Friday, January 30, 2009

Water and Wi-Fi

So, at long length we have got wi-fi set up in our new home.  Yippee.  And we've got one horse of a wireless router, so we can get full-strength signal on all floors.  No more of this I-can't-stream-video-in-the-other-room bullshit, or I-can't-watch-something-on-the-Roku-box-because-you're-checking-your-email crap.  We're wired up (so to speak).

Unfortunately, we're also flooded.  We had a situation with a frozen pipe--it didn't burst, but apparently it was "on" when it froze and when it thawed, it started gushing water into the back yard, some of which backed up into the basement.  So, we've been living at our new place for a week, and we've already flooded it.

Thankfully there's no permanent damage.  It's cheap carpet on concrete floor down there, and it never got "standing" deep--although there was a good sized puddle in the middle, there were also some dry spots.  So yesterday evening involved sopping up water with towels and trying to get it to a manageable level while running a fan and space heater to try and get the place dry.

As of this morning, it's still pretty wet down there, but supposedly Abby's brother is bringing a shop vac when he comes in this evening, so we should be able to get it dryer--and we'll continue to sop and fan and heat until it gets dry.

In the meantime, we're nearly moved in--this weekend we'll be getting the rest of non-essentials, and then figuring out where to put them.  Lots and lots of books still left to move--thankfully we've still got empty bookshelves.  We're definitely long on space at the new place, and I don't foresee us having any trouble filling it.

Eventually.

]{p

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Meals are Scarier in the Abstract

So cornmeal is made from ground up corn, and oatmeal is made from ground up oats.

So I think we're all entitled to a little explanation from Burger King with regards to their "Kids meal".

]{p

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Please, For the Love of God, Stop Believin'

Slate has an article about a recent rise in karaoke rage.

So it seems I can now credibly threaten the world: if I hear Journey's Don't Stop Believin' one more time...

]{p

Monday, January 26, 2009

Have You Seen Junior's Grades?

Since getting the iMac setup in the basement (man-cave), I've been hooking up cables and have had the occasion to resume my A-to-Z music-ing. I just got through the And's, which were:

  • Thom Yorke - And it Rained All Night
  • Talking Heads - And She Was
  • Stone Temple Pilots - And So I Know
  • Jem - And So I Pray
  • Billy Joel - And So it Goes
  • Van Halen - And the Cradle Will Rock...
  • The Beatles - And Your Bird Can Sing

Right now I'm listening to the second of two versions of Aneurysm by Nirvana (one live, one studio), and in a few seconds begins in the Angel's. First, three songs called Angel by Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix (the best of the three), and Sarah McLachlan, in that order. After that:

  • The Stanley Brothers - Angel Band
  • The Wallflowers - Angel on my Bike
  • Counting Crows - Angels of the Silences
  • Sixpence None the Richer - Angeltread

The next big block of similar titles will be "Another" but that's a ways off yet.

]{p

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Moving Update

We're mid-move right now. I'm doing laundry at the apartment right now (hence the internet connection) and will be ferrying clothes to the new place as they get clean. So, of course, since I'm going to have to do lots of driving, it's snowing.

Grrr...

Most of the heavy stuff and the important stuff is moved, though--including the DVD collection and all of our bookshelves. What's left are odds and ends and clothes (which we're dealing with today). Additionally, I plan to snag a few more musical instruments as well as the space heater for the basement, and perhaps my bedside table. And it's probably a good day to start getting stuff from the fridge.

We'll see what happens.

]{p

Friday, January 23, 2009

Commence Moving

We got the keys to our new place last night, and we're starting to move in this weekend.  Of course, it won't really be "home" until we get the wi-fi hooked up, which won't happen until Thursday.  AT&T informs me that because we have DSL but no phone, it will take a week to get us hooked up--with the implication that we could get set up sooner if we had phone service as well.

Sense.  It makes none.

Regardless, we're going to spend the weekend killing ourselves getting the big stuff moved over and then start migrating over smaller items (we've got our old apartment through the 14th of February).  I have a couple shelves of books that have been designated "Kurt's to pack" that I'll be working on this evening between loads of laundry and ferrying odds and ends to the new place--musical instruments, boxes of books, etc--and packing up dishes.

And supposedly we've got some help coming out this weekend to get the big stuff: bed bookshelves, drafting table, and the stuff we've purchased off Craigslist, which may or may not include a washer/dryer and couch (in addition to the entertainment center we've already paid for).

