Thursday, December 31, 2009

I can see clearly, though the rain ain't gone. That's why God made windshield wipers.

So 2009 kinda sucked.

I spent almost half of it unemployed, I had to move out of my apartment because I couldn't pay the rent, I watched my country go into a death spiral, I had several major sections of my worldview go tits up, and something happened that I can't even discuss because some of the major players read my blog and my Twitter feed. I had to quit my krav maga lessons because I couldn't pay for them, I almost got sued because a medical bill got lost in the unemployment shuffle, and I eat rice and beans for lunch like someone out of my grandparents' Great Depression stories. It's a hard-knock life.

On the other hand, I appeared on Jeopardy, I saw the Pacific, I got a job that's spurring me on to better things, I started a novel, I marched on Washington, I had my two-year Cancer-B-Gone anniversary, I grew closer to God than I've ever been, I learned some killer recipes, I made some new friends and I lost close to 50 pounds.

So 2009 was kinda awesome, too.

Now if I could just scratch up some plans for this evening ...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I have a question

Computer models say that if the climate bill passes, farmers will stand to make more money if they plant trees instead of food crops, because a) the price of food crops will necessarily go up, and b) the trees supposedly help with global warming, which means the farmers will get carbon credits or some such, which they can then sell to businesses that need them to make their quota. At least, that's the impression I got from the article. In other words, producers will have less incentive to make actual, tangible goods, and more incentive to play Magic: The Gathering with fiat money (can't even call it cash; it's all electronic).

My question is: Have the people in charge of these things ever had a moment where they couldn't just go to a store and buy whatever they needed?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday Night Recipe: Mexican Wedding Cakes

This recipe won me first place for flavor in the office cookie contest last week. It's the almond extract that does it; most versions of this cookie use vanilla, which just doesn't have the same "Ooh!" factor.

Mexican Wedding Cakes

In a large bowl, cream

1/2 c. softened butter
1/2 c. softened margarine
1/2 c. powdered sugar

When smooth, add

1/2 t. salt
1 t. almond extract

Stir, then add

2 c. flour
2 c. finely chopped walnuts

Stir until thoroughly incorporated, then move to an airtight container and chill overnight or until easy to handle. The dough won't appear to pull together on its own, so just keep stirring until you can't see streaks flour or butter. After chilling, form into balls -- the cookies will NOT rise or spread in the oven, so the size you roll is the size you get. I recommend diameters no smaller than 1/2" and no greater than 1". Roll the cookies in powdered sugar and bake on a greased cookie sheet in a preheated 350-degree oven for 12-15 minutes. The sugar will melt and form a thin glaze, so be careful when handling the hot cookies. While still warm, roll baked cookies in more powdered sugar, then cool on racks. Roll in sugar once more, then store in an airtight container. Dangerously addictive. Try to not eat the whole batch at once. Makes 4-5 dozen, depending how big you shape the cookies. Enjoy!

Dangit, why won't something break so I can fix it?

Christmas was interesting this year. I gave my family books and bread, both of which were a hit (recipes to follow in the coming weeks). We played Trivial Pursuit (Mom won; I took second) and had a lovely turkey dinner. Despite recent tensions, we were all able to put them aside and just enjoy each other's company for the day, which was lovely. Myself, I got a non-slip cutting board, a collapsible colander, a lovely jacket for bike-riding in the cold (yay winter!), a pair of Ugg-type boots (warm and cozy!), a trio of pliers and a 106-piece socket set (Craftsman! And it even came with interchangeable screwdriver heads and a set of hex wrenches. Squee!).

You can't say I'm not well-rounded. Anybody got anything they need repaired?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And one more follow-up.

From my comments on this post:

To be honest, it sounds to me like people want it both ways. You want your rights, damn the consequences -- but at the same time you don't want any consequences. I know that when I begin carrying, I will be opening myself up to a world of disapproval and abuse -- and I accept that because that's the way things are right now. I'm not going to throw a fit because people don't agree with or approve of me. I knew when I took on this topic that I would get a lot of blowback, but that didn't stop me.

