- To hell with the pig... I'm going to Switzerland.

Revenge of the Sith and State of Fear (Monday, May 2, 2005)

So once again, I've been neglecting my updating duties. Well, I think I have an excuse, what with the new release approaching at work, and the end of the semester approaching at school, and my responsibilities with Alpha Chi!

So what's new? Well, I couldn't wait for the new Star Wars movie to be released, so I went to Borders and read it. I didn't care much for the author's writing style, but the story was amazing — Lucas may not have much talent for scripting and directing, but he sure knows how to tell a good story. And I have it on good authority that I'll be seeing the new film twice on opening day — once with the office and once with the movie group. I can't wait!

And if one book wasn't enough, I just finished Michael Crichton's new book, State of Fear. This is an excellent (if a little preachy) book centered around global warming. Crichton provides copious foot notes providing references for his claims. In the preface, he says they're real, but it is a novel, so who knows if they really are — I have no inclination to check his sources. The book is one of his typical techno thrillers with all the action and technology that you would expect. But unlike some of his previous novels, his thesis here is a lot less subtle. Basically, he's saying that humanity lives in a continuous state of fear of something, as determined by the people in charge, in order to control us better. For a while, he says, it was the Cold War, then with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the focus quickly changed to the environment. He concedes that despite all the "dire" preachings on the environment, that the "fad" is quickly fading to be replaced by terrorism as our source of fear.

Personally, the only thing I'm really afraid of, is the massive control that the government has, and how the citizens just blindly allow or even encourage the government to claim this power. I definitely agree with Crichton's thesis, even if I remain agnostic on global warming. He argues that there is little evidence to support the claims popularized in the media. Based on the little research I've done, I tend to agree — it looks like we're coming out of a mini-ice age, and so of course the Earth is warming slightly. In fact, it is a certainty that over the lifetime of the Earth, on the average, it is significantly cooler now than it has been on average in the past. Of course, if I were Michael Crichton, I'd have references to show you, but I don't take notes quite like he does, so you'll have to do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

So in other news, I cooked a somewhat exciting meal over the weekend, in response to my body's desire to be healthier. To that end, I decided to go with breaded pork chops, peas, and stewed apples. My recipe for breaded pork chops isn't too difficult: I got four 2.5 ounce pork chops. I prepared a mixture of one egg beaten with a little milk and a separate mixture of bread crumbs, Italian seasonings, and pepper. I heated an iron skillet over medium heat and covered the bottom with butter. I then coated each pork chop first in the egg mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture, then put them in the hot skillet. I would estimate that I cooked them for eight to ten minutes on each side, but I wasn't timing it — I cooked them until they were done.

The stewed apples were something new, but they worked out very well. Since there were only two of us, I only got one large Granny Smith apple, but I'm sure this recipe will scale up just fine. I cored and peeled the apple, and then sliced it thinly — like you might to for an apple pie. I then heated butter in a Teflon pan over medium heat and added the apple slices. To that I added maybe two tablespoons of light brown sugar, though I think it could probably have used twice that much. I added enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, and let it simmer covered until the pork chops were done (so about twenty minutes).

So today, I've got the impossible to work for work, of course, then it's off to campus for linguistics advising, then artificial intelligence class. Tonight, the Wizards are at home, to hopefully dismantle the Bulls as effectively as they did in game three. It's a 7:30 game, so I guess that gives me an excuse to duck out of AI early — not like I wouldn't anyway. I also should probably start thinking about typing up those Alpha Chi registration cards and sorting them.

Coming up, I really need to spend some time on my financial application, that has been on the back burner for who knows how long. I also need to fix the search bug in wordpress — I discovered that this has to do with magic quotes in PHP, but the wordpress code is so thick, it's hard to isolate.

Well, I guess that's all for now... time to get back to the grind!

—Brian (5/2/2005 1:57 PM)


sup Bri! thought about you the other day when i saw your away msg online. hope life is well. nothing too new here. thanks for the msg on my blog. :D

-- fashiongrrl (5/11/2005 10:39 PM)

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