And we need to get extra keys made (there are two keys to the place, and right now Abby and I have one of each between us).

Busybusybusy

]{p

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today on Facebook

Brad is overjoyed that Gitmo is closing (see post below); it's the right thing to do! 3:39pm - Comment
Toni Bryant at 3:52pm January 22
i don't know brad..there are some very dangerous ppl there...did you know that??!!!
Brad Sheppard at 3:59pm January 22
Yes, but even the most dangerous deserve to be charged and prosecuted rather than be held indefinitely. This is the standard America has long held for its citizens and expected from other countries. Charges have not be brought against most of those held at Gitmo. Now they will either be charged or released. This is the same level of justice we expect in our own communities. Obama is also assuring us that they will not be tortured; torture is both unAmerican and unChristian.
Toni Bryant at 4:02pm January 22
well i don't agree with torture of course, but i am scared of what some of these ppl are capable of...
Terra Rodgers at 4:06pm January 22
But what about the people being held who are not guilty of anything, other than maybe wrong place, wrong time? Being held indefinitely, not having access to lawyers, family... these are things that do make people mad and dangerous. Our own unAmerican behavior is creating our worst enemies. Can you imagine if our government even tried to follow, 'do unto others...'?
 Kurt J. Pankau at 4:15pm January 22
More to the point, being held without due process is a gross breach of the Constitution. We manage to deal with our own native miscreants without violating their rights, and the surest sign of a person or nation's civility is the way they treat their enemies. We shouldn't have to make exceptions. We're better than that.
Toni Bryant at 4:21pm January 22
well i will digress here because it seems that i am the minority...but i remember 9/11 and the aching pain in my heart and the sense of urgency to get to my child and my loved ones....maybe i'm just a southern girl who comes from a long line of military fathers and grandfathers, but i would like to say that Bush did something right...he kept us safe for 7 years
 Kurt J. Pankau at 4:22pm January 22
Yes, if only he'd manage to keep us safe in that first year as well.
Toni Bryant at 4:25pm January 22
and i COULD say that that was a direct result of Mr. Bill Clinton as well....
Terra Rodgers at 4:26pm January 22
I was living in India during 9/11 and have traveled internationally before and since. I feel much less safe now because of what Bush has done.
 Kurt J. Pankau at 4:31pm January 22
And I could say that Bush invented aluminum foil. The burden of proof would be on me then.

Look, you choose to define a terrorist attack and a collapsed economy as safety, fine, that's your prerogative. If you think coming from a "long line of military fathers and grandfathers" gives you some insight into world events that somehow trumps those of us that read newspapers, so be it.

We've gotten a little off-topic. Here's the crux--your fathers and grandfathers fought and in some cases died to protect our ideals, not our skins. When Bush had detainees imprisoned without due process, he fought to save our skins and not our ideals. You are free to decide which of those actually makes us Americans.
Terra Rodgers at 4:34pm January 22
Well said, Kurt.

And the Nomination Goes Away From...

This morning the nominations for the 81st Annual Academy Awards were sent out, and it looks like my prediction was dead wrong: The Dark Knight did not get nominated for Best Picture.  Granted, I made this prediction months and months ago, before the Oscar campaigning and everyone announcing that TDK was a shoe-in for the nomination and perhaps for the award.  This was also before Slumdog Millionaire came out--the movie that's probably going to get the BP Oscar as well as do some serious house-cleaning on February 22nd (it cleaned up at the Golden Globes this month as well).

There had been recent talk of TDK getting snubbed in favor of WALL-E, but it didn't get a BP nod.  Instead, the "huh?" spot on that list is The Reader, which, aside from a Best Actress nod for Winslet, only got a handful of smaller nominations.

Oddly, though, the dominating film for nominations is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with 13.  I say "oddly" because it's masterfully directed and a technical marvel, but it did not review nearly as positively as either Slumdog or Dark Knight (not to mention The Wrestler, which also got snubbed).  As it stands, TDK is in 3rd for nominations with 8 (behind Slumdog with 10), but it got none of the big nods except for Best Supporting Actor for Heath Leger.  Instead it was largely relegated to technical awards that it will almost certainly lose (deservedly) to Benjamin Button.  So, a technical marvel is being honored for being a great film, and a great film is being honored for its tech achievements.

