As You Were

Devin Coughlin's blog.
Styles: Serious Spare

April 19, 2004

Wisdom from One Tree Hill

Hillaie Burton

You need someone who makes you laugh.

Someone who turns you on.

Someone who you trust.

But the most important thing is to make sure these people don't know each other. Preferably on opposite sides of the continent.

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April 14, 2004

Our Fearless Leader

So I watched the press conference Our Fearless Leader gave this evening.

Bush at Press Conference

I have a hard time viewing Bush objectively, but it seemed to me that he did a terrible job. He was incoherent, he rambled, he dodged questions, and he left me with the impression that he wasn't able to control the situation.

I was surprised, then, to hear the pundits say they thought he did a good job. Some even said that the president's inability to string two sentences together made him more credible. I guess when your expectations are that low you could fumble 90% of the questions and still come out on top.

The most cognitively dissonant moment came when a reporter asked the President what mistakes he had made and what lessons he had learned:

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. In the last campaign you were asked a question about the biggest mistake you'd made in your life and you used to like to joke that it was trading Sammy Sosa.

You've looked back before 9/11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9/11 what would your biggest mistake be, would you say? And what lessons have you learned from it?

BUSH: Hmm. I wish you would have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it. (Laughter.)

John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could have done it better this way or that way. You know, I just - I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer. But it hasn't yet.

I would have gone into Afghanistan the way we went into Afghanistan. Even though I know what I know today about the stockpiles of weapons, I still would have called upon the world to deal with Saddam Hussein. See, I happen to believe that we'll find out the truth on the weapons. That's why we set up the independent commission.

I look forward to hearing the truth as to exactly where they are. They could still be there. They could be hidden like the 50 tons of mustard gas in a turkey farm.

One of the things that Charlie Duelfer talked about was that he was surprised at the level of intimidation he found amongst people who should know about weapons, and their fear of talking about them because they don't want to be killed. You know, there's this kind of - there's this - there's a terror still in the soul of some of the people in Iraq; they're worried about getting killed, and therefore, they're not going to talk.

And - but it will all settle out, John. We'll find out the truth about the weapons at some point in time. However, the fact that he had the capacity to make them bothers me today just like it would have bothered me then. He's a dangerous man. He's a man who actually not only had weapons of mass destruction - the reason I can say that with certainty is because he used them. And I have no doubt in my mind that he would like to have inflicted harm or paid people to inflict harm or trained people to inflict harm on America because he hated us.

You know, I hope I - I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes; I'm confident I have. I just haven't - (chuckles) - you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not quick - as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.

The funny thing is it seemed like he really couldn't come up with a single mistake. What does that say about his grasp of reality? I mean, what the fuck?


Update: Ezra Klein says it better.
Posted by coughlin at 1:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2004

Juan Cole on Terry Gross

Juan Cole on Terry Gross (real audio file).
Posted by coughlin at 5:10 PM | TrackBack (0)

April 11, 2004

Easter

Anya in Bunny Suit

Easter is still too fundie for me to celebrate comfortably, at least when there are no kids around.

Posted by coughlin at 3:08 PM | TrackBack (0)

Maine Potato Candy Easter Eggs

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 4 cups sifted sugar
  • 4 cups shredded coconut, chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5-2 pounds semisweet chocolate

Cook potatoes until tender, drain, and mash. Measure 2/3 cup. In a large bowl combine mashed potato, coconut, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Blend well.

For squares of candy press mixture into to 8 inch pans. For Easter eggs mold the mixture into egg shapes and put on a waxed paper lined tray. They are easier to handle if allowed to form a bit of a crust.

To prepare chocolate cut several chunks of chocolate and put in a double boiler over warm, not boiling, water. Do NOT cover the pan. When chocolate begins to melt slightly, stir until almost melted. Remove from bottom of boiler and continue to stir the warm mixture. Add a piece of cold chocolate until it feels quite cool (84-90 degrees fahrenheit).

Remove work to a cool room.

Prepare trays lined with waxed paper. Working with one egg at a time drop it into the cool chocolate and remove with a long-handled two-tined fork. Place on waxed paper. When chocolate becomes too stiff, place it over warm water again and stir. Do not touch the eggs until dry. (If when dry they are gray and streaked your chocolate was too warm and under-mixed.)

A simple decoration is to sprinkle each wet egg with a bit of colored sprinkles, or they can be decorated with frosting applied with a tube when egg is completely dry. Cover candy in pans with a frosting of cool chocolate. Cut in squares when topping is dry. This makes about 54 small eggs or many pieces of candy. Store in a cool place.


--From Harriet Coughlin (my grandmother)
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April 8, 2004

Fleeting Beauty

Fleeting Beauty
Fleeting Beauty
Posted by coughlin at 7:28 PM | TrackBack (0)

April 4, 2004

Colon Segmentation

Ben just got a paper published accepted to a conference about colon segmentation. I'd link to wasabi, but he doesn't have permalinks.

He's been sitting in his chair whispering "Published! I've been published! Published. Even Marco hasn't been published. Ha!"

I think he's going to be insufferable now. The conference is in Las Vegas right about the time of the WWDC so Collin and I might go with him.

Posted by coughlin at 10:13 PM | TrackBack (0)

Bad Internet Juju

Ugh. So the internet connection went down the other day (ionSky said there was interference with their 5.8 GHz links all over the area). It finally came up again last night but was out again in the morning. After much investigation (and, for some reason, perhaps related, kernel panics whenever I enabled my wireless card) I discovered that two more ports on my 5-port switch had gone bad (leaving me a total of two working ports, now).

Well, a trip into Boulder has produced a new switch, 8-port this time in the hopes that it will last longer even if ports start to go wrong.

Posted by coughlin at 10:01 PM | TrackBack (0)

Wonderfalls Cancelled

Wonderfalls

So they cancelled Wonderfalls. Dammnit — by the end of the year none of the shows I like will be on. They moved it to Thursday night — after Tru Calling — and it managed to lose half of that even that show's meager audience.

Ah well. Reality TV here we come.

Posted by coughlin at 9:42 PM | TrackBack (0)

April 2, 2004

Go Postal

God how I hate April Fools Day.

It's hard enough to tell what's true and what's false every other day of the year.

Plus someone always gets me.

I was driving down the mountain when I heard NPR (of "we've sold Arizona to Canada" fame) preview a story:

NPR: The U.S. Postal Service announced today a new initiative called Go Postal that will allow residents to take their zipcode with them when they move, similar to what can now be done with phone numbers.

Me: What the fuck? The GIS and census people are gonna be really pissed off.

NPR: [reality quote in a ridiculous Minnesota accent] I use to spend my winters ice-fishing with friends. But my company moved me to New York City, which was hard enough. But then the post office said I had to change zip codes. I couldn't be 53142 anymore. And that hurt. It was like I was out on the lake fishing you know, and suddenly like the ice wasn't here.

Me: Oh shit, it's April 1st.

Posted by coughlin at 7:33 PM | TrackBack (0)