Was at Blox for 5 hours, the last 30 minutes of so I was waiting on the grass for the long line of cars to exit from the place. This morning when I was pulling in there was a CHP motorcycle cop, one local motorcycle cop and one local patrol car. "The early bird catches the worm?" Later during the day I saw the CHP cop across the street from the event, keeping an eye on things. Another car show. Probably the last of the year for me, unless another free event comes along. I decided to go to this one today as I hadn't gone to any this year. Was it worth the time? I was still a fish out of the water.
Last night ah Fai treated me to a birthday dinner at AS in Cupertino. It was a "man date" and I felt a bit self-conscious at times... The restaurant's interior is very busy, and the decor, from what I remember, is rather simple. I was a dai heung lee - despite the restrained environment, the restaurant was a bit too "fancy" for me, even though many of the patrons were dressing rather casually. It is one of the few upscale restaurants in the area. There were a lot of couples present, and it seems to be a good restaurant for dates. I was surprised by all of the hustle and bustle on the floor; a lot of servers moving around. I was expecting something more sedate, but there were a lot of customers.
I received gifts from the chefs because it was my birthday, thanks to my insider connection. These included a dessert from the pastry chef, in addition to the two appetizers from the head chef - a shrimp appetizer (I am not a shrimp fan, but it was tender and fresh) and a lamb chop (very good!). For my entree I ordered the porterhouse while ah Fai had the rack of lamb. The seasoning for the steak reminded me of breakfast sausages; there was a pesto sauce for the beef. I had no complaints about the food, even though much of it (especially the desserts) was not paleo-friendly. As far as I can tell, it deserves its Michelin star, and business is good, despite the economy. (Not too much competition in the vicinity for that level of dining?) The service is impressive, specially some of the choreography by the servers.
While we were at the restaurant, ah Fai and I talked about his workplace and... food. I suggested he try Let's Be Frank because of the grass-fed meat. While we were on the topic of food trucks, he recommended HRD for the Korean sandwiches/burritos. I'd order some of the hot dogs but shipping is too much... I'll have to drop by the SF shop instead. (No retail partners in the South Bay!)
As for the dining being too fine for me... is this false populism on my part? Certainly it isn't something I grew up with, and it isn't something I can afford, so this was rather new to me and I did feel out of place. There was clean silverware for each course. I was under-dressed by Western standards. (I'll get a new suit and some sports jackets when I have a job.) I am not sure if I'll ever become comfortable with this sort of dining experience.
USASOC has its own flickr stream. (Why?) flickr U.S. Army Special Operation Forces Soldiers from United States Army Special Operations Command (Airborne) conduct urban close-quarters battle drills at a range May 04. These Soldiers were part of a capabilities exercise for members of the local populace in Fayetteville as well as various national represenatives. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Marcus Butler)
Dirt bath Soldiers assigned to Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, brace against flying dirt and debris following the departure of a UH-60 helicopter at the Weesh border crossing point, Afghanistan, June 6, 2011.
I see the trailer and think about how it is the force of the masses that makes for political change in China, but the nature of the constitution stays the same for the most part. True republicanism remains something foreign to the country, despite what the revolutionaries named the various governments since the fall of the Qing.
Battlefield 3 - giant tank battles and assaults. The game might reflect the fantasy of some officers, but does it give people the wrong idea of good war-fighting in the 21st century? Would it be difficult to design a FPS that actually shows 3GW? After all, the selling point of such FPS is the brutal (and graphic) force-on-force, even if there is the occasional "stealth" mission.
LA archdiocese re-opening shuttered elementary schools with focus on dual languages
Does the Los Angeles Unified School District have bilingual education? I think it's mostly been abandoned here in the South Bay, although there are certain classrooms with language immersion (in Mandarin, for example).
The Private Man's post An Ugly Social Expectation And More On Female Projection was timely, as I was thinking about how men and women think about fulfillment and satisfaction. Men do look to the role they fulfill within their group (and with respect to other men) -- finding "satisfying" or "meaningful" work today is a pale shadow of this, while our soldiers seem to have a better experience of this primordial masculine need.* A man in his 40s may be fine without a family, but if he does not have satisfying work he will experience spiritual difficulties. In contrast, [most] women, especially as they get older, feel empty without a husband and children. Many women who were influenced by feminism to put career ahead of relationships are now regretting being single and 30-something.
By their natural inclinations, women seem to depend primarily on the family and the role they occupy with respect to the family (both immediate and extended) for happiness. Their other social roles (with neighbors, people who are not-family) are extensions of the feminine self. The single woman (who is not dedicated to some form of the religious life) must find roles that supplement her familial role and replace those of wife and mother.