Huh?

I'm not saying that all things Oscar should correlate absolutely with Metacritic scores, but the availability of critic aggregators makes more and more apparent the distance between what the Academy thinks constitutes a great film and what... well, people who are paid to rate films think constitutes a great film.  Going by Rotten Tomatoes, The Reader's paltry 60% barely constitutes a "fresh" film, and Benjamin Button's 72% is pretty soundly in good-but-not-fantastic territory.  So while Slumdog (95%), Milk (92%), and Frost/Nixon (91%) all make sense, consider some of the other highly-rated movies that were beaten out by Benjamin Button and The Reader.  The Wrestler (98%), WALL-E (96%), The Dark Knight (94%), and Iron Man (93%) all ranked much higher.  Even Tropic Thunder (83%) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (88%) rated better.  Button and Reader didn't even crack RT's top 100 for the year.

This phenomenon is pretty interesting, I think--the interest of it far outweighs (for me, anyway) the upset of TDK getting snubbed for Best Picture.  Indeed, when I made my prediction in August, I thought it was a long-shot--I thought TDK actually getting the nomination would be an upset.  Amazing how the world can change in just six months.  Look at it now: combine it's extremely positive reviews with it's oh-my-god-how-did-they-do-that box office take, plus the fact that it sort of became the poster boy for a year that featured lots of great comic book films and, that it was cited by many critics as evidence that a movie based on a comic book can still be a great film--does this all add up to an Oscar?  Not necessarily, but I think a nomination would have gone a long way towards proving to a younger generation of movie-goers that the Oscars are still... what's the word?... relevant.

Doubly so in an age where there are fifteen awards ceremonies in the month of January.  But whatever.  I don't think it's going to be a situation like the '06 Emmy's, when the year had been clearly dominated by Gnarls Barkley's Crazy but the Emmy went to some Dixie Chicks song I'd never heard of.  But at the same time, the only authority the Oscar's have is that people respect the decisions they make, and the only way to maintain that authority is to continue to make decisions that people respect.  Maybe RT can start hosting an awards show.

Maybe not.

]{p

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Post Inauguration Blues

Obama won me over. I was skeptical at first--not that I was going to vote for McCain, but I was not planning on voting at all.

But Obama won me over. It's a number of things, the rhetoric, the candor. Mostly, he embodies, or at least claims to embody, three things that I think we're in dire need of presently: pragmatism, professionalism, and transparency.

Oh, what the hell, there are worse things to be than optimistic. He's got at least four years to prove me wrong.

-]{p

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Home is Where the Stuff Is

What's this? An actual "diary-esque" entry rather than the usual editorializing? Well, okay...

It's 3:00 AM and I'm wide awake--paralyzed by excitement. Last night we signed the papers on our new place. When our lease came up this November, we opted to go month-to-month with the intention of moving into someplace larger: something without upstairs or downstairs neighbors, something with covered parking, something with enough room to give Abby and I our own work spaces. We also wanted to stay in Creve Coeur--it's not as pricey as, say, Chesterfield or South County, but its proximity to Westport keeps it fairly yuppie-ish and the schools are good. So we found a great townhouse off Villa Dorado, being leased by private owner, that was a whole lot nicer than we thought we were going to find for our price range.

They took one look at my credit score and job history and washed their hands of us; they wouldn't even return my e-mails.

We were understandably disappointed, but I kept an eye on Craigslist and saw a listing for a similar place. The rent was a little less and the owner seemed much more interested in selling than leasing, but we contacted them anyway. A week later, we've signed the papers.

Turns out this new place is in the exact same complex as the place we were turned down from, and it has virtually the same floor plan--only a larger basement and a yard rather than a deck, and the place is a lot nicer: hardwood floors, a wet bar in the basement, actual wallpaper (instead of that dreary shade of rental-property paint beige) and a newly remodeled kitchen. We move in later this month. But the really nice thing about this place is the open option to buy--which is ultimately what we want to do (we think). But more importantly, it seems like someplace we can settle and start a family (when the time comes for that).

Oh, and kitchen space! In addition to the ginormous pantry, there's lots and lots of counter space, which is in short supply at our current apartment. We got a toaster oven two Christmases ago; it's still in the box. Ditto the electric grill I got last Christmas.

