mark, but I can’t denigrate the quality of their food and service.

WordPress 2.0.2

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

I need to pay a little closer attention to the WordPress site.  WordPress 2.0.2, a security update, was released nearly a week ago.  Well, I’ve upgraded to it now.  Everything seems to be working fine.