Friday, January 25, 2008

Burns Night

Today (January 25) is poet Robert Burns' birthday, so it is the traditional day in Scotland to eat haggis. Prepackaged haggis can be bought in either the traditional meat variety, or a new vegetarian variety. Unfortunately though, there is a ban on importing real haggis to the US because of BSE concerns regarding the use of offal (or variety meat as we call it here) from the UK. I suppose somehow we will all have to learn to live with the disappointment of not eating boiled sheep lung stuffed into natural stomach casing. Mmmm, sounds tasty.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who comes up with these ideas?

I've been watching season 4 of the Wire lately, which focuses on the failing school system in Baltimore City. So I was struck by this article about a proposed plan to pay kids to do better on the MSA tests. Because that doesn't at all seem like a plan that will be taken advantage of. Nor, for that matter, does it seem like a poor way to be spending education dollars in a city that is already deeply in debt. Why don't they try actually fixing problems rather than just covering them up?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

An oversight on my part

I was upbraided for not crediting S for sending me that link. So now I've done it and you all know.

Friday, January 18, 2008

What candidate do you agree with most?

This is a website that rates how closely you agree with the candidates (including those who have already dropped out) based on their stances for the various issues in the election - the war, immigration, the environment, etc. I know you will all be shocked to learn that I tend towards the lefties, with my rankings being:
57 Kucinich
46 Gravel
34 Obama
31 Clinton
28 Edwards
25 Dodd
24 Richardson
21 Biden
0 Paul
-10 Cox
-19 Giuliani
-22 Thompson
-25 Brownback
-26 McCain
-42 Huckabee
-44 Romney
-48 Tancredo
-59 Hunter

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wedding report

We have returned from the big wedding. For the most part it was an Israeli wedding - big, but not that formal, despite being an evening wedding - but they did make some concessions to the Americans. Like seats for the ceremony, because Israelis usually just stand for that part. So here are some pictures for everyone.

The ceremony - for those of you who couldn't tell.

Both of the families together. My brother in law has two older sisters who are both married with kids. The sister with the straight hair and her husband (standing next to her) have the two older kids. And the sister with the curly hair and her husband have the toddler and an infant who wasn't there.

All of the Americans (and Canadians) who came. Considering that Israel is pretty far away, we had a good turn-out.

And the niece who was the flower girl and her cousin (who clearly is a new boyfriend for Mster). There was no other wedding party, but Tal must have seen an American movie with a wedding in it and decided that she wanted to be the flower girl. And she's five, so they let her. It was nice though, because there were also flower petals on the tables on the balcony where they had served cocktails. And lots of people were still standing up there to watch. So since most of the Israelis had never seen a wedding with a flower girl before, they decided that they should follow her lead and throw down their petals also. So there was a shower of petals from the balcony for the processional.