Honestly, it reminds me of the trust-fund kiddies who go to protests and scream at the police, then cry when they get arrested because the police are being mean and not letting them play. If you're gonna go in, go all in. There is no "Hey, I was just kidding" when it comes to taking a stand.
Yeah, I know -- big talk from a spoiled American kid. But certain, smaller issues in my life have recently driven home that if you really believe something, it doesn't matter whether anyone else "lets" you believe it or not. So, extrapolating from that, I would hope I'll stand firm should the sh*t ever really hit the fan. If I don't stand for my principles, no one else is going to do it for me -- and if that means things get nasty, then so be it. I have the only true granter of my rights to back me up; what can man do to me?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Take (another) breath.

Just as a follow-up to this post: I'm gonna say this once, and I'm gonna say it loud and use small words, so everyone understands me.




If there's one thing I've learned in the past year, it's that you deal with the problems you have, not the ones you wish you had. So let's break it down: A private publication gathered public data and put it in searchable form on their Web site. Nobody came to your house and marked it. No one is discussing a "final solution." The government isn't even involved, short of making the data available in the first place -- which they were already doing, so that really doesn't count.


Another blogger commented that, quote,

For myself, I decided to carry a gun because I accepted that my safety is ultimately my own responsibility. I knew at the time I made the choice that there were many of my fellow citizens who didn't agree with my assessment or trusted me to act responsibly. That some few of them have (and continue) to act callously with regard to my (or, indeed, potentially their own as well) safety does not justify my, or any other purportedly responsible adult, reacting in kind.

Since taking up guns in self defense, I have trained as well as my circumstance permits in anticipation of confronting just such a potentiality. It has been my presumption that those who decided similarly to myself would do the same. Given the tenor of the present example, I fear that hope is now seriously called into question.

Nothing has changed, people; there are still those who mean us harm and we still accept responsibility to undertake our own defense should some other take the decision to harm us or those we love or simply share a circumstance with, however fleetingly. In my judgement, the more proper response to these annoyances is a stolid look and a "Yes."
Will, I think, gets pretty close to the heart of the matter. To be honest, his was a refreshingly reasoned response among all the "nuh uh"s and "I know you are but what am I"s that my original post has generated. As I said in response to a commenter at Tam's place, it's not that we shouldn't get our panties in a twist, it's that we need to watch how far we twist them.

There's a deeper point beyond mere rhetoric, though, and it's this one: No one can take the right to self-defense away from you. It is God-given; it is, by nature, inalienable. This does not mean that anyone else is required to recognize that right. Throwing a fit because someone won't play by your rules accomplishes nothing. The Soviet Union denied its subjects freedom of speech, but that didn't do away with their right to it. It just became more precious, and therefore more powerful. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn didn't stamp his foot and wave his fists that the Soviets weren't letting him speak; he went ahead and spoke anyway because that was his right, whether they recognized it or not. He didn't point fingers and say "Look how bad they are, they're trying to shut me up!" He simply refused to shut up, period. (And yeah, I know he went to the gulags for it. That's pretty much my point.)

Short of government intervention, there are two possible reactions to a perceived infringement of a person's rights. The person can say, A) "Hey! Stop that! Let me exercise my right!" or B) "Wow, you're a tool. I'm gonna go exercise my right now." If you're acting within the legal limits of the law, do you need a newspaper's permission to feel like you're within your rights? Is the disapproval of a bunch of journalists that meaningful to you, that you start throwing around comparisons to government racial pogroms just because they farted in your general direction? Are you really going to take that bait? Or are you going to stand secure in your position, unruffled, and get on with your business?

Of course we should stand up for our rights. Of course we should oppose people who would rather we didn't exercise them. Anyone who thinks otherwise has missed the entire point of what I'm saying. But let the punishment fit the crime. Two newspapers made an anti-gun move. Let's play that where it lies, now, and save the tactical nuclear strikes for when they're really needed. No one ever really wins an argument by freaking out.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Boy, I needed a laugh tonight.

This is why I have a link to Jim Treacher's Blog That Is On The Internet in my "follow" list.

Incidentally --

-- the office Christmas party was a blast. Apparently I should wear red dresses more often.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Take a deep breath.

I left something to this effect in the comments on this post over at Roberta's place, but I thought it was worth repeating and expanding here.