For a man, on the other hand, being a husband and father is part of his social role(s), which can be more abstract, while those of the woman are focused on concrete personal relationships. (Patriotism and military service can be built upon rather thin notions of community and identity.) Men who have been shut out of political participation and communal life can focus their energies on doing what they can with respect to their family (and neighbors) but this is not the highest form of civic life. It is what men are reduced to doing in a system that is hostile to them and tradition. It seems to me that a man who otherwise focuses exclusively on his family for meaning may be under the influence of excessive sentimentality, ideology, or a bias towards the family that leads to the neglect of his duties to the community.
Women are criticized for their herd instinct -- acquiescing in group think in order to belong. Men do have a "group mentality" and when this is faulty or unhealthy they too will "go along to get along" but it is nonetheless the foundation of functioning within a community.
Saying that men and women are complementary may be accurate in some ways, but taken too far is it just a "nice" way to ignore the real differences between men and women and the roles they play (especially with respect to the exercise of authority within the family and society)? One sometimes gets the impression from certain churchmen that women can and should do everything that men can do, in addition to being a mother (which men cannot be)!
Should Genesis be used to support a traditional understanding of the roles of husband and wife? Some contemporary Catholics might reject such an exegesis out of hand as being outdated and contrary to their feminist inclinations. But if the first woman was created to be a helpmate to the first man, and not vice versa, shouldn't that mean something, especially if it is confirmed in the yearnings of women themselves?
*While it would be wrong to discount the experience of comrades in arms, this brotherhood does have its limitations. Sebastian Junger and others have said that soldiers do not care about the personal lives of others, so long as they do their job properly. I have some who were in combat units express that they do not care if someone is a homosexual, but this is presumably so long as homosexuals keep this aspect to themselves. But victory (or the brotherhood of soldiers) is not the only good to be pursued by men. While private behaviors may not matter so much on the battlefield, it would be incorrect to extend this sort of non-judgmentalism to deliberation concerning communal life at large. Victory is not for its own sake, but for the sake of the community (hence Aristotle's criticism of Sparta), and just because certain behaviors do not get in the way of victory does not mean that they therefore ok for the communal life. I am not referring just to homosexuality, but to almost anything that does not pertain to war-making. Soldiers may be too focused on war to judge things correctly with respect to the community or the common good.
Hundreds of gate designs have been devised to ease the passage in and out of fields and barnyards. Almost all of them depend on hinges to carry the weight of the gate swinging open or closed...these gates eventually sag and drag on the ground... The simple board gate shown here avoids the problem and expense...
It links to a piece on comments made by... Bill Bennett. The paleos over at Chronicles have a rather low opinion of Mr. Bennett, who does not talk about the "woman problem." MRAs will have no time for his version of social conservatism if he does not think there is a woman problem.
The Archdruid's latest, In the World After Abundance, called to mind some of the comments for this thread at The Spearhead, Still They Serve, which advocated nuclear energy. We all like our American way of life, the convenience and its easiness. Some would perpetuate it at all costs, dismissing the risks involved as negligible. Some men(?) have even criticized Angela Merkel's decision to move Germany away from nuclear energy as the typical decision-making of a woman, valuing security/safety more than anything else. I haven't done the risk analysis and I question the use of statistics in arguments, but even if safety/health is not the highest good for human beings, can we say that a life of convenience is worth the risk of something really bad happening?
How does the argument from safety against nuclear energy differ from the corresponding argument for gun control/prohibition? Does it follow from whether the fear is reasonable or not? Is inaction therefore justified? (We would then have to deal with the question of risk assessments. Oh, and the commensurability of goods.) Or is it because a gun is not always in use while a nuclear power plant is? The negative effects of nuclear power are always being contained while the plant is in operation. What can the nuclear power plant be protected against, and how many different things could happen to threaten it? Only one bad thing could happen with a gun, its being misused, so in comparison the number of safeguards that are needed for a gun are fewer.
Women are typically more cautious, while men are more willing to take risks.
Each "attitude" or inclination has its place, but one must consider the reasonableness of the inclination by the goods involved. It may be foolhardy to risk death for $50. But for $200 million, if it could help one's family and village?
I haven't really focused on this aspect of moral reasoning before...
While I believe less dependence upon automobiles is an important component of the transition to the post-carbon age, I can understand the appeal of being in control of a fast-moving machine -- the rush that one has when one is fully alert, avoiding bad drivers and navigating through traffic, is invigorating. Good driving does require attentiveness and smart driving requires planning, which is why one has little patience for those who are not considerate of other drivers, causing them to brake and slow down when they should instead be shifting over to the right lanes. "Gas isn't cheap, you know."
I haven't seen Winter's Bone yet, and Ree isn't quite pursuing justice, but I thought I'd throw her character in here for the comparison because of Loretta. Strong girls -- not quite as absurd as Hanna or Kick-Ass. Strong, can-do Southern women -- are they necessarily examples of feminists? It depends on their attitude towards men and marriage roles. Mattie may be a prototypical feminist? "Like a fish needs a bicycle..."