So we're understandably excited. It all came together quickly. The landlords are a cop and a mortgage broker, so they were able to run a criminal background check and credit reports in no time at all, and without charging an exorbitant application fee. It was pretty fortuitous that it happened as quickly as it did--Abbs and I were growing a weeeee bit antsy.

Ever since we started looking, and especially since we looked at the first townhome, Abby's been staying up nights arranging furniture in her head, and I've kidded her about it, only now I'm afflicted (she, incidentally, is sound asleep). Sheer exhaustion drove me to bed at ten, but now at twenty to four I'm awake because I'm thinking about our new place and where we're going to put stuff. Only I'm thinking about it in Java, so I'm wondering if a mortgage would include an IStructuredFurniture interface and how much extra we would have to pay for a NewFurnitureLauncher.

Well, it made sense to my fatigue-addled brain at the time. Anywho, it's time for an awkward segue.

Speaking of new furniture, we don't have nearly enough to fill this place. We've got a bunch of shelves, a handful of small tables, a secretary, a futon, a bed, a desk, a TV stand, a hat tree, a couple lights and a drafting table. And it's the usual cobbled-together young-adult menagerie of aluminum and pressboard (well, we have four really nice bookshelves, and by "nice" I mean "freaking heavy"), but it won't begin to furnish a 1650 square foot townhome.

Off the top of my head, we're looking to get a couch, probably two couches, a washer/dryer, another bed, a computer desk, a recliner, an entertainment center, and probably another TV. Thank god for CraigsList, right?

Okay, it's late and I've rambled way too long about this. Night all.

]{p

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Future of the GOP

I have to remind myself that most things in life are simply reactionary. Seriously, like 98% (I got that stat from somewhere, who knows if it's legit or not) of all action is a reaction. Sonic the Hedgehog was a reaction to Mario. Andy Warhol's soup cans were a reaction to abstract impressionism (i.e., Jackson Polluck). My wife is free to correct me on that last bit.

Much of what we think as "American" is a reaction to the Cold War. We constantly positioned ourselves as far across the table as possible from the U.S.S.R. They were Communists, were were Capitalists. We developed the "science" of economics to try and prove the superiority of free markets. Economics came into it's own in the 50's--it existed before, but it wasn't really codified before then. Which is why we still don't know all the root causes of the Great Depression. They were "godless" so we underwent a tremendous God-ification. We added the phrase "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance and declared "In God we trust" to be our national motto.

Fast forward to today.

I had assumed that the election of Barack Obama and his cadre of socialists Democrats was simply the pendulum swinging back to the left, that the GOP would regroup, re-(ahem)-center themselves, and stage a comeback in 2020 or so. But discussions with politically-minded friends have led to some interesting possible outcomes--Evan points out that when the Labour Party in Britain took over in 1997, the Conservative Party was scattered and has yet to re-assemble itself. While the parties aren't 100% analogous, they're pretty damned close. So what does this mean for the Republicans?

Well, it depends on what you think the Republican Party does. Let's get one thing clear--this is not your father's Republican Party. Overwhelmingly, centrists and moderate conservatives have made the claim that the neo-conservative movement within the GOP did not reflect their values of fiscal responsibility, strong defense, and personal liberty. If you think of the right as being a check on the left, then it stands to reason that it will regroup, recenter, and regain control when the pendulum swings back.

But there's something that I've never been quite able to pinpoint. The GOP of late has been divided into two distinct wings: business libertarians and moral authoritarians.  Their aims aren't mutually exclusive, per se, but they make odd bedfellows.  I frequently joke that the unholy marriage between the two groups oddly reflects the typical midwestern union.

But I digress.

No, what occurred to me, at long last, is that the modern GOP is in many ways a vestige of the Cold War.  As tenuous as the link between atheism and communism are (and imagine how the world might be different if Russia had been officially Russian-Orthodox), they find their mirrors in the Republican Party.  It seems to me that the GOP, and in a broader sense the Conservative movement, was cobbled together from disparate ideologies whose only commonality was to be vehemently anti-communist.  No wonder the GOP frequently painted its opponents as communists.  Joe McCarthy was a Republican, and before being famous for Watergate, Nixon was a famous for red-baiting.  When Reagan compaigned against Medicare, he compared it to socialism.

