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This is my 2003 journal.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug

Also available: 2002 2001 2000 1990s 1980s

Everything on this page:
Copyright 1985-2003 by Thane Plambeck, except where obviously not.
27 July 2003
Dancer on Paper

More Modelmen

26 July 2003
From Menippus Goes to Hell, by Lucian of Samosata (born ~117 AD)

MENIPPUS: We stopped and watched the proceedings, and listened to the speeches for the defence. As for the prosecution, it was conducted by counsel of a rather unusual kind.

PHILONIDES: Why, who were they? Do hurry up and tell me.

MENIPPUS: Well, you know the shadows that our bodies cast in the sun?

PHILONIDES: Of course.

MENIPPUS: When we die, those shadows act as our accusers. They bring evidence against us of all the crimes we've committed during our lives. And as they follow us everywhere and never leave us for a second, they're regarded as the most reliable witnesses.

25 July 2003
Blaberus Discoidalus

The so-called "Deathhead" cockroach. I like the "Blaberus."

25 July 2003
Some Bible passages mentioning birds

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
[Proverbs 26:2]

For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
[Ecclesiastes 9:12]

Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?
[Amos 3:5]

And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
[Revelation 18:2]

25 July 2003
Head banger

I slammed my head into a playground play structure at Barron Park Elementary school today. The noise was loud enough to draw away the attention of about 60 kids listening to the story of John Henry told by "Jeff" of Jefunira Camp, nearby.

Note to self: do not try to solve cryptic crosswords while walking.

At least I had just solved a clue from Frank W. Lewis's 2900'th puzzle in The Nation:

15 Across: Not the "paddy" types parked
at police headquarters—more
likely to transport suburbanites (7,6)

Click for answer

The Steel Driving Man

17 July 2003
"What Everyone Should Know About..."

Meaning—"What I Happen To Believe About..."

17 July 2003
Our bricklayer was Harvey Keitel

17 July 2003
New Kitchen Update: Stucco, Flooring, Brickwork

With Harvey Keitel in the rightmost photo.

16 July 2003
From Compensation (1841)

The preacher, a man esteemed for his orthodoxy, unfolded in the ordinary manner the doctrine of the Last Judgment. He assumed, that judgment is not executed in this world; that the wicked are successful; that the good are miserable; and then urged from reason and from Scripture a compensation to be made to both parties in the next life. No offence appeared to be taken by the congregation at this doctrine. As far as I could observe, when the meeting broke up, they separated without remark on the sermon.

Yet what was the import of this teaching? What did the preacher mean by saying that the good are miserable in the present life? Was it that houses and lands, offices, wine, horses, dress, luxury, are had by unprincipled men, whilst the saints are poor and despised; and that a compensation is to be made to these hereafter, by giving them the like gratifications another day—bank-stock and doubloons, venison and champagne? This must be the compensation intended; for what else? Is it that they are to have leave to pray and praise? to love and serve men? Why, that they can do now. The legitimate inference the disciple would draw was,—`We are to have such a good time as the sinners have now';—or, to push it to its extreme import,—`You sin now; we shall sin by and by; we would sin now, if we could; not being successful, we expect our revenge tomorrow.'
Emerson: Essays: First Series, 1841

15 July 2003
A Quotation

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
—Mark Twain
That's what he thinks, the squirrelly little furry bastard.

15 July 2003
Another way to eliminate people

From a 15 July 2003 story on the Tour de France, by Jerome Pugmire:

[Joseba] Beloki, who finished third in 2000 and 2001 and runner-up to [Lance] Armstrong last year, is out of the competition.

Tour doctors said he suffered a a fractured right leg, right elbow and right wrist. Beloki was being flown to Vitoria, Spain, for an operation on his right leg, Tour organizers said on Tuesday. Beloki, who finished third in 2000 and 2001 and runner-up to Armstrong last year, is out of the competition.

"I feel very sorry for him," Armstrong said. "You don't want to lose one of your main competitors through a crash. There's another way to eliminate people."

10 July 2003
Center Pivot Irrigation, southwest Nebraska

We flew on this plane between Denver and Kearney, Nebraska.

