in a perfect world of yancies: November 2005

30 November 2005

it's beginning to look a lot like . . .

well, though I am slightly afraid of appearing overly domestic/sentimental/bourgeois, I thought I'd put up these few pictures of our tree (well, actually, it's Diana's tree, but whatever) & of my 'Christmas goose'

Emily hanging an ornament

and what ornament? our friend the back-packing moose, which we got up in Minnesota after the canoe trip in August '04

almost done . . .

in the soft light of the tree

25 November 2005


so with my Mom in town for the week, we cooked up our first thanksgiving dinner; Emily & I did some preparation over the weekend, but things really got going Monday--with some help from my Mom, I got things started while Emily was at work

my Mom, grinding some guajillo peppers for the mole which we served with the turkey

my Mom, helping prepare the stuffing

When Mimi got home, we treated ourselves with some chili (not pictured) that I made once the t-day stuff was ready . . . and then got up (or, in my case, tried really hard to get up) bright & early to see Mimi run a 5-k race along the river with a couple hundred fellow-citizens . . .
. . . unfortunately, in my groggy haste I forgot the camera, but I did manage to get a shot of Emily before she removed her #

Mimi, after finishing the Thanksgiving day 5-k in 28:47--nice!

and then it was time to get the food going

Mimi and the bird

it took a couple of hours for the turkey to cook, which gave us a nice chance to visit . . . and have some beer

Merrica on the phone and a beer in my hand--Happy Thanksgiving indeed

now, I know that's the only picture I'm in, but honestly I did do some cooking; I just don't look very good when I cook . . .

As the turkey cooked, our friend enjoyed his thanksgiving meal outside


our spread--some Amplexus champagne (you can look that word up if you like--but trust me, the champagne was tasty), spiked cranberries, candied yams, jalepeño cornbread stuffing, and the turkey

the remains

for desert, some fantastic pumpkin pie

Friday, Mimi showed us around the ground (and undergrounds) at Unity Village, where she works as Archives Technician

in the tunnels under Unity

Mom and Mimi at Unity

a great holiday

22 November 2005

bling!; and, turkey on the way!

check out Emily's phone . . . what sparkle!

so my mom got in last night (just in time, sadly, to witness KU's loss to Arizona--but at least we put up a good fight)
tomorrow begins the preparation of the thanksgiving meal . . . which, if it goes all right, may be the best thanksgiving meal EVER

our menu, you ask?
some turkey, with a spicy mole, of course
candied yams
cranberries prepared with, among other things, Grand Marnier (mmm)
some jalepeño corn bread stuffing
and, of course pumpkin pie

wish us luck

updates to come!

14 November 2005

Fayetteville, AR

here I am somewhere in downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas

We went down there this past weekend, so I could deliver a paper on Aristotle at the Southwestern Philosophical Society meeting. The weather--though a little chilly--was great & though it was fall the farmers' market there (a block from our hotel) was overflowing with delicious looking (well, you can't cook in a hotel room, you know) food . . .
While I enjoyed hearing some papers, Emily went out & explored the city--one candidate for a highlight (?) was a tour she took of the 1st house the Clintons lived in together, when they were teaching at the U of Arkansas

Emily in front of the house where the Clintons lived & were married . . .

So my paper went very well--the people there seemed to like it, and I got some good questions (most of which I felt I answered pretty well, if you ask me), and the commentator was Chris Caldwell, a KU PhD who was there with his wife Delilah (also a KU PhD, who was herself there to give a paper) and their handsome 15-month-old son Jay, who was wearing an adorable vest and clip-on tie combo (for some insane reason, we forgot, alas, to get any photographs).

on Saturday afternoon, Emily showed me around a bit, including the beautiful new public library (which, rumor has it, was designed by the guy that Lawrence is hoping to have renovate their library--here's hoping)

