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Friday, October 27, 2000

Here's an Atlantic article from '92 that mentions the April Glaspie incident:
Glaspie told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at an open hearing that the Iraqi transcript of the meeting, which depicts her as acting in a fawning manner toward Saddam Hussein, and as appearing to indicate that the United States did not care how Iraq settled its border dispute with Kuwait, was doctored. But Senate staffers say that the Iraqi transcript and her own cable of the event "track almost perfectly."
From the Salon piece on the problem with GW Bush (It's the stupidity, stupid) comes this:
The Gulf War, which W. of course embraced, became necessary when his father's ambassador, April Glaspie, signaled at a meeting with Saddam Hussein that the U.S. would not react badly if he marched into Kuwait.
I'd never heard that before. Does anybody out there know of any sources for that bit of info? Tell me.
Jon points us to Conversational Terrorism, a useful and amusing list of rhetorical devices of dubious ethicalness. Here's one I always use on Jon:

I KNOW BETTER: A clever and socially acceptable way of denying what someone has said by claiming to know more about what the other person thinks or feels than they do. Believe it or not, this technique is quite commonplace and effective.
"You've made that point well, but ... (1) I know where your heart is; (2) I sense that you're not comfortable with what you're saying; (3) I know what kind of person you are deep down ... and that you cannot continue to hold this position and maintain your integrity."
SAX 2.0 Programming With Visual Basic
XML documents arrange data in hierarchical or tree-like form, and are accessible through two popular ways: one being the Document Object Model or DOM, a W3C standard, which provides various objects that represent various parts of an XML document like the Root, Node and Attributes. The other way, SAX or Simple API for XML, is perhaps less well known, and is the focus of this article. SAX is an open standard originally implemented primarily in Java but now Microsoft has a COM implementation of SAX 2.0 which can be used from within any COM compliant language like Visual Basic or C++. SAX provides an event--based model to developers.
Wired goes with "e-mail" over "email"; readers protest.
I made some negative comments on Monday about the building we were then considering purchasing. We have since made an offer on it, so I'll rebut myself on each negative point I made to help you understand why:

It's nothing pretty...
This is due mainly to the fact that the building is sided with tin instead of brick, and that actually works out to our benefit. We can spend 20k to brick it up and add 3 or 4 times that amount of value to the building. So we don't have to pay the extra cost associated with brick buildings, but we stand to profit significantly from adding brick to it ourselves. Also, the building does have some nice touches in the interior, including some very nice molding and wood work in the stairwell.

...is not as big as we want...
We just aren't going to find something as big as we want in Astoria, and Astoria is definitely where we want to be. There are very few four-family four-story buildings to be found, for sale or not, and three-family buildings are almost as rare. So we are planning an addition on the back of this building which will make the space livable. Plus deck space on the roof, which features a view of Manhattan, and decent yard space out back, and a basement which can be used as guest quarters and play space for the kids.

...and is not in the ideal location.
The building is 12 minutes to the 30th Ave. strip which features all the nice food shops, bakeries, and restaurants you could want, plus stops on the N subway line. So although it is not exactly ideal, the location is within striking of the best of Astoria. Also, a short walk Southwest takes you to the Socrates Sculpture park on the East River, and 10 minute walk Northeast gets you to Astoria park, which features a pool.

So all things considered, the building looks like a good value for us. At the very least it gets us a foothold in the Astoria real estate market, and a position from which we can scout buildings more suitable to us if this one does not work out as we hope.
So I'm back from New York. We are pursuing the building I mentioned, but more on that later. For now, some hoogtepunten uit de trip:
  1. Eating another great meal in the Kebab Cafe (perhaps the finest hole in the wall eating establishment ever), then sharing a hookah and some mint tea with Ali, the owner.
  2. Watching game 3 of the World Series and drinking Guinness in an empty Greek-owned Irish bar with George, the bar owner's brother who was bartending to help his brother out after he had a falling out with the Irish bartenders he used to employ, and who drives a Cadillac, owns two Harleys, has a 4 year old autistic son that can recite cartoon dialogues from memory but will not form a sentence on his own, and who makes a living from the apartment properties he owns in Astoria, recently having purchased a 4 family building for $250,000 because it had 3 elderly rent control tenants (paying $100/month), all of whom died within 6 months of the purchase which effectively doubled the value of the building.
Lowlights:
  1. Having my seat kicked from behind by a 3 year old sweetheart for the duration of a 2 hour flight.
  2. Realizing that moving to New York is going to require rather serious sacrifices, especially in terms of living space.

Monday, October 23, 2000

Happy Birthday Dad!
My friend Erick Tejkowski didn't much like my dismissive comment about Illinois last week, and set about to educate me as to the reasons Belleville should be thought of as more than the hick town it really is. Here is his "email":

RE: your glish blog comments about the upcoming show in "of all places Illinois".... I would like an explanation for that statement. :-) In particular... Belleville, IL. where you played. Don't forget that Belleville and its surrounding areas had big league talents come out of them. Here's a few for your enjoyment:
  1. Buddy Ebsen - Belleville native
  2. Jimmy Connors (tennis pro) - Belleville native
  3. Wilco, Sun Volt, Uncle Tupelo et al.: Belleville natives
  4. Scott Wolf (TV actor) - his family lives in Belleville, I went to high school with his brother
  5. Michael Stipe (REM) - lived for a short time in neighboring Collinsville, IL and even worked at the Pancake House there (-grin-) while a high schooler.
  6. Neil Doughty (kbd. player from REO Speedwagon): Belleville native who went to my high school
  7. Countless Blues legends: too many to mention come from East St. Louis. In its heyday, it was THE place to play music.
Thus, my MO. friend, don't be dissin' the always-forgotten better half of the St. Louis area. :-) Have a nice day.

P.S. Belleville also had the first Kindergarten. Furthermore, Abe Lincoln often visited there and Charles Dickens did once.
So here's the poop: I'm taking a flight to NY this afternoon to look at a building in Astoria under consideration for purchase. It's nothing pretty, is not as big as we want, and is not in the ideal location. Nevertheless, we are considering it.

I return Friday, but will attempt to post before that. Don't hate me because I am beautiful.

Sunday, October 22, 2000

bugbios.com: Insects on the Web.
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