Monthly Archive for January, 2004

I’m going to be offline for a while. We’re moving house tomorrow and the new flat we’re renting won’t have internet connectivity until at least the 10th of February. No TV either. Good news for me is that I’ll be on a business trip to St Louis for most of that time. Mom, get my old bedroom ready.

Let it snow.

Tony’s the man! He gave a superb round-up of the Hutton Inquiry’s findings in Parliament today (here’s a good summary of the findings). All the Blair-haters were looking forward to the results of the Inquiry to tell the world how the Prime Minister lied to and deceived the public regarding the reasons for going to war. Didn’t happen. They looked forward to the Inquiry in order for it to find that Blair was underhanded in confirming british weapons expert Dr David Kelly’s name as the one who raised questions about the government’s Iraq dossier, and therefore in some way bear some responsibility for Kelly’s subsequent suicide. Didn’t happen. They looked forward to the findings forcing many in his cabinet, and maybe the PM himself, to resign. Not even close to happening. What they didn’t expect was that the BBC and their reporter, Andrew Gilligan, would be knocked down a couple of pegs for his mythical and sensational reporting that the dossier was ordered to be “sexed up” by someone in the government (in the form of the 45 minute claim). They also didn’t expect that the BBC would be severely criticized and their Chairman would be forced to resign.

There still are big questions on why the intelligence was (seemingly, at this point) wrong, but the facts are that no one willingly distorted the intelligence in order to go to war. But, there is no question that the world is a better, safer place without the madman Saddam Hussein in power. So, in a way, even if the means were somewhat in error, the ends do justify them.

Studs with flapperGAFKAG, the Geospatial Analyst Formerly Known As Giovanni, visited us over the last two weekends (sandwiched around a trip back to Italy to visit a big fan of his). We had a blast. Spent most of that time down in London, where we visited the Museum Of London not once, but twice. The draw must’ve been the cute flapper girls that were selling people on the 1920s exhibit….uhhh, for JP, not for me. It’s strange though that the only time I eat american food over here (Pizza Hut…twice) is when an american comes to visit.

I promised I’d post some links to the now famous, Howard Dean “I have a scream” meltdown. But there are so many out there now, I’ll just give you the Dean goes nuts site, which posts a good number of them. The webmaster should be lauded for being pro-Dean and still posting all these re-mixes. Guess he’s following Dean’s strategy of making light of the speech, to distract people from the fact that the guy’s plain loopy.

X at the Prime MeridianI feel a bit ashamed. I’ve been living in the UK for going on five years and I’ve only just gotten around to visiting Greenwich. What self-respecting geospatial analyst within driving distance hasn’t made the trip to the home of the Prime Meridian(longitude 0°0’0″) and Greenwich Mean Time(GMT)? Well, as the photographic evidence at left atests, I am now a member of the club: ‘people who have straddled the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich and have gotten their cheesey picture taken while doing it’. We also toured the Observatory and their various astronomical equipment and walked through the “last of the tea clippers”, the Cutty Sark. Amazing ship with a great history, but I still don’t know why they call the command area of the main deck the “Poop Deck”. Maybe Triumph, the comic dog, has the answer.

It’s Haggis hunting season and, as I’ve blogged before, I loves to eat the Haggis. I never knew what the curious, little creatures looked like until I stumbled upon the site I link to above. Now, I’m having second thoughts about eating them again since they’re kind of cute, furry, little things….but not really….too yummy. The site exposes the many myths about them, including the one about it just being sheep innards (check out the Haggisclopedia). Also very cool are the Haggis Hunt live web cams throughout Scotland and even in London and NY Times Square. If you spot one, you can win some lux prizes. I betcha risotto with Haggis, Parmigiano Reggiano, and a little red wine would taste delicious. Aussie Girl…..set the table.

Al speaketh. I just finished listening to the Al Davis State of the Raiders press conference and it was great stuff. See the KNBR site for the audio files. He should do it more often. Ray Ratto writes a great piece on it and had written an entertaining one when there was a rumor that Al may speak.

The latest dumb-ass celebrity is Gwyneth Paltrow. America has apparently become “weird” and “over-patriotic” for her.

Gephardt quit and Dean is toast. I betcha Gore regrets backing that guy and it doesn’t look like Carol Moseley-Braun is going to get that cabinet position her support of Dean was an obvious trade for (thank God). And what happened to my favorite Democrat, Al Sharpton?