There's been a lot of hoo-ha among Indiana gunbloggers recently about a Bloomington newspaper putting up an online database showing where concealed carry permit holders live (down to the street level, if not the full address). Caleb from Gun Nuts was even on Fox News about it (link to come later; I can't access his site from work). The Indianapolis Star has a similar database, although it's not as comprehensive. This rankles me no end, as the operative assumption seems to be "legal gun ownership = potential criminal activity".

However, I am bothered far more by the reaction illustrated a while back at Tam's place and more recently by Roberta (both of whom are normally pretty on-the-ball):

I rather imagine next, they plan to do the same thing only with "African Americans" as the marked group instead of "permit holders." That would be okay-fine, riiiight? Or perhaps they could do one for Jews. Or Unitarians; The Public Has A Right To Know, after all.
This is a stupid, stupid, stupid rhetorical move.

Being put on a list (and not even a name-and-address list, just a "Someone in X category lives on this street/in this ZIP code" list) because you choose to own a certain object is nowhere near the same thing as being put on a list because of how you were born or what faith you follow. Jumping straight to "OMG it's like they want us to wear yellow stars!" just Godwins the whole argument, and erases any gain we might have made because now the public has a reason not to take us seriously. "Oh, they're just oversensitive and got their panties in a twist. It's not that big a deal."

In a way, they're right on that one: It's not that big a deal. So somebody out there doesn't like your gun. Boohoo. Lots of people don't like lots of things. But no one's throwing paint at you; no one's assaulting you in the street and then having you arrested (happens all the time to Christians in India); no one's coming to your house at night and dragging you from your bed for a session with Mr. Nightstick. It is not persecution, it is toothless harrasment -- and it upsets me that otherwise level-headed people, who I respect and admire, could confuse the two. Saying things like "I rather imagine next, they plan to do the same thing only with "African Americans" as the marked group instead of "permit holders." That would be okay-fine, riiiight?" just makes us look like idiots because, no, it wouldn't be fine, and everybody knows it. Play the cards you've been dealt, not the ones that have already been discarded.

I'm probably going to catch some flak for this; I already had people telling me "Nuh uh, I don't have a choice not to defend my family!", etc. at Tam's (which is no reflection at all on Tam; she was awesome throughout). But hyperventilating that they're going to put us all in camps next week is counter-productive. We've got more than enough ammunition (pun intended) to prove our point without resorting to hyperbole and overblown (and inappropriate) historical comparisions. It cheapens the debate and the suffering of people under real persecution, and it makes us look like bedwetters. Deal with things as they are. Besides, if you use up all your heavy ordnance on the petty things, you won't have anything to reach for when a real threat comes.

UPDATE: Before you leave a comment asking for my address because "that's not a big deal either, right?", read this post. If you still think I don't care after that, I suggest you spend your time and energy elsewhere.

Also, quit demanding my name and address. Look it up on those databases if you're so dang interested; it shouldn't be that terribly hard to find.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I solved the puzzle cube. Now what am I gonna do all day tomorrow? Work?

I love the holidays.

To do this evening:
1) Pick up dress pants from tailor (brand-new pants + broken zipper + got them off the clearance rack so an exchange isn't really an option = screw it, where's my emergency cash).
2) Take bath, curl hair, apply lipstick, touch up nails, etc.
3) Spend three hours with coworkers at a catered dinner with no money for the cash bar, while wearing uncomfortable shoes and watching other people dance. Stick it out because hey, I might win a door prize.
4) Go home, shower and go straight to bed.
5) Spend Friday doing 10 minutes of actual work and 9 hours trying to assemble a little puzzle cube a coworker gave me today (thank GOD) so I have something to do.
6) Repeat step 5 for four hours on Saturday, too.

Could be worse. We haven't had any earthquakes lately. I'm such a ray of freakin' sunshine. >_^

In all seriousness, as much as I grouse, my outlook isn't that bad. I'm embracing the suck to the fullest, and I know the Big Guy has the final say, so hey. I'm not that worried. Plus I've got almost all of my Christmas shopping done -- I have to make one more trip, and then I'm done but for putting things together.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nothing like a good right hook to the pancreas to keep a fight going.