But then the Cold War ended, and the strength of the economy became more important than the nature of it.  So when the country swung left in '92, the Republican response was to become the party of high morality, and this paid off when then-President Clinton had his now infamous affair.  But the GOP still had its pro-business roots.  This is how you get peculiarities like the '04 election, in which Bush campaigned on overturning Roe v. Wade and banning gay marriage, and then called his election a mandate from the people to privatize social security.

But with the Iraq War, the GOP effectively recused itself, sacrificing the moral high ground--and here's the ironic part--in order to pursue a new common enemy.  That's right, "terrorism" was to be the new "communism".  But the pursuit has been, pardon the phrase, abortive.  Most thinking adults know that the Iraq War is making us more vulnerable to terrorism, not less.  And the fact that Osama bin Laden has not been caught after a 7 year chase has left the administration (and the party it represents) looking somewhat impotent.  In addition, the promises to stick it to gays and abortionists have proven empty, at least at the federal level.

So, lacking a good common enemy (and for the record, the Democrats do not constitute a common enemy), can the GOP un-fragment itself into a dominant political force again?

Well, a lot of that depends on what the Obama administration accomplishes.  Pundits are calling the Obama cabinet "a return to responsibility" (as opposed to loyalty).  Obviously the economy is going to be a priority, and Obama's pledge to empty Gitmo is an equally real and symbolic gesture that has "moral high-ground" written all over it.  If he manages to salvage the economy, the combination of that and the dismal W-years should cement the image of Democrats as the champions of economic policy (rightly or wrongly).  Team Obama has a lot of obstacles, but they're an incredibly savvy lot, and this is an excellent opportunity to shine, if they're up to the task.  Obama-led policy successes could set the GOP back some fifty years--especially if he makes some significant headway in health care (assuming universal health care would be as immensely popular here as it is in every other developed nation in the world).

In short, the neo-cons have screwed their own pooch, and they may well have taken the rest of their party with them.  Time will tell.

]{p

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Land of Inopportunity

I was expecting the DJI to take a hit yesterday because the numbers for orders of manufactured durable and non-durable goods came out and they were... well... crappy.  Orders are down, inventories are up, all of which indicate a public that isn't buying anything for the fourth straight month.

And yet the Dow puttered along, modestly making gains roughly equal to it's modest losses yesterday.  How sad is this?  Bad news just doesn't phase us anymore.  Here's another indicator that the economy is in the toilet, but the American people respond by saying "Buddy, tell us something we don't know."

The economy turned south when I was in college, and it's gotten slightly better over the last years only to take a major, major nosedive in '08.  It's odd, no?  I've been in the real world for six years now, and in those years I've never known good economic times.  Now, don't read me wrong here--I'm doing just fine, economy or no.  I've managed to stay employed and have never missed a rent check or a car payment.  All I'm saying is this: Has America become the land of inopportunity?  And is it taking the rest of the world with it?

Food for thought.

]{p

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's Forth, not Fourth... Idiots...

Just heard that the Shrek series has a new installment due out summer of 2010: Shrek Goes Fourth.

This marks the second consecutive title ripped off... erm, inspired by The Black Adder, but I suppose that's okay since American children have no idea who/what that is.  I just hope it's a better movie than it's most recent predecessor, because, let's face it, Shrek the Turd was a steaming pile of phoning-it-in.  But I don't really expect greatness, if only because Mike Myers seems to have forgotten how to be funny (anybody see The Love Guru?  No?  There's a reason) and Dreamworks has the bar set lower for its animated films than, say, Pixar.  Don't believe me?  Just watch the most trailers for Monsters vs. Aliens.  There are two distinct butt/poop jokes in the three-to-four minutes of film out there.  Is that really necessary?

Oh, and this Shrek film will have Sir Paul McCartney in it.  I guess he got a taste of animated glory when they used his Live and Let Die as a funeral dirge in the third film and wanted more (and that musical number wasn't the slightest bit ill-advised).  Too bad there's nothing to indicate that he would be a competent voice-actor.  This one is going to suck, methinks.

Maybe they'll have it all figured out in time for 2013's Shrek Downs a Fifth.

Perhaps not.

]{p

Merry Freaking Christmas!

