## Tuesday, August 28, 2007

### DC

Pictures are up from Caitlin's and my trip to DC yesterday. Fun day.

They look kinda weird because I took all of them with my iPhone. Since my camera is still broken.

### Revenge is a dish best served bronzed

LET ME tell you about King Kamehameha. No, not the Dragon Ball Z variety.

King Kamehameha (AKA Kamehameha I and Kamehameha the Great) was the first monarch of the kingdom of Hawai'i (he conquered the Hawai'ian islands and established his reign in 1810).

Now I really don't want to tell you about Hawai'i or his reign. Partially because most of it is probably pretty standard stuff. Partially because I don't want to have to research it.

I want to talk to you about statues. In the US Capitol, every state in the union is allowed to submit for approval two statues to be housed somewhere in the country's legislative heart. Many statues stand in the old House of Representatives room (National Hall of Statues, now). They can only fit about 30 (I think the guide said 37) in the hall, though -- any more and the foundation would crumble under the weight.

You see, there are only two criteria for the statues: They must be someone from your state, and they must be made of either marble or bronze. (I know there's a copper Ike, but I think he's just an aberration).

So Hawai'i is its own happy little island kingdom until the US comes in, wipes out the dynasty and declares the archipelago annexed.

Fast forward to today (well, you know what I mean) and Hawaii sends this bronze statue of Kamehameha to be placed in the US Capitol.

Well, they tried. The first statue was so heavy it sank the ship carrying it across the Pacific to California. The second statue they sent during hurricane season. Winds broke its restraining ropes, the statue slid to one side of the boat and the whole ship promptly tipped over. Third time's the charm, because there is a statue in the Capitol of Kamehameha I.

And here is where our story gets interesting. Kamehameha is the heaviest statue in the Capitol (beside, I'm assuming, Lady Liberty). He weighs about 37 tons. They put him in the hall of statues, only to find he began crumbling the foundation under him. So they tried various spots around the room, all with the same result.

He's now in the hall behind some columns, shoved against a wall, where really no one can see him. And here he waits quietly eroding the building's foundation.

They put him against that wall because it was structurally the most stable spot. They found a couple years ago the foundation under him is still crumbling, and had to drill out the wall behind him and put in a steel rod.

Kamehameha the Great, after more than 150 years, is enacting the revenge of his people, the Hawai'ians, on the imperial forces that took his homeland and almost wiped out his people.

I can see it now. "Conquer us and make us into an 'annex' will you? We shall present you with a Trojan horse that will crumble the very foundations of your legislative body. (Evil laughs here.)"

Long live the king.

## Thursday, August 23, 2007

### Cahones

WHEN your airplane burns itself into a smoldering pile of goopy fiberglas-and-sheet metal on the tarmac, what do you do? I mean, OK, let's say the passengers all got out. The last one slid off the inflatable ramp 30 seconds ago.

Go.

Taiwanese airway China Airlines' answer? Send out some lackey to immediate white wash from the wreckage your logo.

Step two: sit back and say "I don't know what you're talking about."

As the article to which I linked says, that's chutzpah.

If they'd gotten away with it, I can see this working in their favor... PR-wise. But they weren't quite fast enough, and instead of being able to disown the disaster, they have tons of pictures of some dude with white spray paint trying to efface their role.

That's some well-handled crisis PR, if you ask me...

### Indirect discourse, now only 99 cents

I LIKE the way this dude talks about my obsessionsociété du fond.

•••

I like crosswords. But I can never wake up early and do one over a cup of OJ, because I'm cheap and the paper that employs me is an afternoon daily. So I get my crossword at about 10/10:15 a.m., and can't work on it until 4 p.m. (at the earliest).

Woe is me.

I've thought about watching Wordplay, but I don't really like Blockbuster or Hollywood Video (although I have a card for Hollywood... I might as well use it...). They're both completely out of my way, and I'd only have to travel back out there to drop off the movie after watching it. Who watches a rented movie more than once, anyway? (OK, I think I watched Gattaca about seven times before returning it, but that's different.)

## Friday, August 03, 2007

### 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

I WENT TO the used-book "bonanza" at the Gettysburg middle school last night. It was pretty much like any other used-book sale to which you've been -- a bunch of books nobody in their right mind would want, with some very interesting literature sprinkled on top like seasoning, or, perhaps, a garnish.

Caitlin and I walked away with three books each. I honestly forget what she bought, but I came away with a first edition of In Cold Blood, a first edition of Lord Hornblower, and a book called Down and Out in the Magical Kingdom (I think). It caught my eye because the author is Cory Doctorow (of Boing Boing fame).

Although Doctorow seems a bit of a conspiracy nut (he's the "Outreach Coordinator" for the EFF), I like his posts, and the plot sounds interesting. Plus it too is a first edition. I think I have a problem.

Conversly, you could say I just want to preserve literature as it was originally introduced, not with a "Now a Major Motion Picture" graphic. I want to have a nice hardcover library for my kids to browse. Also, it'll look like I'm damn well-read (which I will be if I finish reading all these books) with a wall-o-books in my study. Damn right I want a study. A room constructed using only wood and leather, with dark, rich tones and reading lighting. And a partner desk to go with my pilfered wooden desk chair.

Perfect.

### To the stars on the wings of this fancy-schmancy chair

Hey it's Herman Miller's Eames meets Swedish Tempur-pedic!: the "WING Lounge Chair."