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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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October 31, 2005
On the other side of the big pond...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan

Made it to Narita - left Sunday morning got here Monday evening - 10 hours of flying time. Always lose a day coming this way.

Pretty much a world record getting through customs and then on the Narita Express - landed about 4:35 Monday afternoon here - went through Immigration, got baggage, did customs, went to the train tix counter bought tickets - on the 5:13 train. Whoot!

Can't believe that I made it back to Japan prior to doing all the pictures I took on the last trip. Got pretty close - just had to put up some of those 185 mph shots coming back to Tokyo from Kyoto. Should get to them while I'm in Japan this week ...

They don't celebrate Halloween in Japan so you guys will have to celebrate on my behalf. Give a few extra pieces of candy for me will ya?

Pulled by Emcee on October 31, 2005 at 04:47 AM
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October 30, 2005
Off to Japan again ...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan

OK, a four day mad dash to Japan and back - starting today.

Will the daylight savings time fallback tonight  help this time change? I don't think so... gotta sleep when you can...

Pulled by Emcee on October 30, 2005 at 01:03 AM
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October 29, 2005
Happy Halloween!
Filed in: Current Affairs

Tipped off by dear Mrs. Hapke, I bought that Dremel pumpkin carving kit (along with too many accessories) earlier in the month.

I have to make a quick trip back to Japan starting tomorrow - so I'm going to miss the Halloween festivities in our neighborhood.

So I put together the carving kit and after some period of time of splattering minute particulates of pumpkin (why was I reminded of the dentist?), this is what resulted from my efforts:

...Continue reading "Happy Halloween!"

Pulled by Emcee on October 29, 2005 at 01:58 AM
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October 28, 2005
What is the most widely eaten fruit in the world?
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats, Japan

If you said "apple" you'd be incorrect (I know, I know, I'm a Washington stater and I do love the apples) ...

...Continue reading "What is the most widely eaten fruit in the world?"

Pulled by Emcee on October 28, 2005 at 11:12 AM
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October 27, 2005
Point of history
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics

Harriet Miers withdrew her SCOTUS nomination today, ostensibly to protect the integrity of the Executive branch.

I guess the president is compiling a list of people (outside of the Senate) that he must receive approval from prior to his next nomination - to insure that he doesn't offer up another mediocre candidate.

That's the sort of leadership that he's forced into now - because, you know, he works for us - does the leader of the free world.

"Come on Mr. President. Show some spine. Do what I say! Now!"

It's a touch of irony isn't it? Resign to support the independence of the Executive. In so doing, compromise the Executive's right to Constitutional process of advice and consent of the Senate, and like an activist judge, grant penumbral weight to advice and consent of the pundits.

Pulled by Emcee on October 27, 2005 at 08:47 AM
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October 26, 2005
Kokedera Koan
Filed in: Art, ok maybe that's too strong a word, Current Affairs, Japan, Photography

Intent on retaining some of what I experienced at Kokedera, I created a panorama picture and then did a little 'art' work to tie the individual pictures together and to suggest something about the Kokedera experience..

If you click on the picture you will get a larger version of it in your browser - if you click on the bottom right corner a couple of times you'll get a 'full frame' rectangle - click in that for the picture to expand in your browser and you can scroll around in it to get a sense of being surrounded by this incredible place. This is Kokedera Koan:

...Continue reading "Kokedera Koan"

Pulled by Emcee on October 26, 2005 at 01:37 AM
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October 25, 2005
Product Recommendation
Filed in: Current Affairs

In continuing to try to squeeze a little more life out of my laptop, I looked around the 'net recently to see if I could find something to take care of the scratches on my laptop lcd screen. The main issue with that has been a kind of a grid of scratches that were imprinted on the screen by the keyboard - very early in this laptop's life (I think it's a design issue - the keyboard shouldn't scratch the screen just because you close the laptop...)

Janvilplasticrestore Anyway, found a product by a company called Janvil. They sell a 'plastic restore system' that consists of a cleaner (seems rather like Armor All), and abrasive scratch removers (comes in light and heavy).

I tried it on my lcd - following their instructions - and it was terrific! Took the annoying little scratches out and the cleaner buffed it up very nicely and seems to have put a little bit of a protective coating on it.

Now, the biggest problem is seeing the dead pixels (looks like I've got about 8 of them) against brightly lit backgrounds.

Oh well, think I'm getting closer and closer to getting that new laptop ...

Since the laptop worked out so well - I did my cell phone screen too - worked really well - any kind of plastic surface without a built in coating seems to benefit...

Just thought I'd share.

Pulled by Emcee on October 25, 2005 at 11:25 PM
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Kyoto: Kokedera (Exuent)
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Photography

Just because they asked me to go, didn't mean that I had to stop taking photos as I left...


I want to remember each part of this place...

...Continue reading "Kyoto: Kokedera (Exuent)"

Pulled by Emcee on October 25, 2005 at 12:50 AM
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Kyoto: Kokedera (Interlude)
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Photography

Oh, I know I've been waxing up the Zen lately. Lest you think I've gone and embraced it as my new philosophical system, here's some good old Judeo-Christian meditation that works just fine...


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

...Continue reading "Kyoto: Kokedera (Interlude)"

Pulled by Emcee on October 25, 2005 at 12:31 AM
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October 24, 2005
Kyoto: Kokedera (Part 8)
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Photography


I descended from the upper garden into the main temple complex - but I wasn't ready for this visit to be 'over'...

...Continue reading "Kyoto: Kokedera (Part 8)"

Pulled by Emcee on October 24, 2005 at 06:50 PM
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