There's a billboard on I-70, neighborhood of St. Peters, that reads as follows:

"I miss you saying Merry Christmas."
--Jesus

No, no I don't think so. I didn't even get this at first, Abby had to straighten it out for me. Apparently, people used to say "Merry Christmas" around the holidays, because they all naturally assumed that anyone showing their face in public in December wasn't Jewish. Nowadays, we realize that there are Jews, atheists, Pagans, all kinds of people who celebrate something in the winter that isn't necessarily Christmas, so we say the more ecumenical "Happy Holidays". It's also efficient, since there's, you know, more than one holiday this time of year. Thanksgiving through New Years is pretty much considered the "holiday" season.

But apparently this was so offensive to our Lord and Savior that, in his infinite wisdom, he purchased ad space on a billboard, so as to smite those people heading West on I-70, including a lot of potential mall traffic.

No. I really don't think so. But I open this to debate, you are free to show me the scripture that indicates a preference on Jesus' part. Go on. I'll wait.

Or, we can put aside sarcasm and just assume that a man who reportedly preferred the company of sinners and prostitutes to teachers of law would probably not have a problem with people using an inclusive greeting rather than an exclusive one.

In lighter news, the mp3-list is about to segue from T.A.T.U.'s All the Things She Said into All the Young Dudes a la Mott the Hoople. So, that's fun.

]{p

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rant: Bored

Okay, here's the real irony of the holidays. I'm caught up. On everything. My feed reader is empty. There's nothing new on Hulu that I'm interested in. Car Talk hasn't updated, Wait Wait is in reruns. Even some of my favorite blogs seem to be on a yuletide hiatus. Hot Chicks with Douchebags still posts, but I haven't seen anything new on GoFugYourself, and Cinematical's posts have been pretty slim.

There's the rush of Oscar-contenders in theaters right now. But I've seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire already. By the by, Slumdog Millionaire is a treat. Yes, it's about people in India, and yes a lot of it's subtitled, and yes it's by Danny Boyle who couldn't find an uplifitng happy ending with a map, but, oddly enough, it's quite good. And the ending is, in fact, happy and uplifting. And the end credits have a Bollywood homage that, I gotta say, put a ten-mile smile on across my mug.

Digression.

I don't have any Netflix rentals that are burning a hole in my DVD player. It's a little odd. I've been keeping up with comics and Cracked easily enough. And I've been playing a little Metroid, which is fun. Speaking of, I've been craving some Wii news. There's nothing to be had. After a release-light holiday season and hints about future releases, I'm seriously jonesing some information. Good luck finding it. The Zelda team is working on something that may or may not come out this year. Ditto Mario. Ditto Kid Icarus. Maybe. There's still no release dates for the much-hyped Wii MotionPlus or The Conduit. No word on whether the Q1 releases that we know about are going to be any good (I really hope MadWorld is... that looks fun). No more news on Punch-Out or when they're going to release "Play it on Wii" versions of the GCN Metroid titles. And when the hell is Sky Crawlers coming out, I'd like to know. This system could use a good flight sim!

I got into a weird back-and-forth over Three Dog Night lyrics on Facebook. My status is that I've never been to Spain, but I kind of like the music. And my friends who are classic-rocker-ish enough to get the reference have been asking me if I've been to Oklahoma, if I remember, what does it matter, all that.

And I've been working on my book a little. There's plenty to do, I'm just used to feeling hopelessly behind at all times, and I'm actually a little ahead around that house. Well, that'll fix soon enough, since we're talking about trying to move in the next few weeks.

Anywho, end rant.

]{p

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Years, Days, and Seconds

It's a busy new year in the Haworth/Pankau household. We're looking a new places, I've got a new car, all kinds of new stuff.

Thank god we got that extra second over the holiday. We gained a leap second. I remember in 2000 there was a big stink because I think we were supposed to skip a leap year (you're supposed to skip one every 100 years) but we didn't in 2000. Whatever. This all stems from the problem of our two main units of long-ish time being a day and a year and that they don't actually line up nicely. So this year, the calender was adjusted by a single second.

Does this seem frivolous to anyone but me? First of all, are you sure? Who exactly was it that was crunching the numbers and said "Oh my God, we're off this year by 1/31,536,000th! This must be resolved immediately!"

Second, how sure are we on the accuracy of our measurement of a year. The ancient Mayans had a 360 day calendar and modern science seems to think that was damned good! But now we've got the time of a body floating through a marker-less void pegged to the second? On the other hand, a second in planetary motion is going to be about 18.5 miles, give or take half a click, so maybe it is legit.