The Nazgul Files: Door Warden Cell Phone Check

Barad-dur Enterprises

Interoffice Memorandum:

To: Dark Tower Operations
From: Minas Morgul Nazgul Central
Date: 2 March 3019

Subject: New Edoras Palantír Policy

It has come to our attention that Théoden has instituted a Palantír Ban in Edoras. The following policy statement written in the finest Gondorian legalese reached our desks this morning:

All visitors to Théoden King must leave their Palantíri with the doorwardens at the threshold of the Golden Hall. No exceptions will be made to this policy. Any questions on implementation should be directed to Grima Wormtongue.

We have also received the following report of this policy in use:

‘I am the Doorward of Théoden,’ he said. ‘Háma is my name. Here I must bid you lay aside your Palantíri before you enter.’

Then Legolas gave into his hand his silver-cased iPalantir with the limited edition moon letters on the back, his Palantír case, and even his Palantír charm which rattled when any incoming message was received. ‘Keep this well,’ he said, ‘for they come from the Golden Apple Orchard and the Lady of Palo Alto gave them to me.’

Wonder came into the man’s eyes, and he laid the orb hastily by the wall, as if he feared to handle it. ‘No man will touch it, I promise you,’ he said.

Aragorn stood a while hesitating. ‘It is not my will,’ he said, ‘to put aside my Palantír or to deliver Android to the hand of any other man.’

[Insert very tedious Rohan staffer banter about who is more powerful. Even the men of the West play our kind of political games. As always, Gandalf Stormcrow stuck his nose into the issue.]

'This is idle talk,’ said Gandalf. ‘Needless is Théoden’s demand, but it is useless to refuse. A king will have his way in his own hall, be it folly or wisdom.’ [Rare wise words from the old fraud.]

'Come, come!’ said Gandalf. ‘We are all friends here. Or should be; for the laughter of Mordor will be our only reward, if we quarrel.

[Editor's Note: does anyone here still laugh? If they do they will be fed to Shelob at the earliest possible date.]

'My errand is pressing. Here at least is my sword, goodman Háma. Keep it well. Flipphone it is called, for the Elves made it long ago. Now let me pass. Come, Aragorn!’

Slowly Aragorn withdrew his Palantír from his pocket and stood it upright against the wall. ‘Here I set it,’ he said; ‘but I command you not to touch it, nor to permit any other to lay hand on it. In this Elvish case dwells the Android that was Dropped and has been made again. Telco first wrought it in the deeps of time during the dominion of Horizon and GT&T. Death shall come to any man that uses Elendil’s Android save Elendil’s heir.’

The guard stepped back and looked with amazement on Aragorn. ‘It seems that you are come on the wings of song out of the forgotten days of MeTube,’ he said. ‘It shall be, lord, as you command.’

‘Well,’ said Gimli, ‘if it has Android to keep it company, my Razor may stay here, too, without shame'.

[More hot air redacted because these "Free" people of the West talk entirely too much.]

‘Your glasses,’ he said to Gandalf. ‘Forgive me, but that too must be left at the doors.’

‘Foolishness!’ said Gandalf. ‘Prudence is one thing, but discourtesy is another. I am old. If I may not see my path as I go, then I will sit out here, until it pleases Théoden to hobble out himself to speak with me.’

Aragorn laughed. ‘Every man has something too dear to trust to another. But would you part an old man from his spectacles? Come, will you not let us enter?’

‘Palantír Glass in the hand of a wizard may be more than a prop for age,’ said Háma. He looked hard at the at the curiously chunky and futuristic looking glasses on Gandalf's aged face. ‘Yet in doubt a man of worth will trust to his own wisdom. I believe you are friends and folk worthy of honour, who have no evil purpose. You may go in.’

Story lovingly mangled from J.R.R. Tolkien (2009-04-17). The Lord of the Rings. Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
  • Current Music
    Star Wars Imperial March

Instant Family Cookbook!

I just spent 3 hours writing a quick program to generate a family cookbook and it is so cool. It is still a bit clunky and needs for me to properly hook it to a database but I think it is something I could release into the wild later this year. All this because I didn't want to handwrite a stack of recipes this morning since I'm trying to get a sprained thumb to heal. Denise, once I get this working, I might well buy some ad time off you... ; )
  • Current Music
    Doctor Who Soundtrack from Season 3 (goodness I'm geeky this week)

Cultural Diffusion

Somehow it is 5:30 a.m. and I am wide awake thinking about how cultural diffusion works and the decline of print newspapers. There should be better ways to mathematically model this stuff in a form that is useful. This is a bit weird...
  • Current Mood
    geeky geeky

USAians, did you vote yet?

If not, go vote! The polling places are more fun than they have been in years and you are missing the party. In my precinct it was 60% turn out at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon. Whee!

Obsessions of the Week....

There's nothing better than a snowstorm for catching up with all of the splendid distractions lurking around the house, especially when feeling too yucky to clean. Granted, I am really ready for this both the cold in my head and the cold outside to go away.