8 July 2003
Mao Zedong (1937)

Mao Zedong in Yanan, China, 1937.
Nym Wales Papers, Hoover Institution Archives

Mao on Market Street, San Francisco, 16 March 2003

7 July 2003
A Bee on a Brick

7 July 2003
Why Martian Meteorites are found in Antarctica

In the 3 January 1999 edition of The Antarctic Sun, in a section titled "Beaker Views & Beaker News: The Voice of Antarctic Researchers," Ralph Harvey writes:
The aliens I capture are meteorites, bits and pieces from across our solar system delivered to Antarctica by impacts between bodies in space.

But why Antarctica? There are two main reasons, the first of which is straightforward: if you want to find objects that fall from the sky, spread out a big white sheet and see what lands on it. The East Antarctic icesheet is nature's version of this sheet, and if you stay far enough away from the mountains, any rocks you find on top must have fallen from the sky.

The second reason is both more subtle and dynamic. Over time, meteorites fall all across the Earth in a random fashion, and the East Antarctic icesheet gets its share. These meteorites, along with the falling snow, become a part of the icesheet as it grows and flows outward toward the edges of the continent. Eventually this ice is carried out into the southern ocean, and the meteorites are lost to the bottom of the sea. But where the icesheet tries to squeeze through the Transantarctic mountains the ice can be slowed down and even trapped, and in the fierce dry katabatic winds of the plateau, this ice is lost by sublimation (ice changing directly into water vapor). Meteorites, however, can't evaporate. So, when the ice that trapped them is lost, they stay behind as a lag deposit. And if this process goes on long enough, say for tens or even hundreds of thousands of years, meteorites can pile up in a dramatic fashion.

7 July 2003
Two Convicted Murderers Escape in N.Y.

Two Convicted Murderers Escape From Maximum-Security Prison in Upstate New York

The Associated Press

ELMIRA, N.Y. July 7

Two inmates convicted of murder escaped from a maximum-security prison early Monday, officials said.

Guards at the Elmira Correctional Facility discovered the men, who shared a prison cell, were missing during a routine inmate count at 6:30 a.m., said Jim Flateau, spokesman for the state Department of Correctional Services.

Guards later found sheets tied together that led down an outside wall of the 1,856-bed prison, 75 miles southwest of Syracuse in the western part of the state, Flateau said. State police and the Chemung County Sheriff's Department were aiding in the search.

The inmates were identified as Timothy Vail, 35, who is serving 49 years to life in the 1988 rape and murder of a pregnant secretary, Mary Kopyar; and Timothy Morgan, 26, who is serving 25 years to life for the 1998 murder of cab driver Joseph Boop.

Vail won't be eligible for parole until 2037, and Morgan won't be eligible until 2023.

The last escape from a maximum-security prison in the state was in 1994 at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Wallkill.
More art of the escape, or read the theory.

6 July 2003
Washington State Escaped Convict Dies in Shootout

Wed Jun 25, 2:58 PM ET

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Vowing that he would never go back to prison, an inmate who escaped using a fake gun made out of cardboard earlier this week got hold of a real gun and died late Tuesday after being shot five times in a showdown with police, officials said on Wednesday.

Harold McCord, 36, died after bring taken to an area hospital with gunshot wounds, several in the chest, a police spokesman said.

Police at the apartment complex where the shootout occurred said McCord had threatened to shoot them when they found him.

McCord had been on the run since fleeing a Pierce County courthouse in Tacoma, about 30 miles south of Seattle, on Monday, by pulling out an object that appeared to be a small handgun and pointing it at the head of a police officer.

After hijacking a truck outside the courthouse, McCord made his way to Monroe, Washington, about 30 miles north of Seattle, where the shootout occurred.

One of the eight officers who found McCord was also injured, but was in stable condition with gunshot wounds to the hand and arm. It was unclear how he received his wounds and an investigation was going on, police said.

McCord was a convicted inmate who had already been sentenced to life in prison under Washington state's "three strikes" law for kidnapping, robbery, assault and harassment.

McCord, who was back in court for another hearing, did not have any shackles or handcuffs in the courtroom because of the court's policy, police said.

The fake gun, made out of cardboard taken from the backs of legal pads, stuffed with toilet paper and covered in ink from a ballpoint pen, was later found by the side of the road.
More art of the escape, or read the theory.

1 July 2003
Stanford Sierra Camp