Mimi outside the Fayetteville library

the front of the library

the back of the library

we also had the chance to enjoy the film Good Night, and Good Luck, which I would highly recommend, and not only because George Clooney is so cute . . .
and, on our way out of town, there was some entertaining traffic:

a car I thought my sister Merrica, at least, would enjoy . . .

and so we drove back toward Lawrence, and then, about 4 hours into the drive home we got to the Kansas City suburbs, and then . . .

alas, this is how our trip ended . . .
until Deron drove into Kansas City to pick us up & take us home--thanks, Deron!

the good news is a) the car's already fixed for not too much $ (the lug nuts on the front driver's side wheel were broken) and b) at least we had a great trip, and made it almost all the way home . . .

poll results, etc

Well, the results (such as they are) are in: it looks like the majority of you agree with my feeling that term limits for justices are probably a bad idea . . . to view the results, click "view" on the poll in the previous post, below, or click on poll results. Thanks for voting!

A couple of you--Rodrigo and Chet, to name names--were kind enough to send comments on your views; I think what I'll do is post those comments myself in the "comment" area at the end of this post. Thanks for sending those along! And please enjoy, dear reader, those comments.

For now I think it best to keep this post short and resist the inclination to talk more about court terms or politics in general (though Frank Rich's column on the administration's questionable policies in yesterday's Times was excellent, and I'd recommend reading it--if any non-subscribers out there are interested, I know some people and can probably track down a copy for you). . . .

we just (barely) got back from Arkansas, so expect some news on that soon


03 November 2005

court poll, music update

well, on Halloween night the thing too frightening for me to even mention in the earlier post was Deron's suggestion that Supreme Court Justices ought to have limited terms (18 years was the figure he mentioned, but the big question seems to boil down to a limited term or not . . .)
at first I was quite horrified by the idea & sure it was either a horrible holiday "trick" or that Deron had lost his grip on the world . . . but now I've become a little less certain how I feel
I'm quite sure I don't like the idea, but it's gotten a little harder for me to explain why that is . . .

So I'm inviting you (yes, all three of the people who read this blog!) to let me know what you think: there's a poll below, which I invite you to vote in; and please feel free to comment at length on your view.

For anyone with the time or inclination to make a slightly more informed vote, I offer you two pieces of reading on the subject matter.

Now this may be ill-advised, but I'm a fan of stuff that's old & has stood the test of time, and I'm a fan of considering things in the proper context . . . thus, the first document is by Publius (Alexander Hamilton, in this case):
The Federalist #78, on the Judicial Department
An essay by a founding father explaining, in part, why lifetime appointments seem like a good idea.

The second piece is one Deron brought to my attention, an article by Stuart Taylor Jr. from the National Journal, 25 June 2005:
"Life Tenure Is Too Long For Supreme Court Justices"
(& I sure hope posting that is 'fair use,' or I may see some judges soon myself)

The issue, as I see it, hinges on the independence of the judicial branch, crucial to the whole checks & balances thing--can the Court remain truly independent without lifetime appointments?
On the other hand, is having Justices who serve into their 90's such a great thing? And wouldn't it be nice to know whether a President would in fact be appointing a Justice? Further, Taylor argues, perhaps the confirmation hearings wouldn't be so rough (now he wrote before Chief Justice Roberts breezed by, so we'll forgive him that one) if they occurred more often. . . .
Again, though, what about that independence? . . . so, anyway, what do you think?

do you favor term limits for Supreme Court Justices?
sounds pretty good
not sure
I don't think so
hell no


Free polls from

On another note, I can't stop thinking about that group, Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re, that we saw last week--and now we finally got the album!
it turns out that buying Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re's album on iTunes is possible, just a little difficult: you have to spell their name right . . . so the correct spelling then, is つしまみれ . . . (???) . . . so if anyone's interested, clicking on their name, つしまみれ, in this post should take you to the iTunes page with their album, an album which I would recommend again and again and again. Fabulous. つしまみれ.