Why the pancreas? 'Cause it's only semi-vital, and it sounds funny. (I say semi because you can technically live without it, it's just a real super-duper pain.) Senator Coburn has asked that the universal coverage amendment to the healthcare bill be read aloud in the Senate, and according to the rules, they have to do it. Estimates are that it could take 'til midnight.

Now, of course, this is just an amendment; the actual bill is still shrouded in the dark clouds that emanate from Mount Doom Harry Reid's office. Good luck trying to get any real information about that one; it'll be like pulling teeth just to get a comprehensive breakdown of the contents, let alone a detailed reading. But it's something, and sometimes just the illusion of progress is enough to enervate the troops and keep them going. So onward, Sen. Coburn! Godspeed!

There's a good chance this'll pass, but at least we can say we put up a fight.


I just agreed to work four hours Saturday, from 7 to 11 a.m., before heading straight to my Uncle Bob's Garage* for (early) Christmas with my mom's side of the family. Why? Because that's four hours of overtime pay, which means I might have a little breathing room next paycheck. Like maybe enough to buy some beef. Hallelujah.

*Technically he's my Uncle John (Bob is a childhood name to distinguish him from my late grandfather), but I've always thought "Uncle Bob's Garage" would be a great name for a dive bar, and I know he'd appreciate the sentiment.

The line forms to the right.

In the face of conversations like this one ...

... how on earth am I not married yet?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Once more, with feeling!

As a final coda to last week's adventures in starry-eyed naivete and rank, oblivious hypocrisy, today's Washington Post tells us what anyone with half a brain and basic math and biology knowledge could have figured out: China's one-child policy is an unqualified disaster. Apparently when a generation only has one person for every two of the previous set, things go pear-shaped alarmingly fast. Even if they had equal numbers of boys and girls (which they very much don't), working to effectively halve a population through lack of breeding inevitably results in an unsupportable, top-heavy demographic breakdown. So tra la, we'll save the environment if it kills us? You first, lady. You first.

Sunday Night Recipe: Peda

This week's recipe goes up on Monday morning because they had a Tin Man/Alice marathon on SyFy all day yesterday, and I was, shall we say, engrossed.


2 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
2 t. salt
2 T. sugar
2 T. shortening (soft, but not melted)
5 1/4 - 5 3/4 c. flour
Poppy seeds

Add yeast to warm water and let stand, then stir. Add the salt and sugar and half the flour and mix, then beat until smooth (takes about 100 strokes if working by hand). Add the rest of the flour and mix, dropping in the shortening before the flour is completely incorporated. Turn out and knead (this incorporates the shortening), adding flour as needed to keep from sticking. For best results, work for at least 10 minutes. Let rise in a greased or floured bowl for 45 minutes, then punch down, turn over and let rise for another 15 minutes. Divide dough and flatten each half into a 3/4"-thick circle (will be about 6" diameter). Place on greased cookie sheet. Slash tops with tic-tac-toe grids, brush with milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Let rise 20-30 minutes, then backe at 425 degrees F for 20-30 minutes. This is a light, fluffy and startling white bread that pulls apart to serve (seriously, don't even bother trying to slice it unless you've got a laser or something -- it'll just squish). Delicious with breakfast or as a snack. Enjoy!

Also the recipe's been in my family for ages, so there's that.

Friday, December 11, 2009

You can't spell "hypocrisy" without "hippie".

In an update to yesterday's one child to save the earth post, Drudge provides this juicy tidbit via The Corner: The writer of the column in question has two children. So I guess the question now is: Which one does she love more?

I read a book once where the main character's parents had to make that choice. It didn't end well.

*spittake* It's funny 'cause it's true ...

Via Uncle Jay: A Layman's Guide to Twilight in Four Easy Steps.

What would Jesus do?

A letter to the editor of a Mississippi newspaper has been making the rounds today; in it, an ER doctor describes why it's not a healthcare crisis, it's a "crisis of culture". The doctor describes a woman with multiple, shall we say, body modifications and expensive clothing, electronic accessories and habits, and finishes with this analysis:

Our nation's health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals,
doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture - a culture in which it is
perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care
of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. A culture
that thinks "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will
always take care of me".
I am all for helping people who need it, provided they don't just throw up their hands and say "Waaaaah life is hard somebody do it for me." It's even biblical: Paul tells the Thessalonians, quote, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." (2 Thes. 3:10, link goes to context.) In other words, do your utmost to make yourself useful before you even think about asking for a handout.

