November 23rd, 2004

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A plague of locusts

Well, the big locust plague that has been in Africa has moved north:

Locust plague sweeps into Israel

I find the idea of swarms of locusts fascinating because although yeah, seeing them all would be cool, the devastation they cause is huge. (Side note: Am I the only person who's seen the 1930s movie version of The Good Earth with the locust attack?)

Meanwhile, last line of the article is:

"The locust is the only type of insect that is kosher and permissible for religious Jews to eat under Jewish law."

Hmm! Wikipedia's entry on Kashrut expands with:

"With four exceptions, all insects and other invertebrates (including those usually consumed as seafood), all reptiles, and all amphibians are considered 'loathsome', 'crawling' creatures, and are forbidden as treif (un-kosher). The exceptions are a type of locust native to the Arabian peninsula, encompassing four distinct species."

So I wonder, was this locust exception come up after they were the 8th plague of Egypt?

Bee honey is also OK, although bees are not. (Do people eat bees?)
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Fall, Falling, Fell...

Atlanta has FINALLY hit that favorite time of mine: Fall.

Yes, I know it's the end of November and there have been Fall "symptoms" here for some weeks, but not until this week did we finally have most of the trees turning color and dropping prettiness all over the place.

The trees right beside the building I work in at Georgia Tech are particularly beautiful. Most of them are crepe myrtle. It's rainy and dark, but on the ground, the sidewalk, the street, everything is beautiful reds, oranges, yellows, golds. Splendid colors, magical and soothing. I'm reminded of forests and fields, red-winged blackbirds, migrating geese.

I wonder if sometime this week I can find someplace "wild" to go visit so I can enjoy the trees? It shouldn't be a park b/c that's not really what I want. I want to go someplace more wild, unkempt. I remember a few years ago Caleb told me about some nature sanctuary near Emory, so maybe I could go there. There's also the southern end of Springvale Park, which is actually a Civil War battleground or some such thing; Caleb says it's haunted. It's a hollow, dark with a stream at the bottom, with no houses on the entire block. I could bike over there and just sit listening to the leaves fall, collect some pretty leaves maybe. The universe would seem so right.

I really miss the trees. I know it sounds cheesy but I feel like I grew up in the woods, whether in the forest at home or out in the wilds in Canada. (A memory: Standing up in a canoe paddling across a smooth lake at sunset, trying to sneep up on a flock of loons, 'til I realized I was in the middle of the lake. And I didn't lose my balance from standing up either.)

Anyway, last night I was walking over to Caleb's and a voice in my head said, "Maybe you should go someplace simpler, away from all this concrete." I briefly had a vision of either England or New England, not sure which since they look so much alike. Hmm. Not to say I'm not a city girl, but the fact that I barely ever walk outside anywhere other than a SIDEWALK is depressing. I used to be so free...


This morning I was leaving Mocha Delites coffeeshop when I realized what song was playing, quietly, on the radio: "Every Day Is Like Sunday." And it was indeed cloudy, silent and gray. I had on a long, black trenchcoat. I laughed silently and I went on with my day, but I guess that set the tone. Bona Cliche'...
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    nostalgic nostalgic
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My mom

So I just checked my mom's Amazon Wish List and the first two items are:

JavaScript + Css + DOM Magic (With CD-ROM)

Cascading Style Sheets 2.0 Programmer's Reference

It was my mother who got me into computers, needless to say. (My dad never has been into computers that much, though he go through programmer's certification at the computer school where my mom taught classes. He learned C++ and stuff when he was around 65.)

Also on the list: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and The Other Islands of New York City: A Historical Companion.

My mom and I are peas in a pod!
  • Current Music
    Red Flag
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I just realized it's 5:30, everybody else in the office has gone home (most taking vacation or working at home tomorrow) and it's totally dark out. I find it amusing that almost every day I've been back at this job, I've been the last one here in the office. Of course I don't come in 'til 10...

*powers down and goes to pack for home*
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Our Leader

Thanks to marchenland for sharing this link:

Mysterious ‘George W. Bush: Our leader’ Clear Channel political public service billboard graces Orlando freeway

If I was on a highway and saw that, I would be going "What, what, WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!" for the next 10 minutes and definitely would order a U-turn, then find a place to park and just gawk. I've seem some pretty extreme posters here in Atlanta (including the giant Fox News "We Are Truth"-type billboards across from CNN Center) but this competes at the top level!
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    restless restless
ice cream

Hedonism @ the Farmer's Market

hedonism. n.
Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure,
especially to the pleasures of the senses.

Came home from work and Caleb invited me to share some of his yum pasta leftovers and then go out to the DeKalb Farmer's Market.

The results:

1.5 L blackberry kosher wine
2 large garlic dill pickles (imported... from NYC)
2 large containers Greek yogurt
2 bags pfeffernuesse cookies
2 small packages chocolate-covered lebkuchen cookies
1 loaf amaretto liqueur cake
1 Sapori (Italian) fruitcake
1 box Sapori almond cookies
1 box Carr's ginger cream cookies
2 lbs. baby carrots*
2 large bunches parsley*

* For the guinea pigs, thus not quite so hedonistic.

On the way home I kept singing the "C Is For Cookies" song from Sesame Street.

None of this food is intended for Thanksgiving, by the way. It's totally unrelated food. I hope at least some of it will last me long enough to bring to Christmas parties. (Well, at least the two cakes will.)
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    cheerful cheerful
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Smoking deaths

Smoking killing millions globally
Smoking killed almost five million people around the world in 2000, researchers have calculated.

I have several close friends who smoke. A lot. And while I don't think smoking something sometimes is bad and support the individual choice to do stupid, destructive stuff if you so desire, I still wish they wouldn't chainsmoke! I never say anything really and I'll even go out on smoke breaks with people (I don't actually breath a lot anyway, snerk) but inside I'm like, "Hey, why don't you just aim a gun in your mouth and get it over with?"

Five million people. And that's just the deaths, not the suffering from dozens of different related problems, everything from emphysema to cardio. Then there are all the non-smokers affected, esp. defenseless children.

For a handy little lecture in a bottle, see Wikipedia's entry on tobacco smoking.

All my grandparents smoked. Both my grandfathers died around age 70 of multiple smoking-related lung diseases (cancer combined with emphysema, collapsed lung, etc.) Neither of my parents smoke and nobody in my family smokes -- not did anybody start. The Darlings have enough bum genes without making it worse, I think!

Sorry, I just have to be patronizing sometimes.
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    aggravated aggravated