Review: The American: A Special Edition of A Very Private Gentleman

The American: A Special Edition of A Very Private Gentleman
The American: A Special Edition of A Very Private Gentleman by Martin Booth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a fairly private person, I identified pretty well with this quote on page 16. Not so much in a truly dangerous sense but in a I am not very good with people sense. Pretty sure I am going to ruin anything approaching friendship.

I have no truly close friends: such friends can be dangerous. They know too much, become too involved in one’s well-being, take too much interest in how one is, where one is going. They are like wives without the suspicion: still, they are curious, and curiosity I can do without. I cannot afford the risk. Instead, I have acquaintances. Some are closer than others and I allow them to look over the outer ramparts of my existence, yet none are what are generally termed close friends.

There are some other interesting quotes on love being dangerous and risky that I enjoyed as well.

The pace builds both suspense and sympathy for the big reveal. Like [The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo], it has an older male trying not to fall for a girl in her early 20s. In this case though she’s not very central to the story and really the accusation of Lisbeth. The guy is the one doing the cool stuff.

I understand the movie is very different, but I should finally watch it.

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My Xanga Mess

Recently a friend despaired over Xanga shutting down. I incorrectly recalled a couple years ago they had a tool for migrating content to WordPress. (I probably confused it with Vox, LiveJournal, MovableType,¬†Friendster’s blog, or Posterous who did have such a tool which I did use to migrate my content.) So I thought I had migrated my stuff.

Instead back then I manually migrated the posts, including comments.

Now Xanga has an archives generator (XML) which is compatible with WordPress. That was much easier than post-by-post copying and pasting.

But it also means 2001 to 2004 are duplicated. And I was terribly inconsistent about titling, merging posts, comments, and private/public status.

On the plus side, reading all those old those old posts is enlightening.

    1. I write too much about work.
    2. Most of what I wrote could have been tweets as they were less than 140 characters. (Or nudged to be so.)
    3. 10-12 years changes little. Same problems.

On Loving Our Enemies

(Originally posted to

In honor of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., it seems we need his wisdom more than ever. A friend posted part of this on Facebook, so I found this expanded version.

Why should we love our enemies?

The first reason is fairly obvious. Returning hate for hate multiples hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.

Another reason why we must love our enemies is that hate scars the soul and distorts the personality. Mindful that hate is an evil and dangerous force, we too often think of what it does to the person hated. This is understandable, for hate brings irreparable damage to its victims.

But there is another side which we must never overlook. Hate is just as injurious to the person who hates. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.

A third reason why we should love our enemies is that love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. We never get rid of an enemy by meeting hate with hate; we get rid of an enemy be getting rid of enmity. By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very nature, love creates and builds up. Love transforms with redemptive power.

A great example of how the above is true can be seen in the media reports about the vitriol passing between the United States political parties over health care. The reactionary climate resulted in counter-productive posturing and slowing the process. Of course, no one physically assaulted others or shot them in a duel, so I guess things are civilized… Just full of hate. We all suffer because these people take opposition personally. That is easy to do when their best arguments are ad hominems.

Maybe 50%+ (House) and 60% (Senate filibuster proof) are too low of a threshold to get consensus. What about 66.7% like that for amendments or 75% or 80% as the necessary threshold? Even better? Since the issue here is the parties don’t work together, maybe the solution is passage requires 10% more votes over the membership of the majority party?

Ways to Stalk Me

My active blogs:

Other social avenues:

(Originally posted 12/10/2005. Edited to make current and update time stamp.)

Walking today after work, I reached an epiphany. We needed a light switch rave!!

Strongbad on Techno

Sing along:
The system is down…. The system is down…. The system is down….
The system is down…. The system is down…. The system is down….
Do-duh-doo-doo!! Do-duh-doo-doo!! Do-duh-doo-doo!! Do-duh-doo-doo!!

One of my favorite web sites in college was the Terraserver place Microsoft bought. Google Maps makes that look like cheesy crap. I love Google!!

The things virus writers put to get people to infect thier computers…

You think it’s funny? You are stupid idiot!!! I’ll send the attachment to your
ISP and then I’ll be watching how you will go to jail, punk!!!

Can ya dig it?

Got an email with an attachment name “file.pif” which classically indicates a virus, right? The body of the message?

Are you a spammer? (I found your email on a spammer website!?!)

is stuff like this that makes me feel sorry for the people at work who
have to answer questions about technical problems. I bet there will be
5 messages Monday asking how one gets one’s email address removed from
a spammer’s web site.