This hits home for me, frankly. Right now, my average grocery budget for a two-week period is less than $20. I'm getting along because I know how to make things stretch, but my only other choice is to default on one of my various debts, and I refuse to do that. My responsibility right now is to pay my bills on time. I've pared away everything I can do without, and if I have to I'll pare away some things I can't. But I absolutely will not, ever, insist that someone else shoulder one of my responsiblities so I can pay for some new toy or shiny status symbol. That is the thinking that leads to poverty. I may be broke, but I'm not stupid, and I'm not some emotionally stunted child in an adult's body convinced that someone owes me something. Yes, it galls me that I can't afford meat. But it galls me even more that if this healthcare bill goes through I might be forced to pay for the results of someone else's crappy decision-making.

A while back I commented on another blog that when I found myself in an unsustainable financial situation, I immediately cut my losses, downgraded my apartment and began working to pay off my debts. According to our current government leadership, however, this was not only fiscally irresponsible, but selfish as well because I didn't pay for my neighbor's car instead. We are instructed to love our neighbors as ourselves, but you know what? If ourself makes poor life choices, ourself ought to feel the consequences thereof. And if ourself thinks otherwise, well, ourself can go pound sand. I've got work in the morning.

Oh, I'm a rebel all right.

This morning, I drew three green dots and a red dot, all in a line, on my cubicle whiteboard. (If you get it, we're friends.) They're opposite the Tallahassee "coconut" quote from Zombieland. This counts as striking out against the establishment in my book. I lead an exciting life.

I'm just happy that it's Friday and I don't have to get up in the morning, unless I want to watch cartoons. Which I do. Because I can, dangit!

And Happy Hannukah, y'all. Light some candles tonight! It'll do you good.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Whoops? Congrats? I'm so confused!

I just checked my archives and realized that I missed my five-year blogiversary. Should have said something back on Nov. 22. Worth noting is that when I upgraded my template last April, I had to reset my sitemeter; since then, I've topped 10,000 hits. It took me four years previously to get a tenth of that. Not bad for less than a years' "work." Thanks to all y'all out there reading! I couldn't have done it without you.

Can you get yourself a belated blogiversary gift? Do they make a card for that?

This is either disgusting, or the most brilliant parody I've ever seen.

In today's Financial Post, mentioned on Drudge as "Canada's Leading Newspaper", one Diane Francis has penned a paen to China's policies called "The Real Inconvenient Truth." Her thesis? That a world-wide one-child policy is the only way to save us from certain environmental doom.

Leaving aside the jaw-dropping blindness of such a statement -- taking population advice from China is like taking wheat farming advice from Stalin -- and her assumption that more people climbing out of poverty is a bad thing, her naked assertions of unsourced green talking points as fact make this column unsuited to a professional newspaper. In fact, "journalism" of this quality would be out of place in all but two places: 1) The Onion, and 2) an impassioned presentation in front of the class by a high-school sophomore with a hippie skirt and feathers in her hair.

I could take the column apart sentence by sentence ("Chinas has proven that birth restriction is smart policy"; "Humans are the only rational animals but have yet to prove it", etc.), but I won't waste my time and yours. Read it yourself if you're so inclined; I wouldn't blame you if you're not. Instead, I'm just going to ask one question:

Is Ms. Francis an oldest or only child? 'Cause if she's not ... my usual retort of "You first" will take on a deeper meaning, won't it?

All that global warming 'bout took my ears off this morning.

In case you were wondering why it matters that climate researchers have been falsifying their data, Walter E. Williams puts you some knowledge:

Last year, my column "Global Warming Rope-A-Dope" (12/24/08) started out: "Americans have been rope-a-doped into believing that global warming is going to destroy the planet. Scientists who have been skeptical about manmade global warming have been called traitors or handmaidens of big oil." New evidence proves that climatologists and environmental policy advocates have not only fed us lies, engaged in scientific and academic fraud but committed criminal acts as well. ...

