it could be better . . . but worse is more likely

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

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BLOGROLLIN'
A quick thanks to Rachael of Mookie Riffic for the link. I'm flattered to appeal to high school girls barely older than my sister, even if she does only read me as often as she cleans her room. Which is about how often I've updated this summer, unless she's some kind of Danny Tanner wannabe (yeah, that's right, I referenced Full House. Got a problem with that?) So, Rachael, welcome to my roll as well.
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posted by Matt 12:22 PM

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

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NOT DEAD - YET
A quick check-in from London, where I returned yesterday for the next couple weeks after spending eight of the last nine days in Normandy (with my World War II class), Amsterdam and Berlin.

The WW II sites in Normandy - particularly Omaha Beach, the most heavily defended of the five beaches, where every aspect of the invasion plan went wrong and the impossibly sheer vertical cliffs were taken solely on the individual initiative of guys my age (21) while everyone around them was being mowed down - were pretty amazing. Are pretty amazing. Utah Beach and Point du Hocke, the essential cliff between Utah and Omaha where rangers suffered 70% casualties in capturing it, are particulalry scenic as well as moving. Speaking of which, the American veterans' cemetary is not to be missed, either.

Amsterdam and Berlin, on the other hand, was a pleasure trip. And, despite being mugged in Amsterdam (among other sundry experiences) and hopelessly lost while lugging around suitcases in Berlin, as well as having my presence inexplicably declared unbearable by a member of our small group (I'm too negative) it succeeded. We stayed in the Red Light District, toured the Anne Frank House (some of us - not me - while tripping on mushrooms) and the Heineken Brewery and had the three-course meal of our lives in Amsterdam; in Berlin, we stumbled on the surprisingly massive Jewish Museum and the remnants of the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie before drinking too much and sleeping on the sidewalk while waiting for a bus to take us to the airport. Good times.

I'm drinking so much more here than I ever have in my life (which is not saying much, believe me), with harmless results - no hook-ups or anything - but I plan to start cutting back a little. Showing some restraint. This decision comes after Sunday night, when I drank too much and eventually had ideas about Jews hiding from the Nazis using foam from McDonald's cappucinos as a secret code (which, even excessively drunk, I realized was a stupid idea; they didn't even have McDonald's then), and also last night's pub, um, festivities, when I gather I got a bit out of line. Future limit: three pints. Maybe.

London itself is very cool (overwhelming to a small-town American like me, but I'm adjusting quickly, and enjoying it), but I haven't seen enough of it. We're staying pretty near Parliament Square - Westminster Palace (home of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben) and Westminster Abbey, as well as several cool statues and a makeshift shrine opposing the war in Iraq - and a (rather dull) walking tour took us to Trifalgar Square and Downey Street, et cetera, along with the Duxford Air Base, Cambridge, Imperial War Museum and Public Records Office visits with my class, but there's still Buckingham Palace, Shakespeare's Globe, the Tower of London, and on and on. And you better believe we're doing the Abbey Road photo.

Cheers until next time, whenever that may be; for once, I'm a busy man.
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posted by Matt 11:11 AM

Monday, July 07, 2003

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THEY MIXED UP THE PENALTIES
A year and a fine for wife beating, life for spitting:

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) -- An Oklahoma man arrested on suspicion of beating his wife faced year in prison and a fine. But when he spit in an arresting officer's face, he got a life sentence instead, officials said Wednesday.

John Carl Marquez, 36, was convicted of "placing bodily fluid upon a government employee," a felony that can carry a life sentence because of the possibility of transmitting a potentially deadly disease.

State judge April Sellers White sentenced Marquez this week even though Marquez and the officer tested negative for any communicable disease.

Marquez also was convicted of assaulting a police officer, and a jury recommended the maximum sentence because he had previous convictions.

Marquez, arrested several months ago, could have received one year in prison and a $3,000 fine for wife beating, according to the Creek County court clerk's office.

His lawyers said they plan to appeal.


Via the Hit & Run, by way of Volokh.
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posted by Matt 7:57 AM

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LONDON IS FUN!
And time-consuming. I have no idea what's been happening anywhere in the world since Wednesday, but my days here have been pretty full, and that's all I ask for. Good people, good times.

Blogging will probably be sporadic over the next month while I take classes, see the sights, and hit the pubs. Plus I have to pay for internet access, so you'll just have to rely on Instapundit until I get home. Oh well.
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posted by Matt 7:33 AM

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

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BACK UP SOON
It's off to London for a month tomorrow, and I have no idea what the internet situation will be when I get there. Blogging could be rich and fruitful, or sporadic. Check back in a couple of days, when I'll have a betetr idea what's what and how often I'll be able to post.
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posted by Matt 4:53 PM

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AMERICA'S BEST ONLINE COLUMNIST?
Our old friend Mark Morford, dubbed "America's Worst Employed Writer" by myself and others, has been awarded the "Best Online Columnist" award for 2003 from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Yikes.

The competition was open only to online writers whose work has not appeared in print versions of their publications, but still. Mark Morford?

Check out an interview with Morf at poynter.org, which is dead-on when it describes Mark as a "love-him-or-hate-him type". I think you all know where I stand.
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posted by Matt 2:00 PM

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