First news... I am building a myspace page ( mostly to keep a list of bands that I like. While some of them are the usual suspects (U2, Green Day, Nickelback, etc.), it also has a list of quirkly local bands that are really good. MC and I have taken to cruising the local rock bar scene on date nights and I am contantly surprised at how vibrant the local music scene really is. Granted, some of the best places to listen to music are the biggest dives. TT the Bear's in Cambridge is a complete dive but tends to get bands just before they hit it big.

Other great distractions of the week:
Movies - Borat hit video and is very funny but very wrong. I am curious about whether it actually translates well enough to be funny elsewhere. It has to be one of the most biting satires out there about American society.
C.H.U.D. - How can you go wrong with canabalistic humanoid underground dwellers? Of course, the screenplay is awful. It is fully worthy of the MST3K treatment someday.
300 - The Good -- David Wenham and Gerard Butler as very delicious looking Spartans, The Bad -- Those patriotic speeches (yech), The Ugly - orcs masquerading as Persians (did the movie makers really have to do that?).

It has been a seriously excellent week for books...
Living Buddha, Living Christ (Thich Naht Han) - the perfect book for a nice long plane flight and one of the best books that I have ever read. It is the ultimate in ecumenical reading and one of the best practical guides to pacifism that I have ever read. He has written several books in English and writes with beauty and clarity. Peace is Every Step (Thich Naht Han) is also an excellent book and a surpirsingly quick read.

Finally, MC got me to watch lonelygirl15 over on youtube and it is oddly fascinating. Danielbeast is such a mentsh. It has given me some definite ideas for low budget web casting.

Happy New Year - The New Year's Resolution Alternative

This year for New Year's Eve I am going to share a custom of mine that my mom suggested and that actually works. Instead of a New Year's resolution that gets broken during the first winter illness in February, I make a list of things that I would really love to accomplish in the future. It doesn't have to be doable in a year and it only includes things that really really would make life richer, more meaningful and fun. "Should do but don't want to do" items don't belong on this list. Think big - more things are possible than you realize. My mom and her old boss both put save the rain forest on their lists. Two years later (in 1997), two million acres of rain forest were donated to the Venezuelan government as part of a national park in her name. It is a stream on consciousness exercise so just list things as you think of them. What you will find is that the things that mean the most will migrate to the top of the list.

So, on to my list in no particular order:

1. Go to grad school.

2. Be a better, more loving and more understanding spouse.

3. Be a better mother. I've discovered that motherhood is always a work in progress.

4. Be a better friend (write more of those letters, emails and journal entries, too).

5. Be a better sister. I am blessed with such a cool brother and such cool sisters. :)

5. Write a book.

6. Complete a screenplay. I don't even really care if it sells. I just want to have finished one.

7. Become involved in local politics and make a difference. (This is a corollary to one I had a couple of years ago about making a difference in church. That's how I ended up overseeing a Sunday School.)

8. Launch a business and get it to survive 5 years. It would be cool to create a few jobs myself.

9. Become really fluent in another language. Italian is such a beautiful language and I really want to know it better. Pick up a rudimentary knowledge of another language (probably Cantonese). I can't let those tones beat me.

10. Finish a triathlon.

11. Find a big world problem and fix it.

12. Act in a play. This one will probably happen in February.

13. Get back involved in the food pantry.

14. Finally, my travel wish list: go to Croatia and visit Jereeza (that Dalmatian coast looks so cool), visit figgy in Honduras and cifataru's step-dad-in-law in Belize, visit Italy again and go to Venice and Assisi, see the pyramids in Egypt, go to Antarctica, go to Australia, walk the Spanish pilgrimage route, see Mont St. Michelle in France, go to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, ride the Trans-Siberian Express. Obviously, all of this will take several years.

That's it for now. If you've read this far, go write your own list. Just make sure that each thing on it is something you really want to do and think big. What you'll find if you do this is that doors will open and opportunities will happen that you never expected.

Happy New Year!

(p.s. It seems to be working for sui-degeneris, too.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

Grandma's Snack Mix

for Cifataru and Kairi_g

by Audrey Greenwold and Laurie

1 pound of butter
1 bag of pretzel sticks
1/3 small box of cheerios
1/3 box of Rice Chex
1/3 box of Wheat Chex
1/3 box of Corn Chex

3/4 tablespoon of garlic salt
3 tablespoons of Worchester Sauce (Lee & Perrins)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Mix cereals and pretzels together in a roasting pan. Melt butter, garlic salt and Worchester Sauce together. Pour the melted mixture over the cereal and pretzels and mix thoroughly.

Roast mix for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every half hour. Take out when Rice Chex become crunchy again (may be less than 2 1/2 hours).

Will Serve 20

Happy party time, Chuck! Have some glogg for me... Giggle...

Cornbread Dressing Recipe

For cifataru:

By Elsie and Sally

1 1/4 cups chopped onion
2 1/2 cups chopped celery (or waterchestnuts)
12 cups of cornbread (can be Pepperidge Farms)
8 cups of dry bread (again Pepperidge Farms)
2 1/2 tsps. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 tsps. sage
3 tsps. poultry seasoning (or 7 chicken broth boullion cubes in mom's recipe)
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 cup butter (1 cup in mom's recipe)
1 cup of water

Mix together dry ingrediets in a big bowl. Melt together water, poultry seasoning and butter. Add liquid to dry stuffing mix and bake until brown.