[several paragraphs explaining ClimateGate, plus quotes about how the planet is actually cooling] ...

Last year's column closed with my speculation that if ever "the permafrost returns to northern U.S., as far south as New Jersey as it once did, it's not inconceivable that Congress, caught in the grip of global warming zealots, would keep all the laws on the books they wrote in the name of fighting global warming. Personally, I would not put it past them to write more." This is confirmed by the Obama administration's climate czar, Carol Browner, who, despite dishonesty, fraud and criminality, says she considers the science on global warming settled.
Emphasis mine. For the full effect, read the whole thing, then reread that last paragraph (also the last in the column). And before you let natural skepticism take hold, let me remind you that this same group seems to think we can spend our way out of debt. I would say that this is the part where I start screaming, except a screaming fit wouldn't do anything but wear me out and alarm my coworkers. I think I'll settle for a nice, hot cup of tea instead. All that global warming out there has the wind chill down around zero.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Maybe if I shut my eyes real tight, it'll go away.

From James Gannon: There Is No Normal Anymore:

Polls show that 58% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, suffering an economy that's sick, a politics that's broken, a culture that is growing more violent, coarse and scary, and a government that's out of control. They want things to get back to normal but increasingly feel that there is no normal any more.

Nearly every aspect of American life seems to have veered off course into uncharted territory with unforeseeable consequences.
Read the whole thing. It's basically a laundry list of everything weird that's gone down this year, and it's not pretty.

I've thought for a while that there was something different about these times, something 'interesting', starting all the way back with last year's election and the eerie quality of Obama's candidacy. Things only got eerier (is that a word?) after the inauguration; Obama packed a term's worth of hope'n'change into his first year in office. If nothing else, the sheer size and speed of what's happening is enough to give me the willies. It's like our country is in a manic phase; we can't keep up this pace, and sooner or later all the consequences of those risk-taking behaviors are going to crash down on us and stop us in our tracks. I just thank God that I've got Him to fall back on instead of having nothing to back me up. I can't imagine facing what's ahead on my own.

There is no normal anymore.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Mmmm, wind advisory. It's downed-branch-a-licious!

I've always hated because it was buggy and slow and had crappy ads and gave me spyware. So, with that in mind, I'm now going to Weather Underground for all my weather needs. They have better radar maps and a more intuitive design, and they have more features for weather nerds like me. Also the name is a way snarky pun, and I like that.

There's your ice cream for the day. Go have fun!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Interesting times, indeed

And in light of this week's recipe, here's a couple more links:

Britain no longer a sovereign state

High unemployment probably new normal (Via Tam)

States borrowing money to pay unemployment

Copenhagen climate summit producing as much CO2 in less than two weeks as an entire small town does in a year.

If you need me, I'll be in the bunker, eating beans.

Sunday Night Recipe: Copenhagen Climate Conference Edition

I'm in a funky mood, so you get a snarky recipe this week. Count your blessings.

Copenhagen "Curry", a.k.a. Cap 'n' Trade Surprise

1/2 c. rice, white or brown (brown if available)
1 can chili beans, drained (but not rinsed)
2 hot dogs (optional)

Cook rice according to directions on package. When rice is almost done, empty beans into a microwave-safe container and cook until heated through. Mix with rice. If available, cut hot dog into one-inch lengths and microwave, then add to beans. Eat in the dark because you can't afford to have lights and a hot meal. Resist the urge to throw rocks at your Obama-voting neighbors. Enjoy!

Like I said, I'm feeling very snarky this week. I make no apologies and fewer excuses. Shet up an' eat yer vittles.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


I did it! I did it! Wooooooooooooooooo! *runs around in circles with fists in the air* I don't know what to do with myself in the evenings, but wooooooooooooooooo! And did I mention 'Wooooooooooooooooo!'?

Onward to the rewrite! EXCELSIOR!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

All is well ...

I was all freaked out just now about the news and my workload and the current family drama and the general cruminess of life, and then Vince Guraldi's "Oh Christmas Tree" from A Charlie Brown Christmas came on my mp3 player, and I suddenly didn't mind so much any more. Now if I could just get it on a loop inside my skull at all times ...