June 25, 2011

Mei Lin, Summer Camp, and Duct Tape

Three Things To Say

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I have a new cousin.

She is my third cousin.

Not third-cousin,

But the third of the three first-cousins that I have.

Her name is Mei Lin.

And she is from China.

And she is beautiful.

Hark wrote an excellent, excellent post on her (complete with more cuteful pictures) here:

The Ink and Quill of Hark - Mei Lin

Go. See. You know you want to.


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Tomorrow I leave for my very first summer camp, ever. It's at Patrick Henry College, and I will be gone one whole week! (A prayer or two would be appreciated, as this spy fears - among other things - homesickness.) The camp theme is Leadership and Vocation. I'm still not entirely sure how such a theme can encompass a week of games and lectures and whatnot, but a friend who attended the camp last year assures me that it is far from boring and is immensely fun. Fear and excitement bubble together inside me - it will be by far the longest time I've been away from home and family, but at least I will have the aforementioned friend there with me. She's attending the camp again this year, and I will be eversomuchly grateful for her guiding presence. :) Oh! And there shall be no internet there. O_O So... I shall have no communication with my beloved online friends. *snif* All alone... this is going to be very interesting. o_O

Pictures to follow.


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I discovered afresh yesterday the glories of duct tape. We had Rowan and her brother over to our house, you see, and it was most epicfulness. We made a video, you see. And I shan't show it to you, you see, because it would reveal our secret identities! *gasps of horror* Suffice to say that the video involved random disappearances, and a pile of shoes, and even - *gulp* - a spatula. By the end, we all had our mouths duct taped, and let me assure you that it made communication extremely difficult.

Have you ever tried directing six caffeinated people to do a scene when all your mouths are sealed shut and the room echoes with muted mumbles and snorted laughter and arm-waving?

It's very exciting.

It's a life-enriching experience.

I recommend it highly.

It brightens one's day and heightens one's appreciation for vocal communication.



June 19, 2011

The Dad Life

Here's to awesome Dads.

Mine is one of them.

I am very, very proud of him.

He's a superhero.

He is my hero.

I love you, Daddy.

Happy Father's Day.

June 13, 2011

Politics Explained

a practical explanation of various forms of government. found here.

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Politics Explained

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all of the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and put them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you need.
FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and shoots you.
DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.
BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

PURE ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.
LIBERTARIAN/ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

(Original source unknown . . . this version expanded and Illuminated by Steve Jackson.)

They all sound pretty grim. (OO)

Having two cows,
And intending to keep them,


June 1, 2011



Philip Reeve

The extended, official title is: Larklight, or, The Revenge of the White Spiders, or, To Saturn's Rings and Back: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space.

If that doesn't make you want to read it, I don't know what will.

It's quite a good book. Pleasantly thick but with large print and plenty of splendid illustrations, the book reads light and easily. It's steampunk, I believe - if steampunk involves a Victorian society of machinery and gravitational devices and space travel, then yes, this is every inch steampunk. It concerns the lad Arthur (or Art, as he is more commonly called) and his sister Myrtle as their life aboard the elaborate space-orbiting house Larklight is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of a very strange and rather unpleasant visitor. This leads to a series of adventures and daring exploits including (but not limited to) the Potter Moths, the space pirate Jack Havock, aliens, flaming spiders.... etc, etc.

The book was also rather clean.... aside from some words that were (sadly) referenced but (gladly) not spelled out; in other words, the author generally substituted swear words with abbreviated versions composed mostly of "----"s.

The writing style is British and humorous and a bit reminiscent of Lemony Snicket's. The world is well-developed, the characters varied and enjoyable, and the setting fabulous.

Recommended indeed as a fast-paced, entertaining, and cheering tale.