pleasures and disappointments

enchanted: amy adams is enchanting to say the least, and i think [seriously] deserves of an oscar nomination. movie has its moments, especially when it punches its imaginary disney nose for fun. recommended.

nawlins restaurant: quite expensive for what it delivers to its tight, uncomfortable tables. [when we first sat down, we asked the next table for their recommendations - they were there for the first time, and were not impressed with their fishy blackened catfish.] crab cakes are just two, tiny, very tasty, but slightly over-fried. catfish gumbo is generally competent, but has too much cayenne. [i have been to NO many times, and have had enough many authentic gumbos to know. it is an art form] blackened chicken livers are excellent. blackened tilapia seems well blackened, but swimming in butter [and really overpriced]. it is served over an absolutely horrible would-be jambalaya, with cold sausages, other odd unrecognizable bits, and rice that turned glutenous. 12-oz new york striploin is very well done, blackened, perfectly medium-rare as ordered, but it is served over a potato-garlic puree my 9-year old son can easily improve upon [and any new orleans restaurant would be embarrassed to serve]. music was just good enough to make up for some of what is missing in the meal. we skipped the basic coffee; a place calling itself nawlins should at least be able to serve some cafe du monde coffee. [$5.50/can straight from the source - if i knew they did not have any, i would have brought some of my own for them to brew.] $115 for two, taxes and beers included.

note to self: had better meals at southern accent restaurant

[my wife, who had the blackened tilapia and tasted everything mentioned in this review, thinks i am being generous to nawlins]

[update: a week later, i found a 14-oz new york striploin at a nearby pickle barrel which costs $10 less, just as well prepared, and comes with better garnish.]


legal restrictions in whose country?

yet another notch in the decline of ebay. this time, not gross fees, just gross idiocy with handwaving:
Dear User:

Unfortunately, access to this particular category or item has been blocked
due to legal restrictions in your home country. Based on our discussions with
concerned government agencies and eBay.ca community members, we have taken
these steps to reduce the chance of inappropriate items being displayed.
Regrettably, in some cases this policy may prevent users from accessing items
that do not violate the law. At this time, we are working on less restrictive
alternatives. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may
cause you, and we hope you may find other items of interest on eBay.

Thank You.

what is my home country? trouble spelling canada? what exact legal restriction is this item violating in canada?

in case any canadian is wondering, the item in question is a miniature samurai sword letter opener. i can get a beautiful, razor sharp, folded steel katana in a blink, but i cannot get a miniature at ebay.

mind reels, boggles, throws up, and huddles in a corner, whimpering.


scalzi's report

sf author john scalzi has written a wonderful report on the creation museum.
Imagine, if you will, a load of horseshit. And we’re not talking just your average load of horseshit; no, we’re talking colossal load of horsehit. An epic load of horseshit. The kind of load of horseshit that has accreted over decades and has developed its own sort of ecosystem, from the flyblown chunks at the perimeter, down into the heated and decomposing center, generating explosive levels of methane as bacteria feast merrily on vintage, liquified crap. This is a Herculean load of horseshit, friends, the likes of which has not been seen since the days of Augeas.

it should be required reading on highschools, minus the bad language, of course...


scruton's matter

i have read just enough of roger scruton to know he is the kind of philosopher that gives the whole enterprise a bad name while providing some tv dinner grade food for intellectually starved conservative thought. here is an especially inedible example from a political philosophy that makes even the most gnomic utterance of ka'a orto'o [tough guide to fantasy land] look positively brilliant [in fact one can seriously argue that diana wynne jones is a more thoughtful philosopher than scruton even when she is writing fantasy for young readers]:
the paradox, then, is this: the falsehood of religious faith enable us to perceive the truths that matter. the truths of science, endowed with an absolute authority, hide the truths that matter, and make the human reality imperceivable.

ahahahahaha. this is funny!

[i wish he would enumerate some of the specific religious falsehoods out of the hundreds he no doubt has in mind so we can get a better insight into those mysterious "truths that matter". alas, such detailed explication would expose this sort of drivel for exactly what it is...]